How mum hit a high note with her children

When her children took up the violin, one mother followed suit
Click to follow
The Independent Online
SUSAN DANIELL took up the violin three years ago, a year after her daughter Helena, now 12, started. Her son Tim, nine, began violin lessons two years ago.

Helena

"When I first started learning the violin, it was hard to get a nice sound. I felt really good when I could start playing tunes that everyone could recognise.

It's sometimes hard now getting all the notes in exact tune, and doing positions. I practise about five days a week, for about 10 minutes. Mum sometimes reminds me - but it's OK once I get started. I don't like scales, but if I'm playing a piece I ask her to come in and listen. She comes and looks at the music and says where it should be loud. If I don't know how to play a piece she'll show me the rhythm. Sometimes we play duets together from the jigs and reels book."

Tim

"I chose the violin because when they played instruments to us at school I liked the sound of the violin. I like being able to play different tunes, but it's hard when you have to do it very quickly.

Sometimes I like practising; I practise usually five days a week, after supper. Sometimes mum comes and listens. It helps if she's there - if I'm really stuck she can help me. It's good she's learning too. Sometimes we play together."

Susan

"I never learnt an instrument as a child. But as an adult I've always liked violin music. Hearing Helena play, I thought I'd like to do that, too. So I started lessons with a friend of mine who is a violin teacher. It's a bit embarrassing starting when you're older, but in fact it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I was soon playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and feeling very pleased.

You learn faster as an adult. I learnt to read music much more quickly than the children, but when you're older your fingers don't go in the right positions so easily.

I don't manage to practise as regularly as the children, but in a good week I do about 20 minutes, four times a week.

Although I'm not as advanced as Helena, there are things I understand, being taught as an adult, that I can explain to her - even if I can't play them. It's quite nice all doing it: we can be sympathetic, and I can say, yes, that's difficult - like when Tim started third position. We forget things, and have to ask each other. And it's lovely to have the house full of music like this."

Comments