I stopped at grade 6 and intend to complete to grade 8. But after 11 years of not touching my violin, I basically have forgotten every single note on the violin. How can I get back all that I learnt fast ?

  • 1
    Same way you get to Carnegie Hall... Sep 23 at 14:19
  • 1
    @CarlWitthoft I'm going to Carnegie Hall this afternoon. To watch a film I'm an extra in! Disclosure: it's the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline, Scotland.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Sep 24 at 10:35

2 Answers 2


My recommendation based on my own experience is that you find a teacher and start over as though you've never played before. That way, the things that return to you more quickly will be obvious, and the things you've actually forgotten, you'll have a guide to help you get them back.

This approach can be taken even without a teacher. Pull out the books you used to use, or buy "How to Play Violin Book 1", and work through them, paying careful attention to the parts you don't remember as well. The drawback, of course, is that you won't have the feedback of a teacher for things the book doesn't cover or mistakes you don't realize you're making.


If you reached grade VI, you weren't a bad player at that time! Like riding a bike, you won't have forgotten, just that the skills have become supressed. So deeply that it feels like they've been forgotten. As Aaron (and most of us) say, a teacher is always going to be one of the best options, but attaining grade VI, you could (at that time) possibly have even taught beginners yourself!

With a teacher, you'll re-discover your previous skills within a few weeks/months, and move on from there. Without, it will take longer, but since you're older, things you struggled with 11 yrs ago should have more obvious solutions. As in, you played as a child, but are now an adult. That in itself, though, could be problematic: children have far more time than adults to practise, for various reasons, and often see things in rather different ways!

Dig out your exam pieces (I suspect that's all you ever played) from around grade III/IV, and resurrect those as a start point, if working alone. Shouldn't take more than a few weeks to polish them up again! Watch your posture in a mirror - you'll probably ache for several weeks starting over again, but get as comfortable as you can standing and playing again. Good luck!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.