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Why did you take up violin and what motivates you
The struggle and what makes you keep going
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (9 votes) 
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stringy
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November 4, 2023 - 4:10 pm
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I have played guitar for forty years banjo for around ten and other Instruments like the bouzouki and mando. 

I was in Rome near the Vatican and heard a violinist playing Hallelujah,  really moving, and it somehow made me feel a fraud, so I there and then decided to take up fiddle to prove I could do it, no other reason, no love for the instrument or anything at that time.

Now my motivation to carry on is simply not to be beaten, each time I get a note in tune is a victory, to the extent that I haven't really touched my other instruments for several years  .

What are your reasons for carrying on and for taking up this most difficult instrument in the first place, I am sure their are some entertaining and interesting reasons (no offence to viola or other fretless instrument players).

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ELCBK
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November 4, 2023 - 11:38 pm
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Listening to different music motivates me, but 'playing' music on both my Violin & Viola motivates me to play MORE... they've bewitched me!  I'm possessed... or, maybe just obsessed - a strange bond. 😳

Love that bowed-strings offer such expressive sound possibilities.  I discover new things everyday when playing & there's always something challenging ahead of me.  

 

More here: What motivated you to start violin? Thread

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ABitRusty
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November 5, 2023 - 1:22 am
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yup elcbk my story is in the link.  pretty much the same now as then.  I think overall ive progressed but theres days nothing clicks.  Really enjoy music and playing.  fiddlin and music in general is unwind time... until it aint. blurry_drunk-2127

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stringy
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November 5, 2023 - 6:28 am
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Thanks Emily and Greg, didn't know another thread had been started on this same subject, have to give it a read, even though I probably have already :)

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ELCBK
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November 5, 2023 - 9:55 am
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@stringy -

Hopefully some new members will share their experiences. 😊 

It's so nice to hear how happy & motivated you are!

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stringy
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November 5, 2023 - 11:33 am
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Emily, it's a sort of addiction, can't put it down, don't really have any type of goal, like orchestra or anything like that, it's just the act of doing, bit zen like I suppose, apart from all the frustration that is. I try to remind myself I am not in some kind of race but, as you no doubt know yourself that's extremely difficult to do, but as long as it brings pleasure I suppose that's the whole point really.

When I get extremely frustrated and annoyed with it, like for instance recording a tune, get all the way through then make a mistake right at the end, my missus always then reminds me ith a smile what's the point of doing anything then.

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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November 9, 2023 - 3:50 am
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How I started is in the link. I think I've had a lot of different things motivate me at different times over the years, some of them constant and some of them specific to certain times in my life.

For many years, one of my big sources of motivation was the way I was rejected by multiple teachers before I started: I was told repeatedly that I was too old (as a teenager!) to learn a string instrument, and that it was almost impossible for someone starting at that age. I wanted to prove that I still could do it. At the same time, I was under the impression one had to already play at an advanced level to take lessons as an adult, so I was trying to get good enough to be accepted for lessons -- I only realized that I didn't have to be an advanced player to take lessons as an adult when I found myself playing in auditioned orchestras alongside full-time music teachers. That’s no longer a main source of motivation because I no longer feel the need to prove anything, but I do sometimes feel responsible for representing late starters in my orchestra, because for years I was the only one, and right now it’s still just myself and a cellist who started at 26.

One of the constant sources of motivation is the music I want to play. I have a long list of pieces I want to play at some point in my life, both solo and in ensembles. Now that I'm a fairly experienced orchestral musician, I've crossed a lot of orchestral pieces off that list, but there's still a lot more left. One thing that has changed a bit is that playing the most famous masterpieces is no longer a novelty; now I sometimes have my mind on finishing entire categories of pieces. (For example: I’m now looking at completing composers’ entire symphony cycles. I’ve already played all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies, after next June’s concert I’ll have played all four of Schumann’s, and I’ve played three of Brahms’s four.) I’m also very interested in playing lesser-known pieces that I like, and introducing other people to underrated music that didn’t necessarily come from the biggest names. So I love that my orchestra plays lesser-known composers on a regular basis, and that I’m playing chamber music with people who are open to going off the beaten path.

The other constant is that playing music with other people is incredibly satisfying, whether it’s in an orchestra, a small chamber ensemble, or even a duet. There’s the connection with other musicians; I’ve made a lot of friends through musical ensembles, and even found instant community through impromptu chamber music sessions when I’ve traveled with my viola. In the actual playing, some of the most fun moments are the ones where something really intricate comes together almost telepathically.

And of course, even if there’s no audience, there’s something zen about the act of playing. (Not that I ever lack an audience... my cat is the toughest of all music critics!)

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Strabo
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November 10, 2023 - 8:59 am
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I started fiddle after I was given a crude starter violin by a young relative who was upgrading to a better instrument. I had played mandolin for several years so I knew that the notes were in the same place on both instruments. I was also aware of the violin’s reputation as super-difficult to play, even at a rudimentary level.

But, as a longtime self-taught musician, I figured that, what the heck, I was worth the challenge. So I plunged ahead and here I am, 2+ years later, playing every day, and seeing visible improvements almost every day. It’s great fun. 

I like the way the fiddle challenges me in so many ways. It requires me to put forth the very best of my attention, effort, physical skills, discipline, understanding, judgment, whatever. The fiddle demands that I approach it smartly, optimistically and realistically. When I do that, it’s all very rewarding.

I recognize that I’ll never play like Yehudi Menuhin, Chubby Wise, Vassar Clements or Pierre Holstein. That an’t gonna happen, so it’s not worth thinking about. 

But with the right goals, I can and do prosper. The fiddle, with its demanding ways, has taught me that. 

Right now I’m working on a mini-gig with a friend, and I can’t wait to get back to “work” on it!

Strabo

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Katie L
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November 10, 2023 - 3:52 pm
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There are lots of things that motivate me. Like Stringy mentioned , every time I get a note in tune it’s a real achievement and spurs me on. I love coming on the forum and seeing what others are up to and taking part in the Xmas projects. I really love how people I haven’t even met take the time to give me advice and encourage me. Also I haven’t told many people I’m learning the violin! It’s hardly a big announcement but In the beginning I thought well I might jack it in straight away and that’s why I decided to keep quiet . But now I like that people don’t know.. bit weird !! Also I like not having a teacher so I can concentrate on what I want . 

why I decided to learn.. I always wanted to but now I have my own home and a very understanding husband and have the chance 😁

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nykteria
Oregon

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March 15, 2024 - 11:05 am
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I started for several reasons. One was that I have a friend who took up cello at 46 and seeing the enjoyment she got out of it was inspiring. Another was that my oldest daughter wanted to take violin lessons and I thought it would be a good way to get to spend some time together (she's 20, so I consulted her on this!). 

Another big factor was hearing music on the violin in different genres and songs I liked. Don't get me wrong, I like classical and folk music, but that is all I was exposed to when I played violin in school, and it wasn't enough to keep me going. Hearing artists like Taylor Davis, Lindsey Stirling, The Piano Guys, and composers like Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Nishiki showed me that I could play music in many genres on the violin. I also heard violin soloists like Joshua Bell and Hilary Hahn, which showed me that even within classical music, the violin had some beautiful pieces. 

~Sara

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