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Tips for Adult Beginners

I recently made a video specifically for you adult beginners out there who might be struggling to find your stride, or maybe you're just looking for some ways to simplify your violin-learning.

Here are those tips!

1. It's never too late to start

A question I often hear from prospective adult students is "Am I too old for this?" or "Is it too late for me?". Of course the answer to both of these questions is a resounding "no", but I think it's important to remember that it is never too late to learn a new skill. We wouldn't ask ourselves these same questions when it comes to learning another activity such as painting, knitting, swimming, etc., so the same should be applied to learning a musical instrument. Now, if you pick up the violin at the age of fifty and plan to be performing as a solo concert violinist, it may be a bit tricky to achieve that goal versus someone who started when they were three, but I wouldn't rule it out completely. If we asked the question "Is it too late for me?" when approaching any new activity or skill, we would never learn anything new, would we? And as a result, life would be pretty dull. There is something wonderful about an adult who wants to continue learning even if it means challenging themselves, and that is something to be admired.

2. Remember your reason for starting

Remembering why you decided to start something in the first place will get you through many a frustrating practice session. Just when you feel like you're ready to throw in the towel, remember your goal. Was it to play in a band? Learn that one song you've always loved? Continue the legacy of a beloved family member? Whatever your reason, remind yourself that you in fact can do this, and you owe it to yourself to follow through with your goal.

3. Keep a positive mindset

As we've discussed before with dealing with frustration during practice, it is of the utmost importance to stay positive when practicing and playing your violin. It's only natural to become frustrated every once in awhile and to feel challenged to improve, but if we are constantly frustrated when we pick up our violin, we begin to associate those negative feelings with the violin in general, and that's no good! So, if you are practicing and make a mistake, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and tell yourself it's ok. We all start somewhere, and even the pros mess up regularly!

4. Create a practice routine

Lastly, create a practice routine for yourself that you can stick to. If you have never played the violin before and are just starting out, set realistic goals and routines for yourself in order to achieve them. Crash dieting never worked for anyone long-term, so don't set a lofty goal of practicing for several hours a day if you work full time and have kids running around. Set a routine that will suit your lifestyle, and start small. Setting small, attainable goals to start will allow you to gage your commitment to the instrument, and once you reach your first goal you will be motivated to move onto the next one.

I hope you found these tips helpful, and I wish you the best of luck on your journey in playing the violin!

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