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My daughter began taking violin lessons 2 years ago, she's now 7. She became interested because she saw an older cousin play the violin.

At the beginning, we were told that in order to progress, one should practice everyday. We've followed the advice but we are now becoming increasingly tired, because what started as a 20 minutes practice per day has turned into 1 hour practice per day, mainly due to her not being focused and losing time, her being frustrated when not playing a new piece well, despite us saying that it's normal. Also, she becomes irritated when we point her mistakes and give advice on how to correct them, resulting in more time being wasted trying to calm her down.

However, she can play quite well when she's focused.

We've asked her several times if she really enjoyed the violin, to which she always says yes, but it doesn't show when she practices. It's becoming a chore, at least for us. We can't afford spending 1 hour a day, and ending frustrated/angered by her attitude (roughly 1/3 of the time).

We are thinking about ending the lessons, but before that, I wanted to know if it was the right decision, or if there was anything we could do to improve her practice.

LATE EDIT

First, thank you for the feedback, I didn't expect so mcuh advice.

Also sorry if my post lacked some details, I didn't think they were relevant at the time.

So, some clarifications:

Our daughter currently has a 30 min lesson per week with a teacher (not us).
The teacher specifically asked us to be involved with our kid's practice. Sometimes though, we do let her practice alone, but she prefers practicing with us (that's what she says anyway).
And mostly, the mistakes we point are wrong notes, wrong note values and left hand position. We've tried being more laid back (less time, and we let her figure out her own mistakes), but then at the next lesson she had hardly improved).
What I meant by ending the lessons, was to end the lessons with the teacher, so she could continue playing what she liked, without having to play some pieces she likes less, and being able to follow her own rythm.

I am a bit torn here, because I know practicing the violin will also help her in other areas, and she seems to enjoy playing the pieces she's learnt...

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    Please read the highest voted answer and take it to heart. You’re not practicing the violin, your child is. You don’t have to and shouldn’t be standing by and correcting her. You can’t both point out her mistakes and also want her to be ok with not playing a new piece well. She almost certainly doesn’t need her mistakes pointed out. Let her practice alone. – Todd Wilcox Dec 26 '20 at 19:25
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    Violin is a complicated instrument. It's teacher's job to correct her, not yours. As Todd says, do read the highest voted answer and find your daughter a place where she can play knowing she isn't bothering anyone. – Juan Luis Dec 26 '20 at 20:16
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    Your child says she enjoys it. She can play well when focussed. And you want to end the lessons. Why? Because if you can't enjoy interfering in her practice then she is not allowed to play. Have you not considered... well, anything else besides abruptly terminating something she enjoys because it makes you frustrated? Maybe just leave her alone. If she enjoys it, then a simple reminder to practice each day should be sufficient. She will want to practice and will do so without you. If that arrangement doesn't work then make a plan with her teacher. – Myridium Dec 27 '20 at 16:05
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    A young child willingly practicing an hour a day is quite remarkable. She obviously likes it, you just need to butt out a little. – Esther Dec 28 '20 at 7:29
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    Information missing from the question: does she have a teacher who is not you and your spouse? Is this hour-a-day a "practice" session or a lesson session? If she was unaccompanied, would she still practise on her own? – theonlygusti Dec 28 '20 at 13:38

14 Answers 14

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Also, she becomes irritated when we point her mistakes and give advice on how to correct them, resulting in more time being wasted trying to calm her down.

You are not her teacher. Violin is a cruel mistress. Your daughter presumably wants to play the violin, not work the violin. Find some room (even if in the basement) where you are not bothered by her practising or playing, and she is not bothered with getting on your nerves and with you getting on her nerves.

It's the teacher's job to correct her, not yours. A whole lot of things with musical instruments, and very much so with violin, fixes itself over long stretches of times, with occasional supervision/direction provided by a teacher and prioritised to what a child can be expected to focus on. Your daughter does not profit from your meddling: she cannot heed everything at once. Violin is a brutally hard instrument where you need to be in control of a lot of variables, and the way to do that is keep doing it. Your interference does not help and makes your child feel inadequate. Rely on the teacher to provide guidance and evaluation.

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    This comes off as a somewhat hostile answer and really only addresses one point that seems to be a trigger. The term "correcting" could be taken in many way and her teacher may have even told them to "correct" her posture, or make sure she's holding the bow correctly, etc. – user50691 Dec 26 '20 at 20:22
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    This is outstanding. Let the teacher be the teacher, and let your daughter understand you're there to support her as parents. – Aaron Dec 26 '20 at 20:46
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    This is actually more factual and understanding than it is "hostile". It simply brings the facts as is, in my opinion. – Clockwork Dec 27 '20 at 10:49
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    The child may be perceiving "pointing out mistakes" as hostile, even if that wasn't the intention. – xdavidliu Dec 27 '20 at 20:31
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    I had a different experience growing up. My dad paid very close attention during my lessons and knew what to watch for and correct. I did get frustrated with it a lot, sure, but I knew he cared a lot wanted me to improve too. While he never learned to play, I'd say he got quite a bit out of the lessons himself and was a very significant part of my development as a violinist and musician. I think it isn't so much the correction, but the way in which it's done. – Calculuswhiz Dec 28 '20 at 14:34
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The first thing to note is that learning to play a musical instrument should be a pleasure not a punishment. There is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by forcing her to play / practice.

The second thing to note is that while practicing more does generally lead to faster improvement quality practice is more important. One hour spent doing more or less the same thing over and over again is not only not productive it's probably destructive.

If she is going to practice for an hour it should be broken up into smaller pieces, say 4x15 minutes, 5x12 minutes or similar. These smaller sections also don't have to be continuous. Half an hour in the morning and then half an hour in the afternoon / early evening is better than one hour in one slot.

Do different things in each of the slots. Scales, repertoire, exercises for vibrato, bowing etc. If she has a favourite piece of music then a reprise in which she just goes back and plays for fun for 10 or 15 minutes.

What I'm describing for you is what I do as a 60+ year old. An hour is a long time even for an adult. Mix it up to maintain interest and fun. Don't feel you have to force a full hour. Some days she just won't be able to manage more than half an hour. That's fine. As a youngster enjoyment is key. Otherwise she may grow to hate it.

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    "What I'm describing for you is what I do as a 60+ year old." I think the paramount thing is that you decide how you split that time. When I was in school and spent insane amounts of time practicing guitar, I didn't want or need anyone to tell me "OK, now stop fiddling with that scale and switch to something else." – Džuris Dec 27 '20 at 11:51
  • OP doesn't suggest they're actually practicing for an hour - OP is suggesting they have a 20 minute practice, that takes an hour due to the child's inattention/attitude/difficulties. – Joe Dec 29 '20 at 23:48
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I can see that there are already several answers and one of them has got a lot of votes. So I come in a bit late, but I would like to pay attention to some aspects.

Since your child is now 7 years old and has been playing for two years she started at age 5. That is the kind of age where parents usually need to be quite active in the practicing. This is typical what is done in the Suzuki method. But you didn't mention that method, so I suppose it is not that method also because if it was you would probably have a close teamwork with the teacher and would have discussed the matter with the teacher on what exactly your role is.

First of all you are a parent, which means your child know you as a parent. What the parent says needs to be in harmony with what the teacher says in order to make it work. This is very important. Also note that the child is now 7 years old so you might need to adjust how you participate compared with when the child was 5. But all children and parents are different so it is hard to say something general. But being in agreement with the teacher as I said above is always an important aspect.

I highly recommend that you have a talk with the teacher. The teacher can tell you what kind of things to say to your child including that he or she tells the child what you may say, so that the child knows it comes from the teacher.

Regarding being frustrated when playing. That does certainly not need to mean that the child doesn't like to play. It can mean the exactly opposite because it can mean that the child really wants to do it well, it can mean that the child cares for the result, it can mean that the child is strongly interested in what she is doing. What exactly it means in your child's case I can of course not know, my point is that it can be very frustrating doing something you really like if the result is not up to the standard you want it to be.

Note that being focused for a long time can be quite a challenge. It is often a good idea to just relaxe for a moment several times during the practice. Actually a mixture of relaxing and streching the body. Strech the arms, shake them a bit. Just something simple. Suggestions for that might need to come from the teacher, but it could also be something that your child will accept as a great suggestion from you. Otherwise go via the teacher.

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My son is learning an instrument. So is my partner. I don't play the same instruments, but I have many years of experience as a musician and have done some informal teaching. So I can recognize every missed note and every timing issue, and I can generally spot problems with technique related to posture.

You said that your daughter gets frustrated with you correcting her. If you call out every mistake, she certainly will get frustrated, because the chances are that she knows she's made the mistake. And more than that, constant negative feedback, however well intentioned, is not constructive.

With that in mind, I have two golden rules I follow myself.

Firstly, only point out a mistake when it's happened at least 2 or 3 times in succession and they're not doing anything about it. If it only happens once, or if they clearly recognise the mistake, let it go. If they're already on it, you're not helping; and if it's a one-off then it's not something where extra practise will produce improvements.

And secondly, only ever point out one thing at once. If there are multiple issues, decide what's the most pressing, but don't try to throw too much into the mix. If you're forcing your daughter to concentrate on too many things at once then you're stopping her being able to do any of them, and that is absolutely guaranteed to frustrate her.

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There is amazing advice here so I'll keep this very short. I've played all my life. Her frustration should elicit only one thing from you, sympathy that it's tough and encouragement to continue. For instance, "I agree honey you've been working on that piece forever and it's a tough one but it just keeps getting better so don't stop. How about you play mom and I your favorite? Etc....

Anyone who said "put her in the basement" loses my vote. This sends the wrong message completely. You are telling her that her work, makes you cringe and you don't want to hear it.

Lastly, being a parent is hard work, any of us who've done it knows this. However, learning an instrument such as the violin is beyond most people because they don't have the determination, will, and fortitude to put in the work. The lessons your child will get by sticking with this are inumerable and it will build her into a strong human being. Additionally, starting at 5? By the time she is 10 she'll be amazing.

Frustrated is good, it's a good natural emotion, we use it to push forward to create the sound WE want to hear. Help her become, support her, provide her the space to grow into herself. This, is the best you can do. Let her teacher teach her and be there to support her efforts.

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    I get your point about being encouraging, but you know, they call it "woodshedding" for a reason. – Dave Jacoby Dec 28 '20 at 2:32
  • An alternate viewpoint of having a basement to practice in is that then you don't have to deal with an audience every time you pick up the instrument. Better to go with asking the child's opinion and giving them a choice than assuming. – Karen Dec 29 '20 at 17:04
  • David, feeling, inadequate. I guess I could google but i'm not catching your reference. Please elaborate. Karen, I agree, my point was in this volatile situation, aka your kids can sense your intesity as well, sending to the basement could be construed entirely negatively. I think, the parent/poster, with ALL the advice given is the one to navigate the territory and make the best choices. – Jack Dec 30 '20 at 1:53
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Perhaps her teacher can provide the essential information you need. It appears that so far, you are not aware of what factors your daughter needs to be able to learn. There are many factors to learning, which most people are unaware of. A good teacher should be capable of ascertaining what those are. They may well be different from what you consider.

The duration of practice, the intensity, and the amount of time spent 'practising' are crucial to this. It would seem that you haven't understood that side of things. Along with 'kids just want to have fun'. Like my parents at the time I needed to pass grade VIII you are denying your child a perfect opportunity by trying to be the teacher but not actually being that teacher.

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You have two very distinct questions:

  • you are fed up with her playing: as a parent of two children I completely understand, we went through similar suffering. Make her play in the basement, the garage, an isolated room, the garden, the woods... Or use noise-suppressing headphones during that time.

  • you think that her playing is incorrect: this is to the teacher to correct her. Since you are asking the question you are not the right person to correct her.

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I used to teach classical guitar and some of my students were of this age. They simply differed in character. Some would practise slavishly what I gave them. Some would quite obviously not practise at all. Some would be distracted by and spend a lot of time on something that I had not assigned them. Others, the most difficult to handle, had a lot of natural talent, but no patience. One 6-year old was able almost immediately able to play scales nearly as fast as I could however, they were very messy and full of little errors. I was never able to persuade him to practise slowly in order to eliminate those errors.

What you and the child need to consider is why they are playing. Is it with the goal of becoming something or is it the sheer joy of the activity? The former is very difficult for most young children as it requires a huge capacity for delayed gratification.

Many (not all) jazz and popular musicians are simply obsessed with their instrument and may never know any real theory or "correct" technique. They develop and refine their own technique as they go along by gradually knocking off the rough edges instead of formally learning to avoid them in the first place.

Does your daughter want to play for others? In that case aim towards little concerts (a good teacher would normally do this anyway)**. Maybe she wants to play with others. Forming a band with some friends (it could be folk music or any other kind, not necessarily classical) is a great outlet.

Before deciding what to do, get absolutely clear what your objectives are and what hers are.

Most people don't become professionals and just enjoy music as a hobby and that is absolutely fine!

P.S. Subjective experience of playing is very different from what an audience hears. It is easy to overlook one's mistakes. Occasionally record important performances of hers and play them back to her. That way she will hear where the problems are - especially if you obtain a track of a professional playing the same thing for comparison. These are available for grade exams.


** These days of Covid, online of course.

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I am not a parent or a child psychologist so I cannot contribute knowledge or advice on how to interpret the cognitive dissonance between being frustrated with an activity that one claims to enjoy. I do not think children, even teenagers or young adults, perceive things the same way we do and do not express themselves the same way either.

As a musician who teaches privately I've never had a client younger than about 14 or 15. Even then I hear some of the same things, "I really love playing guitar", and "I don't like practicing these exercise", or "I get bored and frustrated easily". It is possible that your child doesn't like it as much as she thought she would, wanting to emulate an older cousin, but does not want to back out if she feels like you want her to keep going?

I started violin and guitar at a early age. I loved playing violin so much in the beginning that my parents had to cut my practice time short so I would have time for homework and other activities. But then one day my friends joined the little league team in our area and I wanted to go with them. It was bye-bye violin for a while, and a lot of "did you practice? You have a lesson coming up." I eventually went back to the violin but one thing that worked for my parents (and I'm not saying it's correct parenting) was "We can't keep paying for lessons if you don't take it seriously. We'll keep paying if you want to do it, but you have to do it. And it's okay to quit and do something else." That always made me get serious again.

The fact is that children lose interest in things. It has been my experience (as a child) that sometimes parents have to spend inordinate amounts of time calming children down and getting them to focus for just about any activity. That was certainly true for me when it came to homework. I wonder if what you describe is special to the violin practice or a general trend.

I would also agree that it not a good idea for you, the parent, to do the correcting. That may not come off as encouragement. You may have to budget her time and monitor practicing but let her do the practicing and the teacher tell her if she succeeded or failed to meet a goal.

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    To me the question reads like the kid has fun playing the violin, but the OP can't just stop themselves meddling and aren't happy with the results. – ojs Dec 27 '20 at 7:13
  • That is not how it reads to me. – user50691 Dec 27 '20 at 11:54
  • @ojs, it is clear based on what is said that the child became "frustrated" without any "interference". In plain and simple English the the parents were trying to make their child feel better about not making progress. This is independent from the next phase of "correcting" the child. I would read the question again and carefully. Some comments and answers read like a parent bashing session rather than help. – user50691 Dec 27 '20 at 11:59
  • I understand that one can read a single sentence out of context and interpret it your way. In context it does not read like that. The parents might mean well but just not know what to do. I remember that when my sister started playing the violin, for the first couple of years it was painful to listen to, but the solution was ear plugs, not micromanagement. – ojs Dec 27 '20 at 14:02
  • I vehemently disagree. To come your conclusion requires reading one sentence out of context – user50691 Dec 27 '20 at 14:11
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I know that I'm late to this party, but I was a piano teacher for a long time, and I came to a rather different philosophy than I've seen in the answers so far, and I think that it served my students quite well.

In my experience, the vast majority of practice time by 6- and 7-year olds is very inefficient. If they practice for 60 minutes, they will get about 2 to 5 minutes of good, quality progress out of it.

Now, with that as a backdrop, you might think that I am contending that practice is a colossal waste of time. Not at all! Rather, I believe that we systematically discount how hard it is to learn productive practice skills, and we do it to the detriment of our beginning students, who are forced to slog along with a clock as their practice-mistress. It feels boring and arbitrary to the child because, well, it is.

I strongly agree with the top post that lessons should be the teacher's role. Your most important job is to help keep your kid enthusiastic and interested.

However, if you want to help your child develop the long-term skill of quality, efficient practice, I recommend that you do not focus on time at all. Instead, focus on breaking down the weeks' practice into specific, targeted goals. Here is a set of goals I would consider appropriate for a beginning 7 year old, given an assignment of a scale and a short piece:

  1. Play the assigned scale without any mistakes three times in a row.
  2. Play through the entire 12 measure assigned piece three times.
  3. Play measures 1 through 3 without any mistakes three times in a row.

The next day, shift the third goal to measures 4-6, then 7-9, then 10-12, and then a day of transitions (play 7-12 once without error, 4-9 once without error, 1-6 once without error), and then a day of the entire song without error 3 times in a row.

This example was for a very short assignment by the teacher. Your child may be getting more work than this. The general principle, however, is to divide the week's work (whatever it is) into tightly focused sections, where quality outweighs quantity, and allow for a day or two at the end to pull everything back together. (Transitions are difficult!)

If, on some day, your child can do this in 8 minutes, then they're done for the day, and they can be congratulated and feel good about their work. If, on another day, it takes them an hour, then it takes them an hour. They get rewarded for focused work and improvement, not for slogging through a countdown timer.

What you'll get out of this, over time, is goal-oriented thinking about practice, and their productivity will slowly ramp up.

One trap to be aware of: The child may still have errors, but believe they have played it well. (For instance, they may have played the notes without error, but be inaccurate in their rhythms.) This may simply mean that they can't yet detect those errors. This is normal!

As a parent, you can ask a helpful reminder question ("hey, are you also checking your counting while you play?") but after that, drop it. Don't belabor the point.

Learning how to hear yourself while you also juggling your hands and the instrument is not easy, and helping the child develop this skill is absolutely the role of the teacher, not the parent. Your child's ears are developing in tandem with their hands, and all that your kid should be expected to bring to the lesson is their best foot forward. If there are elements that your child isn't hearing properly, the teacher will correct this with them.

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  • This is a good suggestion for some children; it won't work for all of them, but for some it's great. My oldest (9) is the opposite, he wants to practice for X set period of time, and does it very consistently. My youngest (7) is like this though - he wants a list of tasks to do, and does them, no matter the time, but will not do well with a set time instead. – Joe Dec 29 '20 at 23:51
  • @Joe I agree that it is important to know your kid! If I had a student like your oldest, I would have to work very carefully with him to make sure that he was getting the really important part, which is about learning how to make practice more and more productive. That's a difficult skill that is often neglected, and it takes attention and time to develop. – Ben I. Dec 30 '20 at 2:49
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Judging by your edit, it sounds like your role in practice is to point out what little things need fixing, and without you doing that, she doesn't fix them. It sounds like she knows it's useful, but that it's still aggravating. Why not focus on teaching your daughter to take on your role of pointing out mistakes in practice? That way, you can have a role that's both useful and less intrinsically negative. And teaching how to practice away from the teacher is something that you can do better than the teacher, because the teacher can't be there for that.

One method that can help is that instead of stopping your daughter when she makes a mistake and pointing it out (so that you're responsible for finding the mistakes and she only has to fix them), she is given a short segment to play (just one phrase), and then she stops and tells you if something felt or sounded wrong, and she figures out (with you asking leading questions if needed) how to fix it. You definitely need to get guidance from her teacher on what sort of problems are most important for her to hear at this stage.

Making recordings can also help with this. You record a short segment (I do 5 to 15 seconds unless I'm preparing for a specific performance, then I'll start doing larger sections), then listen to it and figure out where you can improve. I can usually hear wrong notes as I play them, but recording tells me when my rhythm is subtly off, when I could improve phrasing, and other things that I miss in the moment.

You could also limit the time you're involved in her practice without limiting her practice time. With her involvement, write a practice to-do list based on the things her teacher said to practice. Set it up with a minimum amount of time for each item, and since she gets over-invested in making something sound perfect rather than better, a maximum amount of time. Pick a few things on the list where your involvement will be genuinely useful, and join her for those things and have her practice the rest alone. To keep the maximum practice time from being too strict, you can have some fun items on the list that your daughter can practice for any amount of time she wants, after she's spent the minimums on the less fun stuff. You should definitely get the teacher involved in this if you go this route.

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Extending a 20 minute practice session to one hour with interruptions about mistakes seems totally out of proportion for parental participation, especially for a seven year old.

There are so many things a parent can do to support a kid's practice, and it's probably best to ask the teacher how to help, but much, much less time should be added on to the session.

It might be best to avoid any interruption of the session unless the kid is getting angry/frustrated. Otherwise, maybe one, brief interruption is a good limit. Even better would be waiting until 20 minutes ends, then doing a 5 minute review.

Any wording about "mistakes" and "wrong notes", etc. should probably be avoided. Just ask to repeat the few bars where a mistake occurred. If there were lots of mistakes, just pick one or two to review. For whatever critiquing is done, you ought to be offering up twice the praise. It doesn't have to always be praise directed at the kid. Some positive statements can do the trick. Say things like "that's a nice melody." You can also use a little trick psychology and say things like "it sounded better when you slowed down." Even if it wasn't a big difference, it can bring them around to following advice. The point isn't to mollycoddle, but to avoid making practice a miserable experience.

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Practising is productive and fun when you achieve something. When you notice improvements. Practising for one hour just to serve the time is torture for the child and the parents, and frankly, it's wasted time. And I think this might be your main problem.

Playing the violin is an extremely complex activity where many aspects have to be taken into account at the same time: Body posture, posture of the left arm, the left hand, the fingers, fingering, changing positions, posture of the right arm and the right hand, types of strokes, clean intonation, then the right notes in the right order in the right rhythm and tempo, and so on. All of that at once is simply overwhelming for children. You can't ask them to do everything right at once. But the moment you have to criticise/correct individual details as a teacher or parent, you potentially create frustration.

The solution to this is to divide the daily practice into individual sub-aspects: Posture exercises, without playing at all. Fingering exercises over three to four notes without bowing (pizzicato). Position change exercises without a melody around it. Stroke exercises on empty strings.

In the next step, put together two difficulties at a time, but only when the parts function perfectly individually: Stroke exercises on fretted notes. Fingering with position changes, but very slowly. - And so on and so forth. In the course of time, for example, the posture exercises become fewer as the posture improves by itself, the fingering exercises include more notes and become faster, the changes of position become more frequent.

The parts individually are doable and understandable for children, and putting them together is a challenge that they can master and thus gain a sense of achievement. Besides, this is the best way to learn a good technique!

So the goal must not be to be able to play a melody right at the beginning. A good posture or a well-played change of register is also a success that parents must appreciate. What is learnt correctly at the beginning will work by itself later on.

When at some point the child has reached the point where he or she has the skills to play a simple melody, a new task comes into play: being able to listen. And in this case, that means being able to compare whether what is played matches what is imagined. A simple exercise for this is to have them sing a short melody (perhaps only one or two bars) first, then have them play it. And then ask the student if it matches and if he or she is satisfied with it. Here too, the pupil has a challenge (to play and compare) and a sense of achievement when both versions match. - By the way, even after decades as a musician, after many performances, competitions, recordings and so on, I still work with this method myself when I work on a new piece.

In this way, practising is filled with life and no more enforced sawing around. Besides, the child will advance insanely fast. Sounds like a win-win, doesn't it?

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because what started as a 20 minutes practice per day has turned into 1 hour practice per day,

You do realize 1 hour is basically what every "normal" human does, right? 20 minutes of practice is, with all due respect, useless. 1 hour is the time required to practice to enjoy something and become good at it, more hours invested is often done, because people want to achieve more than joy from what they're doing. 1 hour is the MINIMUM of practice time.

What do I mean with "useless"?

Daily practice is essential when it comes to practicing music. Routine and repetition make your practices stick in the long run. Many beginning students or young musicians will start with 30 minutes a day because it isn’t a massive commitment. However, after a proper warm-up, there is not much time left to make any significant accomplishments. Your warm-up will likely take up half of your practice time, if not more. You’ll then be rushing to get through your pieces, shoving information into your short-term memory, and not allowing for anything to take hold. These short practices actually hurt you later on because you have to continue to practice the same sections over and over again.

Let’s face it, many musicians lead hectic lives, and it’s tough to fit practice time into each day. If this is you, we recommend that you try to get at least one hour of practice per day.

Source - https://www.musicnotes.com/now/tips/how-much-should-you-practice-your-instrument/

Now, we could argue that it has been proven that people "progress" even with 10 minutes of practice a day, but as we all know, theoretical and practical differences are huge and in my opinion and from what I have seen and experienced 10 minutes a day isn't going to get you anywhere.Sure, if you play "long enough" it'll eventually get you where you want to be, but I wish you good luck with the bad habit your child will develop by just spending 10 minutes on playing their instrument. You have to realize that the traits they are showing now are most likely also how your child is going to be with other things in life. Work? 10 minutes and no longer. School? 10 minutes and no longer.

her being frustrated when not playing a new piece well, despite us saying that it's normal.

Looks to be rather a trait she has. This is something you'll have to work on with her, because it reflects on how she is going to handle other difficulties in life as well.

Also, she becomes irritated when we point her mistakes and give advice on how to correct them, resulting in more time being wasted trying to calm her down.

Again, rather looks to be a trait, not something related to playing the violin. May I ask why you are trying to do the job of the violin teacher though? Let the violin teacher be the violin teacher. You should rather give her "advice" on things, instead of trying to do the violin teacher their job.

We've asked her several times if she really enjoyed the violin, to which she always says yes, but it doesn't show when she practices.

It doesn't show to YOU. It does show to me and I don't even know your daughter. Just because she gets upset or mad at it during practice, rather shows how much heart she has and how bad she wants to learn the new things. I see a lot of her traits back in how I used to be when I played the drums or played sports. I even remember I used to cry when I truly got pissed off from time to time. She probably loves playing the violin, but due to her having no patience and looking up to people who are great at what they do (playing violin), she gets discouraged to a certain extend, because she too wants to be at that level.

It's becoming a chore, at least for us.

No one asked you to be around when she's practicing though? This is a burden you put on yourself. No one else to blame, but yourself.

We can't afford spending 1 hour a day,

Doing some quick math... You have about 56 hours of "spare time" in a week, if we were to divide your day into 3 sections of each 8 hours. 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of "free time". Is it really that much to sacrifice about 7 hours of the 56 hours? You keep 49 hours after the math... For what you ask? Your child it's mental and physical health and development.

We are thinking about ending the lessons,

Great way to destroy the desire she has to learn and to develop and a great way to teach her that the right way to tackle things is by running away from it.

There are a couple of things you'll have to change and she'll have to try to change as well:

  • Stop being her teacher, she probably has a violin teacher herself
  • Try working on her outbursts, again, this is not because she hates it, but because the desire she has isn't being met quickly enough, unfortunately this kind of behavior could be pitfall, since it also reflects as to how she tackles other problems in life
  • If you do want to help her, be willing to sacrifice some time for the sake of your child its development and health. 7 hours from 56 hours of free time isn't that much to ask for. The amount of benefit she'll have with playing music, enjoying the violin, the bonding she can have by playing it and the fact that you can help her with her attitude will be worth MUCH MORE in the long run then you getting angry and tired over the fact that she is tackling the problems in a wrong way.

As one of my teachers once said when I got mad, because it just wasn't working out as I wanted:

The elevator to success is out of order, you'll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Richard Dec 28 '20 at 17:21

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