I used to play the violin from the age of 8-15, and I reached Grade 8 violin, however I soon found I could not fit it in with all my other hobbies, so I just quit (immature decision).

I'm just about to graduate and I would really like to take it up again. I also still have my old violin (my parents kept it!).

I was just wondering if people would recommend taking lessons again, or is it something that I will soon pick up again? Also are there any violin music books that people would recommend?


5 Answers 5


Personally, I'd take it up again for a few months until you have most of what you did at one time resurface (it would come back up anyway even if you started with lessons right away). And once it stabilizes somewhat ("stabilizes", not "stagnates": the idea is not to go as far as you can on your own but to get the stuff that is still in your bones back into the open), take a few lessons with a focus on figuring out useful regular exercises and figuring out what needs more work.

Of course, you can start with lessons earlier if you want to. I just suspect that it's harder for a teacher to be of use while you rediscover your old ways, and something like weekly lessons will not be sufficient to keep you from reacquiring old bad habits. You'll have to get rid of them the hard way on a longer time scale anyway.


Pick it up, dust it off, and start all over again! It's probably been 5 or 6 years, so some will have been lost for now, but it often comes back quite quickly. If you only played solo - as is usual for grades stuff, it would be a good move to join an amateur orchestra/ensemble when you have your skills back, after a few months or less.

Your musical tastes may have changed, so you could take a foray into, say, jazz, because your exam days were probably quite blinkered - there's not often time to play what you really want when you're practising for exams like grade VIII.

You will have done V theory, so know a fair bit about how music works, why not have a go at writing some violin music of your own while you're getting back to par? Unless you want to go onto more academic stuff, like a diploma, a teacher most likely won't be a lot of help at this stage.


Others have already given tips on taking up your instrument again, so I'm not going to repeat anything. As for books, it really depends on whether you want to pick up violin again for fun or learn it seriously. In any case, I suggest you look at some scale and technique books to re-learn your basic skills, then look into song books.


Everything has been said and all is true, so let me add a short story to support the answers:

Last season I have had the chance to play in a very good orchestra in Paris. I sat next to a fairly old lady, I thought she was in her late sixties and she played very well - had some issues with intonation and following queues from the conductor but nothing out of ordinary. One night after concert, when the orchestra went to celebrate mid-season, the lady told me she was, in fact, 72 and has been playing for two years after over 50 year long break. I was absolutely star struck - we played Beethoven's 1st, The Emperor piano concerto, Mozart's Jupiter and she managed to play with dignity and without any big mistakes to be ashamed of.

The bottom line of the story? It's never too late to pick it up again.


Pick it up as soon as possible. I used to play and let it go for 40 years. I just started studying again - about 4 months ago. It's challenging to regain something that was put on hold so many years ago. I look forward to a recital in about 3 weeks but I just don't have it the way I did when I was 20.

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