So, I got to thinking this morning: at what point can I stop saying that I'm learning to play the violin and say that I play the violin?
This is just a philosophical question with no right or wrong answer, or is it? I know that it's maybe not a fair question because even accomplished players continue to learn. Still, I'm curious what others think or have done.
For me, I think that it will be when I can do vibrato and play fairly well with -- or in front of -- other people. What about you?
I think that happens after one is more or less comfortable with what Shar and others call "intermediate" level. That is, a good background en route to better things.
Playing to an audience is certainly important but how many do you think perform live …. even given FM opportunities with videos. I would guess that there are maybe 12 people who will post now and then out of a membership of 1000 +
I wonder how many have recitals ?
I think you can say you play violin when you can play a song that is agreable to the ear, you know, a song you know you will play well if you pick up the violin from it's case without a practice try. Doesn't need to be something complicated or super technical or even with vibrato. We'll be learning violin until we stop playing it anyway. You can make it fancy and say beginner violinist, or intermediate violinist hehe. A violinist is simply someone playing violin anyway. There is nothing in the definition relating to the level of experience or if it's your living or hobby.
The dedicated and brave might sneak a peak at the Master Class ratings. (For classical students)
( I take exception to Fischer however. Way over rated I think.)
I can improvise. I can transpose… therefore I can play. I might not read music well yet but I can make music with eyes closed…I feel it…therefore I can play the violin.
The truth is that when you play the violin you are also learning. I guess you can say that you are learning the violin pretty much your whole life as long as you strive to be better forever.
As far as saying that you play the violin…… I guess as soon as you can play a piece. Probably feels better to say it when you play a few pieces and they are recognizable. LOL
I had to give some thought to this question, KindaScratchy, since it never occurred to me as possible that you *don't* play.
I would say personally that anyone who is not "still learning" is in a very bad place as a musician. Pretty much every really good musician I ever met, where I personally would say that they could really play.. Every one of them always had things they were learning, working on, developing.
But to avoid getting overly philosophical on the point and getting instead to a hopefully meaningful answer..
I would say that you can start saying "I play the violin" as soon as you personally decide you are allowed to. But never stop learning to play. And if anyone disagrees with your decision, just smile and wave. But use the wave that only takes one finger, if you catch my drift.
I have owned a violin since December and I have been playing since the end of January. ha.. playing is relative right? ha ha
I love playing the violin!
I had my second lesson today and I am loving it even more. I have had tight hands…and I have needed some one on one lessons… to get me to relax a little. I love love love love my teacher… and I am learning little songs… that make me feel wonderful. Three Note March, Hot Cross buns, French Folk Song, Marry Had a Little Lamb, A Song for Christine, I am leaning Jingle Bells, and of course the songs I learned here.. Twinkle Twinkle, Ode to Joy, Happy Birthday, C major Scale, and still working on Over the Rainbow.
I love playing the violin. I am going to call myself a violinist this time next year….
….still no vibrato in sight….. teacher say.."not yet." She said it is going to come naturally and so I have to trust that.
It is so awesome to have this sight, but to hear my teacher play so loud and lovely in her home studio is inspiring!
I am still pretty stoked over the Pirate Video folks!!! wooooooo hoooooooo
Would'ent it be sad if you had to build your own Violin to be called a Violinist?
THAT would be awesome, give me an excuse to make my own over the next year!
What an idea.
I don't think that would be sad.. Some of us would have great fun even trying. But I think building a violin might be more of a qualification for calling yourself a luthier than for calling yourself someone who plays violin. Though it is undeniable that a better understanding of the instrument itself may be helpful to better playing in some ways.
Wonder if my little mini violin that I made when I was a kid would have counted? LOL
Ooo Yep! In my childhood i wanted to play violin so much that made a cardboard violin! It had only one layer and strings of thread – awful . Though i considered myself a bad violin-maker and threw it away, LOL! I was 4 of 5 y.o. then. So funny to remember this…
Well, if it was playable enough that you could call it an instrument, why not?
People call fairly young kids musicians, pianists, and whatever. Why shouldn't it count?
Personally, I consider a lot of the worry and talk over what to call someone is a bunch of elitist BS ego talk anyway. It is kind of like worrying about if someone is a musician or not. Even if that gets settled, somebody will start talk about what constitutes a "real" musician and then maybe a "true" musician. Life is just too short to worry about such stuff, when there's playing to do!
I quit worrying about such things when I was about 16. I played, and lugged a lot of gear around with me for after-school jam sessions, but some of the kids in the school band would insist I wasn't a musician because I wasn't in the school band and didn't take music lessons. Then the band/instrumental music teacher referred to me as a musician, and that pretty much settled that. Later in the same year, I was playing in a band and a woman from the audience in a place we were playing was hanging around and ragging on the band a bit, since she knew most of them because they'd played there before. She asked who I was and the bass player introduced me as the new guitarist. She asked me if I was any good, and I started going into how I hadn't been playing very long and etc. The bassist took me aside and said "Man, you are in the band and this is a pay gig. She's audience. You don't go saying anything about how you don't play good or haven't been playing long. Somebody asks you something like that, you should just look at them, smile, and tell them 'Some say.' and shrug and go back to setting up. You are a professional musician now, you gotta act like it, ok?" So I had become a professional musician and a guitarist all of a sudden. Wow, I must have not gotten the memo.
What my point is, is that it doesn't really matter except maybe as it matters for your own attitude and morale. If saying "I play violin" feels better to you than "I'm learning to play violin", then do it. For that matter, if calling yourself a violinist or a fiddler encourages you to play better or more because maybe it makes you feel more committed, then take that "title" too. If anyone gives you any trouble over it, you have to stop and think if they sign your paycheck or are the person who hands you money at the end of a gig. If so, then you may wish to consider their feedback. If not, then they have a problem.. Which is not your problem. To heck with them. Life is too short to worry about such things.
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