The violin is an instrument which produces a spectacular array of sounds, ranging from high, sweet and merry tones to dark, low and emotion-filled tones. Something about the sound of the violin makes my heart soar. It is a small instrument which has four strings along with a longbow. It gained popularity in the 16th century and it originated from Northern Italy. Andrea Amati is known as the founding father of the violin. He was also the founder of one of the first violin making schools.
Why is violin so special
Learning the violin certainly has its benefits; it helps with a person’s attention span and memory. I have been learning to play the violin for a year and it fills me up with energy and positivity. The violin is made of maple, spruce, rosewood and ebony. The bow of a violin has about 150 to 200 horse hairs.
The violin is the highest pitch instrument. Did you know, it takes a person almost 10 years to master playing the violin? This instrument is so complex that with each practice you learn something new. A person can learn to play the violin at any age, but the best age to start playing it is six to eight years.
Learning to violin is challenging yet fulfilling
I am sure you know that the violin is one of the most difficult string instruments to play? It is difficult because it lacks frets to space the strings, and hence it’s easy to play the wrong notes. It is also difficult to learn how to move the bow with one hand while pressing the strings correctly with the other hand.
Some private violin lessons range from USD 18 to USD 35 or Rs 1,300 to Rs 2,500) which can be expensive. Even maintaining this instrument is hard and is not cheap. You may have to send your violin for repairing multiple times a year and it can be inconvenient. Lots of work goes into maintaining your violin as it is a delicate instrument.
Gifted Violinists of the World
Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist known for his brilliant virtuoso technique. His refinement of detail led many to regard him as one of the finest performers of the major violin repertoire of his time. Itzhak contracted polio at age four which left his legs paralysed but he was determined to play the violin. He had his first concert at age 10. He went to the U.S. to study in The Julliard School in New York City. Itzhak made his debut in 1963 and worked with many great orchestras and won numerous awards. He also played the solo violin passage in John William’s Oscar-winning score for the movie Schindler’s List and has received 15 Grammys. He also has a documentary called ‘Itzhak’. Perlman also began giving violin master classes regularly.
My favourite violinist is Lindsey Sterling. She is an American violinist who has gathered three billion views on YouTube. Lindsey was a contestant on America’s Got Talent and has gone on tours all around the world. She has sold millions of copies of her albums across the world. The way Lindsey plays her violin in a synchronised manner and the array of sounds she can make with it is spectacular. Lindsey Stirling inspires me and will always.
Ragini Shankar is an Indian Classical Violinist. She is 34 years old she has been playing the violin for almost 30 years. Her grandmother and mother are the famous Dr N Ranjam and Sangeeta Shankar, who are the ace violinists of India. Ragini’s first public performance was in a centre for performing arts in Bhopal when she was just 11 years old. Thereafter she has performed in many prestigious festivals all over India and abroad. She is known for her collaborations with various artists of diverse genres. She has been awarded the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran award and the Jashn – e – Youngistan award by the Vice President of India. She has appeared on Tedx and Google to talk about Indian music.
The violin might seem a bit hard to play but it’s quite enjoyable and merry. As a violin student I must say that I look forward to playing and learning new songs and pieces. I hope my humble efforts on the violin encourages or inspires you to playing the violin or reading and knowing more about this wonderful instrument. Do take a moment to explore this wonderful instrument and share your your favourite tunes with me.
Contributor: Kavya Mehta
About our Writing Program Student
Kavya Mehta is a 13-year-old girl 7th grader from Mumbai who loves reading, writing stories and listening to music. She also loves learning new languages and knowing about the countries of the world. Kavya takes a keen interest in reading about mental health, she plays the violin and enjoys spending time with cats and dogs!