The Violin is one of the most popular instruments in the String family. There are more violinists used in symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras and other ensembles than any other stringed instrument.
Violins are the smallest in the string family and because of this are the instrument most frequently chosen by children than any other stringed instrument.
There are numerous benefits to playing the violin that enhance our well-being that involves more than just learning a new skill.
1. Physical Benefits: muscles, posture, coordination
Musicians are athletes of the small muscles. This means that every time you play the violin, you are actually working out much like someone would at the gym or on a playing field.
All of the muscles in the neck, arms, shoulder back, and even core area are used when playing the violin.
If one’s position is correct while playing and they remained relaxed, over time these muscles will strengthen just as if you were to do sit ups each day for a month. The upper arm areas especially are worked when playing for long periods of time.
Another direct benefit from correct posture during violin playing is better posture. Coordination and fine motor skills are improved as well when we play the violin. Violinists are multi-multi-taskers.
ou will be amazed at how much organized your multi-tasking can become after playing the violin for a little bit.
2.Mental Benefits: concentration, memory, discipline
Memory skills improve in violin players without us really even knowing it.
Our brains and even our subconscious minds are learning the notes to a piece while we are physically learning it.
What ends up happening is that one day we can all of a sudden play some of the piece without looking at the music. As our playing improves and we play more and more pieces, we end up memorizing more because our brains are getting accustomed to working that way.
You will even find that you’ll be able to remember other details in life better, such as phone numbers, names of strangers, or certain dates as a result.
Again, our bodies do what our brains tell them to. If our brains aren’t engaged with our physical movements, it will take a lot longer to learn skills and pieces, and the risk of losing interest can set in.
It’s always best to work for smaller amounts of time that are used with both your physical and mental resources, than longer periods of just rote playing and letting your mind wander to other places.
3. Emotional Benefits: self-confidence, connection, joy
One of the most visibly emotional benefits that come from playing is the increase in our own self-confidence and respect. Learning the violin is hard work! It takes an incredible amount of endurance and a “keep at it” attitude to learn everything needed to play well at any level.
That feeling…is indescribable really, and ends with a “Yes I Can” every time, and the more this happens, the “No I can’t’s” are said much less.
“Joy comes in the morning”, or in this case, with each note.
Violinists who keep their craft alive, are actively playing with others in a band, a chamber or symphony orchestra or even just a few friends, have a greater sense of joy in their lives, as opposed to those who don’t.
4.Social benefits: new friendships, cultural enrichment, & community engagement
There’s no doubt that playing with other violinists and string players enhances one’s social life.
Rehearsals offer not only time to practice, but also time to meet and connect with people outside of our normal circles.
Finding a good and trustworthy teacher who serves as a steady and supportive mentor is one of the greatest experiences that any violinist can have.
A relationship like this goes beyond just learning how to play the violin many times, and plays a vital role that provides a confidant and emotional support system for students.
Most symphony orchestras have players from all over the world playing in them. Many good violin jobs are found in countries outside of the USA and often, pay better.
Violinists all over the world, offer their playing in different segments of their community, whether it is their local schools, or service club meetings, or playing for funerals or even for the sick and those in hospice.
It doesn’t take hours of practice each day to play successfully. All it takes is some dedication, patience, and willingness to be open to new experiences and people.
Although different from going to the gym a few times each week, it’s much the same in that the more you do it, the more you reap the benefits.