practice techniquesViolin LessonsTop 5 Posture Tips for Beginning Violin Students and Parents: Practice AND Posture Make Perfect!

August 31, 2010by emilylowe

Learning to play the violin undoubtedly requires consistent practice in between lessons for beginning violin students, but the mastering of correct playing posture is actually more important. At this early stage it is essential new students develop a concrete relationship with their instrument before musical advancement can begin to take effect.

Top 5 Posture Tips for Beginning Violin Students and Parents:

Practice AND Posture Make Perfect!

 By Lindy Donia

Posture AND Practice Make Perfect with Violin!
Posture AND Practice Make Perfect with Violin!

Learning to play the violin undoubtedly requires consistent practice in between lessons for beginning violin students, but the mastering of correct playing posture is actually more important.  At this early stage it is essential new students develop a concrete relationship with their instrument before musical advancement can begin to take effect.  Rather than focus on correct playing position, it is undeniably expected (and adorable) for your little five year old to succumb to their eagerness towards the violin and the songs they wish to play, but if you are the parent there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure their developmental progress right from the start. 

The violin is an extremely awkward instrument to hold and naturally students will be inclined to seek out and experiment with alternative playing postures.  Although they have been taught and reminded the correct ways by their instructors, in a battle between comfort and uneasiness your child is going to opt for comfort.  I have made a list of the top 5 mistakes young students tend to make while learning how to hold their violin and how it can easily be corrected by the parent in between lessons with their instructor.  Being aware of these common posture mistakes will make a significant difference in your child’s musical development right from the onset.  They will thank you later! 

Good Posture - Super Important for Budding Violinists
Good Posture - Super Important for Budding Violinists

5. What you are seeing:  Your child is positioning the violin directly in front of them. 

    What they should do:  Position the violin directly on their left shoulder, therefore the instrument points to the left.  This will give your child the visual stability they need once the time comes to play. 

4.  What you are seeing:  Your child’s left wrist is collapsed and laying flat against the neck of the violin.

     What they should do:  Maintain a left wrist position that in no way comes in contact with the instrument itself.  Collapsed wrists are also referred to as “pancake hands” and your child should know what this means from their instructors.  Beginners feel as though they need to collapse their wrist against the instrument in order to feel comfortable while holding it. Through consistent reminders they will eventually trust themselves to keep a straight wrist and know they are controlling the instrument through other posture techniques.

3.  What you are seeing:  Your child’s chin is resting on the actual instrument.

     What they should do:  Rest their chin on the violin’s chinrest.  By keeping their chin on the chinrest your child is learning to utilize the natural weight of their head along with their left shoulder in holding the violin properly.  Don’t worry about the jaw, it will adjust itself!

2.  What you are seeing:  Your child is resting their left elbow against the left side of their body, therefore causing the violin to droop down towards the floor.

     What they should do:  Hold the violin so that it is parallel to the floor and stays at eye-level.  The left elbow should be free and clear from any contact with the body. 

1.   What you are seeing:  Your child is unable or scared to drop their left arm away from the instrument and down to their side and maintain the violin’s positioning. 

      What they should do:  Be confident and comfortable in dropping their left arm.  This exercise can instantly reveal whether or not your child has obtained and mastered correct posture.  When they are able to do this they have learned that they are not holding the violin with their left hand, wrist, or arm but rather supporting it with their head, chin, jaw, and left shoulder.  If you do this exercise with your child I would recommend “spotting” their violin the first few times by putting your hand underneath the instrument before they drop their arm just in case they get nervous and/or misread their positioning. 

By following these 5 posture tips for beginning violin students, your child will be off to the best start possible in their violin lessons!  Keep in mind that with beginning violin, practice AND posture make perfect!

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