Why Learn The Violin?
If you're thinking of learning an instrument, consider the good, old, traditional violin. Take a minute to reflect on the unique combination of qualities this beautiful instrument has to offer. Some people will tell you the violin is hard to learn and will sound like a shrieking cat for the first year, and others may warn of high costs. But no instrument will sound marvelous in your first week of learning, and most can be hired at affordable prices, so don't be put off by such negative comments. Here are some of the many great reasons for taking up the violin.
A violin offers intimacy
When you snuggle the violin between your chin and shoulder, and hear its expressive voice in your ear, you'll feel close to it in more ways than one. It's like having a friend at your side, sharing your thoughts as it sings and sighs to your bow strokes. Keen players tend to become devoted to their own, personal violin, and will reach for it at emotional moments.
A violin can help you make new friends
If you play a violin, you'll find plenty of opportunities for performing with a group. The sweet, mellow tones of your instrument will blend with a range of others, including other members of the string family such as the viola and cello, and wind instruments like the clarinet and oboe. The violin also goes well with the piano, and there's no shortage of music available for this popular combination. You don't have to be an expert to join an amateur group. You'll be surprised how many beginners and mid-level musicians there are around, and how many of them are looking for someone to make music with. You can take turns to host the gatherings, and schedule in some time for chat and refreshments too, and as more players join in the fun, you'll soon find you have a whole new circle of friends.
A violin is portable
You can pop your violin in a case and carry it around with you wherever you go. If you have other items to carry, just swing the case strap over your shoulder, or put both arms through and wear it on your back like a rucksack. It will even fit on the overhead luggage rack on a train or long-distance bus, and will be light to lift and maneuver.
Violin playing exercises the brain
You'll soon pick up the basics of playing a violin, yet it will keep your brain healthily active, however proficient you become. With one hand controlling the bow and the other darting up and down the strings, you'll have two separate types of activity to think about at the same time. If you're looking for an occupation to exercise the mind, the violin will be ideal.
A violin can raise the spirits
The smooth, flowing sweeps of the bow are pleasing to the ear and provide therapeutic exercise for the arms. Some people prefer the lower tones of the cello, but that instrument lacks the violin's brilliance and capacity for feather-light fun. Small as it is, it has the power to reduce you to tears and swing you into dance mode, too.
If you're set on learning an instrument, but still undecided on which, try out a variety in your local music shop and see which appeals the most. The chances are, it'll be the violin, now you've glimpsed its many assets. But the neighbors may not be quite as enthused as you in Week 1, so keep the windows shut a while -- or tell them it was the cat they heard.