Be honest, have you ever had a conversation like this with your partner?
"Wouldn't it be great if our little *insert name of child* played an instrument? Just look at them holding your guitar and dancing to music! I think they have real talent!"
Most of us have, or at least probably will at least once; but is that enough to encourage your little one on a musical path?
According to this article by Ellen Pendleton Troyer - a violinist herself - the ideal age for learning a string instrument is usually about four, when your child can concentrate for at least 15 minutes at a time.
But there's absolutely no harm in encouraging a love of music much, much, earlier.
It's never too early
Vanessa Jacono-Gilmovich is a mum, violinist and director of the Inner West Institute of Music in Sydney.
She told Kinderling it's never too early to encourage your little one's love of music, no matter what the instrument.
"You can sing to your baby, sway to the music and encourage sounds," says Vanessa. "Kids are so impressionable, let them see you listening to music and enjoying it."
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And while you can never guarantee what your child will end up doing, Vanessa says there are some easy ways to nudge a love for the violin along.
Here are 9 excellent ways to start
- Take your baby along to a general music class, like Bluebell Music or a Suzuki class for toddlers.
- Read story books about the violin or music. Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss is a favourite.
- Go to live concerts, especially ones that let you interact with the music. The Metropolitan Orchestra does Animal Adventures and Peter and the Wolf, annually.
- Watch other young violinists on YouTube.
- Colour in pictures of violins.
- Make and play a fake violin - check out the photo above using sponges as a clever example! Take it one step further by making a mat to perfect your stance, then play along to a recording.
- Make up a song about the violin and its parts.
- There's a great sticker book series for young violinists called Stringtastic that's great for little ones.
- Learn the violin together! Kids love to learn alongside their parent.
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