Is it worth doing violin lessons if students don’t practice?
This is a question that many parents (and teachers) wrestle with. The violin is one of the more difficult instruments to learn. Playing the violin 30 minutes a week is like a music appreciation class. It has value, but there may be better ways to spend your time and money.
Here are a few questions to consider:
Is the cost of lessons a burden on your budget? Yes. It is not worth it. No. Might be worth it.
Does the student enjoy the lessons and working with the teacher? No. It is not worth it. Yes. Might be worth it.
Does it cost you parenting energy to keep lessons going (e.g. arguments, pressuring, whining, etc.)? Yes. It is not worth it. No. Might be worth it.
Are there other music opportunities available that appeal to your child? Yes. It is not worth it. No. Might be worth it.
There is value to weekly violin lessons and no practice. But the value is mostly in the relationship with the teacher. And, of course, there are some music skills that will be learned by taking weekly lessons. Namely, rhythm and intonation.
But, there are better alternatives for people who want to have their child in music lessons but don’t want to have to worry about practicing.
Singing is a wonderful skill that every child should be exposed to. Singing lessons on a weekly basis are a much better option for families who don’t want to worry about practicing.
(I’m talking about a recreational, non-performance approach to singing. There are many singing teachers who demand even more practicing than violin teachers!)
The ukulele is a great instrument to learn when you only have 30 minutes a week in lessons. It requires significantly less fine motor skill and students can be playing songs in just a few lessons.
When children get older, they will want to engage in music with others. And this is an important goal for most parents. Making good choices early on based on your resources and expectations will allow your child to have much more music in their adult years than they might otherwise have.