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Monday, April 22, 2013

Toby and the violin

Recently Toby became randomly obsessed with violins. Alex and I were trying to figure out where this new fascination came from. A street musician? A Dora the Explorer episode? Thin air? However it started, Toby's love of the violin is a real thing. He draws pictures of violins. He pretends that his books are violins and holds them up to his neck. Every evening, instead of watching a kids TV show, he asks for bluegrass videos on YouTube. (Annie is his favorite.)

Last week, Alex suggested we find him a miniature used violin on eBay. At first I thought it sounded crazy and extravagant (he's only two!), but Alex really thought it was worth it. So we ordered this teeny violin (it's 1/8th size), and Toby was psychotically excited about the impending arrival ("The brown package here yet, Mama?" "You think today the violin comes, Mama?" "We open it with scissors, Mama?") until it arrived this past Friday. Honestly, I have been amazed by how much Toby has played with it, and he even insists on carrying it with him in the stroller and gently cuddling it while we read bedtime stories.

Anyway, it has been such a fascinating turn-of-events. Maybe when he's a bit older, if he's still interested, we could sign him up for some lessons.
The giddy moment we realized that the case could double as a backpack!

Do your kiddos play any instruments? (Do you?) I wish I did!

P.S. The magic of Central Park and a lullaby that actually works.

234 comments:

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Kirby said...

This is so sweet!

Ellie Glorioso said...

This is darling. I love how enthralled he is with it! If he keeps up this interest for a while you should definitely consider starting him on an instrument. I'm a cellist (studying Cello Performance at a conservatory currently) and all of my family started piano at around 3 or 4 and then began lessons on a string instrument a few years later. GO TOBY!

Nicolette said...

This is beyond precious.

frank said...

i play viola :) toby is lovely..

frank said...

I play the viola :)! Toby is lovely...

Koren said...

As a professional musician, I highly recommend the Suzuki method. It is a great social and artistic outlet for a child. And it also requires parental involvement, which is nice for the parents. Plus, they can start at 2.5 years.

Holly said...

I studied violin from the age of five until I was almost eighteen years old. I can definitely say that it has had an incredible impact on my life, and for all the times when I felt it was too hard and I didn't like it, my memories, friendships and ability make up it all tenfold. I studied the Suzuki method, and I knew children who began as early as two and three years old. It would be wonderful for your son to take lessons, as early as he can!

suzy said...

Strange...my 4 yr old often asks for a violin. Maybe i should buy her one also! I'd love her to play some kind of instrument though will give her a few options and see which one she gravitates toward i guess.

Unknown said...

Joanna, this is HUGE! I started playing violin when I was 9 and I've wanted to do lessons since I was Toby's age. Honestly, I think you should enroll him asap! It will be not only good fun but so educational to him. Think about it! xoxox

ohdizzle said...

This is so sweet! I can't wait for Toby to be a world famous bluegrass fiddle player!

Katie Stookesberry said...

This is awesome!!!
That is the story of most violin prodigys! They start to love the instrument at a VERY early age.

That being said, I am a violinist (have been since the age of 6), and work for a classical music management company in NYC (IMG Artists), so if you ever want lessons from me or want any recommendations, feel free to reach out! (kstookesberry@gmail.com).

megs said...

This post made me smile because it reminded me exactly of how I was when I was his age. My parents got me a violin at the age of three and I took it everywhere...my soccer games and the grocery store to name a few. I started violin lessons at three and a half under the Suzuki method and highly recommend it. They actually recommend children starting at a young age (particularly three is a great age!). So I would highly recommend looking into it, especially since he has such an interest in it!

megs said...

You can look up on the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) website for great teachers in your area.. http://suzukiassociation.org/

Shelby Wills said...

I love this! I have my first violin lesson on friday! I wish I had taken this up at his age. Hopefully he will stick with it. Such a beautiful instrument. xox

Alexandra Fouracre said...

Aww this is so sweet. I started Violin when I was 4... it's best to start early as it does resemble a cat being strangled for several years... hang in there if he does take it up properly! It will sound good eventually!

Alexandra Fouracre said...

Aww this is so sweet. I started Violin when I was 4... it's best to start early as it does resemble a cat being strangled for several years... hang in there if he does take it up properly! It will sound good eventually!

Taryn Louise said...

Music is so wonderful for kids (and adults). I played the saxophone growing up and love(d) it. I think it's great you guys got him the violin! See where it goes! All the greats start young! :)

Mel said...

Start now! My mom started me with the keyboard at 4 before moving on to the piano at 8. It wasn't my decision, and she pushed me to keep at it until I was 18. There were days that I hated going to my lessons, but I'm so glad that my mom made me go. I loved the piano, and I miss playing.

I think WHILE he's still interested, Toby should start lessons if it makes logistical and financial sense.

Also, I was a violinist in my middle school orchestra :) It really is a fun instrument.

Anonymous said...

I started at 2 and a half and I'm still playing at 23! It's never too early especially if the love for music comes from him :) you can start with group lessons since that might be more fun for him. Go Toby!

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Emily Nathan said...

Maybe he will go to Interlochen!

Monica L. Shulman said...

This is the sweetest thing ever. SO darling. Lucia is obsessed with being underwater and learning about animals in the sea. She crawls around under the tables and bar stools and says that she's "at the bottom of the ocean with a scuba" bc we've watched a gajillion youtube videos of scuba divers exploring fish and whales and sharks. We have this animal encyclopedia and she opens it up to the same page every morning so she can look at a whale and the coral. But I can't very well go to ebay and buy her a mini scuba tank can I? Imagine? It's so wonderful and funny and random the things these kids fall in love with?

Kimberly said...

I remember my first violin! I loved it so! And then I realized that I had to practice every day haha. But in the end, after years of wonderful lessons and not-so-wonderful fights with my mom over practicing, I love my violin again :).

13bees said...

this is how it starts! keep with it, toby!

RG Mama said...

Do a search for a Suzuki violin teacher in your area and go observe some lessons. Toby could begin as early as age 3. Another great option to prep him for musicality are Suzuki Baby Music classes which are geared for 0months -3yrs. Great for Toby and the new sibling :)

RG Mama said...

Yes! This film is fabulous and he will LOVE it! My twins are mad for this documentary.

ab-on-wheels said...

I saw at least one comment from another Suzuki violin teacher. I am also one, and we start students very young. I don't teach kids before 3, but I would be happy to let a 2 year old come observe lessons to keep up the inspiration! You should check out the Suzuki Association website for a teacher and contact them about observing! This is such a cool interest for him to have so young!

emily said...

oh my. this is toooo cute! my son hugs and kisses strange things (objects he loves) too & I think it's the best. will remember to look out for his name in lights ;-)

blueowltreats said...

I began playing the flute at 4 with the Suzuki Program (early childhood classical music education). I'm still playing now and am a professional musician playing with a symphony and teaching lessons myself! I love that my parents put me into lessons at a young age. I am the musician today because of the care, support and love my parents (especially my mom) poured into my music education. It requires a lot of support from parents but I think my parents are glad they did!

keepsakes. etc said...

this is lovely.. my daughter plays the violin shes 10..,

KJ said...

There's a man holding a violin in that Central Park book you linked to in your "PS"

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Julie | alonewithmytea said...

As a violin teacher, I think you should get him started now! The earlier the better! Find a good teacher who specializes in the Suzuki method. It will be well worth it in the long run! :)

Rosha said...

My 2 and a half yr old son is also totally obsessed with instruments. It started with the violin and has moved to drums and horns now. He sleeps with our bathroom trash can which is his 'bass drum' filled with our pot lids "symbols" on his bed. The idea of ordering instruments on ebay is great. Thanks for the stories and solidarity in the "Mothers of toddlers obsessed with instruments club"

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