How mum hit a high note with her children

When her children took up the violin, one mother followed suit
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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.


"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."


"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."


"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."