Starting to learn the violin when you are an adult can seem like an impossible challenge. You may feel like you are already juggling so many things that one more might be too much. However, there are quite a few benefits to learning, and you have the added advantage of not having to worry about a grade!
The first thing you will notice, after you've been practicing regularly for a few weeks, is that you have more upper body strength. This is tends to be especially obvious for women, but some men will notice it as well. Your back will strengthen, meaning your posture will be better. Your arms, especially your biceps and shoulders, will be stronger. Your fingers will be stronger, also, and you may notice some improvements in your typing (if you type, of course). You will notice that you will start to get calluses on your fingertips, as well.
You might be sitting there thinking, "I'm pretty sure I can't make my fingers move like that professional violinist I saw...my brain is already set in its ways. Don't you have to be a kid to learn stuff like this?" Guess what? Your brain can change itself and adapt to learning the violin! How? Something called "brain plasticity."
Edward Taub, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Thomas Elbert of the University of Konstanz, Germany, did a study that measured how musicians' brains responded to touch. They measured the response of all ages, from children to adult. While they found that the region of the brain that receives the "touch messages" from the fingers was larger than non-musicians'...even in adult learners! Your brain can learn and change.
Violin is also good for stress relief, if only because it is enough of a
challenge that it obliterates any memory you had of what was stressing
you out. You can sit down and focus on something for 30 minutes (at
first, anyway, later on you want to shoot for more if possible) that is
completely different from the rest of your life. You are free to treat
it like a puzzle.
Studies done by the University of Miami found that those who participated in a music class had much less depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness. And if that isn't enough, there was also an increase in a hormone that has been linked to increased energy levels, more muscle mass, and fewer aches and pains. That sounds good for any age!
Imagine leaving your house, violin case and music in hand, heading to a friend's house. You two had met in orchestra a year ago. You were talking during break at the orchestra rehearsal and had decided to play some duets from a book your friend had found at a local thrift shop. You arrive and have a great deal of fun! Sure, the duet book was supposed to be for clarinet, but it still sounded neat!
Or imagine yourself being able to share your newfound passion with non-musical friends. Who knows, perhaps one of them will be interested enough to start learning for themselves?
Like any avocation, playing the violin will give you the opportunity to socialize if you wish. Community orchestras, musical get-togethers, church, Family barbeques, and more, will give you opportunities to show off if you choose!
What benefits has starting violin given you? Please tell us using the form below!
Learning violin isn't just about playing music, there's so much more it can help you with! Let us know what positive changes you've seen since starting to learn violin!
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