Got the violin, now what?

Most of the time your beginner violins come with a case.  If they don’t…..don’t buy it.  The cheaper violins should come with a soft case.  This will protect your violin.  The cases can be fun because they have straps so you can hold your violin like a backpack or shoulder pack.  As a new student, you need to slowly move into your new identity.  Once you become a ‘musician’ you will be moving in totally different circles and the quality of your case will be essential.  The soft shoulder cases will protect your violin adequately.  When you move onto a fine instrument you will need a ‘fine’ case to match.

The shoulder rest…..hmm…here is a dilemma.  More poor positions are created and maintained by a poor fit of a shoulder rest.  I think this has got to be one of the most important parts of your foundational lessons, a proper fit for the shoulder rest.  Stick with me, I will have the perfect shoulder rest available soon.  Join the newsletter and I will let you know when it is available. After so many years of starting beginner students, I have decided to actually make the perfect shoulder rest. 

The chinrest is especially difficult for a beginner child.  It is uncomfortable.  You can buy the squishy covers for the chin rest that will make life and practice sessions a lot more pleasant.  Sometimes the student cannot completely turn their heads to the left to reach the chinrest when the violin is on the shoulder.  If the position is correct, left foot forward with weight on it, leaning into the left foot and having the nose, elbow and foot in a row, the student may find it a stretch for their tiny heads.  Pick up a center chin rest.  It is placed over the end pin and tailpiece.  Be sure to learn the names of the parts of the violin and bow so you speak ‘violinize’.  Here is my kindle book with all the parts defined.  Enjoy.

Parts of the Violin and Bow Teacher Manual*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Parts of the Bow Teacher Manual*Version*=1&*entries*=0

You will need a music stand as well.  At your teacher’s house, you will be using the music on her/his stand or computer play along, computer sheet music.  At home, you will need a music stand. You can get all the play alongs and digital sheet music at    Don’t buy the cheap silver stands.  Yes, they are light but they aren’t sturdy.  I use a folding music stand that has thicker metal.  It isn’t much heavier than the silver metal stands but it certainly is sturdier.  I would suggest you don’t get the huge black stands used in orchestras.  They are heavy.  I was always  concerned about the heavy stand falling over onto a little person.  With young students and little siblings, I would encourage you to buy a sturdy stand or even a table stand to prevent accidents.

I wish I could sell the magic rosin that I buy from a local luthier.  It is amazing.  He said he makes it himself.  I needed something special because one of my own children had to play their violin with their eyes closed.   I took her to many eye doctors to see what was causing the eye irritation. Finally, a professor who taught ophthalmology at a local university diagnosed it.   It turned out to be her eyelashes – like a dandruff from the rosin.  To try to remedy her distress, I changed rosins.  I looked for one that didn’t have any additives.  This worked.  Rosin is simply pine sap.  Pine sap is also used in turpentine.   Rosin needs to be put on the bow before you play but let it settle onto the bow before playing if it irritates your eyes.   If you would like, contact me and I can try to get some of the ‘magic rosin’ for you.  I have called it magic.  It really doesn’t have a name.

Remember:  the violin is just the initial cost.  Extra strings, peg compound, a soft cloth, rosin, sheet music, lessons, etc. are the maintenance costs.  Don’t skimp.  A good foundation is essential for a good beginning.

Carol Anderson

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

A1Sheet Music

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