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  • Writer's pictureCraig Birchfield

7 Reasons Why Summer is a Great Time to Learn to Play

Early Summer time can be a hectic time here at our shop. Not only do we have a lot of returns on rentals from the end of the school year but we also have a number of new students who are learning to play for the first time so musical instruments are going in and out a lot. I thought that it might be a good time to think about why the Summer might be a great time for you or your child to learn or continue learning to play a violin, viola, cello or upright bass.

#1 – Kids Have More Time

Yes, there are also more activities but the kids are also out of school and that means that they have some extra time on their hands. There is nothing wrong with kick ball, soft ball, swimming, a few video games (moderation please!) and the odd animation eye-feast (Inside Out is great by-the-way) but in addition to all the recreation why not also some creation – create music your the house and in the heart of your child. Remember, this is something of real long-term value so why not start them going now?

#2 – It’s Hot Out There!

The west coast has been having a bit of a heat wave lately and so why not find someplace that is cool and curl up with a good instrument. Not everyone has access to a swimming pool and the heat is starting to take it’s took on a number of people who have been out in the sun too long. Indoors is sometimes a good idea so keep cool and keep playing.

#3 – Let It Grow!

Spring and Summer are times off growth and prosperity for most of nature. Things are all growing and blooming. What a great time to let your music bloom as well! Soak up some of that creative nature mojo.

#4 – Don’t Fall Behind

The temptation is to slack off in the summertime, especially from studies. But learning music should be an continual quest no matter what it says on the calendar. You don’t want to revisit your music in mid-September and find that all your hard-won skills have atrophied – horror! Ditto if your kids are learning to play. Okay, maybe you can take a little break or lessen your practice schedule but a month or three hiatus is going to be murder on your musical goals. Besides, making music should be fun – right? And we don’t need a break from fun.

#5 – Violins Travel Well

Okay, if your instrument of choice is a double bass then I can forgive you not wanting to pack it along for a three week vacation but not your child’s 1/4 size violin. That’s a pretty small foot-print. Even if they only have the chance to play a few times on vacation that is better than going cold turkey and even if you are packing a 4/4 violin it will fit in your Prius just fine (or the overhead of that jumbo jet to Hawaii).

#6 – It’s a Terrific Time to Play with Friends

Having some summer get-togethers? Why not break out the instruments and have some fun. I am one of those that thinks a jam session is a perfect thing to go along with a summer party. You just might pick up a few new licks (okay, we don’t call them licks if you are playing Baroque or Romantic so let’s call them techniques).

#7 Don’t Forget Your Buddy or Your Muse

Instruments become like good friends when we play regularly because of the joy we experience in playing them. It is easy to forget that kinship and that joy if we spend too much time apart. We loose a little of the muse and the passion over a long absence in playing and it makes it that much harder to get back on-track when the Fall comes. It’s like trying to start up a finicky old car that has been sitting for a while. The battery is dead, the gas has separated and the oil is all down in the crack case. Lots of luck. If you (or you child) can’t practice every day at least do what you can when you can during the summer.

Keep Practicing,


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