Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Playing Violin for My Daughter

When I first had my daughter, many of my musician friends asked if I played my viola or my violin for her. Sadly, the answer was no. There may be other new mothers out there who successfully played for their infants while the baby watched/slept, but I was to busy caring for her to even think about getting out an instrument. Not to mention too exhausted! As my daughter got older, I tried again. I got out my violin after she watched an episode of Sesame Street about the violin (it was a segment of Elmo's World, and super cute!). She seemed so excited when she saw it on the show, I pulled out my instrument to play for her. The good news was she loved it! The bad news was she loved it so much she tried pulling my instrument out of my hands so she could play it herself. While it warmed my heart to see her excited about the violin, I knew an eager toddler could not be trusted with a valuable wooden instrument, I decided to try again when she was a bit older.

This past June my sweet little girl turned two, and she's at least somewhat calmer and more careful. What's more, she got a ton of drawing materials for her birthday, and she loves to sit and draw with her markers and crayons. I figured that would be a perfect time for me to try playing the violin for her (and me!) again. So I set her up with her markers (I took the advice of a good friend and had her draw in her high chair), and got out my instrument. The results have been wonderful. She loves watching me play--she claps her hands and cheers, she dances to the music, she sings along in her soft baby voice. I love the chance to play music at home and having such a great audience.
I hope that watching her mother play for her will inspire my daughter--that she'll grow up loving music, keep her enthusiasm, enjoy taking lessons herself. But for now I'm focused on the present, where she claps her hands and smiles and sings along with me. It's a beautiful moment, and seeing her excitement inspires me. Thus far I've kept to light repertoire so that I can keep an eye on her while I'm playing, but she seems to love it all. For anyone who's curious, I've mostly played pieces from Suzuki Books 1, 2, and 3, and Medieval Music for the Violin. I might try some Bach solo sonatas or Mozart concertos once I'm sure she won't get up to something while I'm playing (imagine playing a concert where at any moment the audience could start coloring on your pants with markers). 

For all the musically-inclined parents out there, do you play your instrument for your child/children?


  1. I'd say the instrument I play the best is my voice and I play it all the time LOL - we also have a keyboard, but I can only do Chopsticks and Heart and daughter took a few music enrichment classes at school and the music teacher made a point to tell me that I need to get her more involved because she definitely has an affinity for it. When she starts Kinder in August, the charter school she goes to actually has them doing Suzuki Violin several times a week. I'm excited for her to learn! I also need to get her piano lessons....visiting from #weekendbloghop :)

  2. That's great! I actually have all my students sing their music before they play it on their instruments, and that really helps them develop their listening skills. I also used to teach violin at a charter school! I wish there were more art and music public/charter schools in our area.

  3. How lovely! And how lucky your daughter is! I can remember being pushed into music lessons by my parents, and wondering why they cared so much when they seemed to have no interest in music themselves!
    Thanks for linking up with the weekend blog hop!

  4. That's wonderful that your daughter enjoys listening to you play, Alexis! Also, she probably absorbed a lot of your music in utero, so it's in her for life, whether or not she becomes a musician herself. A true gift to her! I played piano for my kids wen they were infants (It's a lot harder to shove a grand piano into their mouths!)
    If I ever wanted to call one of my sons from the other room, all I had to do was play my jazzy version of "I've Been Working On The Railroad" on the piano and he's shortly appear, crawling into the living room with a huge smile on his face :)

    1. Haha, I played symphony concerts while I was seven months pregnant:) Maybe she learned to kick in rhythm! I love the idea of calling your son via piano.