Like many of my students, I benefited from the younger sibling effect. I was able to absorb the benefits of my older brother’s practicing and hard work without much effort on my part. The music came to me with relative ease.
As a result, I rarely practiced. I was able to show up at competitions and auditions and do quite well without much effort.
I see the same dynamic play out in my studio. Older siblings working hard and younger ones learning twice as quickly with half the effort.
Parents and teachers can’t help but enjoy the ease of accomplishment. It is all smiles until the younger sibling hits their first hill.
Until that point, they have experienced learning as a simple, low-effort activity. Then they come to the limits of this stage of learning.
A number of these students lose motivation and stop violin. Others work through it and develop the ability to integrate effort into their music education.
I was much older than my brother before I developed the grit that he learned when he was younger. It took me until college before I learned what Greg knew at 10.
There are undeniable advantages to starting your child young in music. And I highly recommend it.
But if you start your child later on the violin, you can take comfort in knowing that you will get a head start in teaching them even more important skills than fast fingers and great tone. They’ll learn grit and the rewards of effort.