I have been surprised and impressed by the number of adults who will begin the challenge to learn to play the violin. In preparing for this article I requested email input from the adult beginners that I have had contact with and will be using their suggestions as well as giving you my own thoughts.
I have come to believe there is one great myth out there regarding the adult who takes up a new instrument: “It is harder for an adult than it is for a child.” There are many versions 우머나이저 of this: “Children are more flexible;” “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” Well I don’t believe this is true at all. I believe the reason this myth persists is due to different expectations between adults and children.
Children want to play because they heard a violin somewhere; or a parent or grandparent plays and they want to be like them, or for many other reasons. But children are used to being on the beginning end of things, and are used to people teaching them and telling them how to do things. They go to their lesson every week, Mom or Dad helps them practice every day, and before they know it they’ve been at it for a couple of years and are sounding pretty good!
The adult on the other hand is by now very proficient at their chosen profession and in many cases is the teacher and not the student in their field. It is uncomfortable therefore, to be a beginning violinist and to play at a beginner level in front of someone who is proficient (his or her teacher). They look constantly for progress and measure themselves against a standard that they have chosen — often an unrealistic standard.