Contrary to how it may seem, being a violinist is not an easy job. Their goal is to make us believe that playing this stringed instrument is a breeze, but it is not the case. Indeed, like many musical instruments, the violin requires a real work ethic, as it is a long and sometimes tedious road to one day achieving success, having the chance to be part of a philharmonic orchestra, or putting out a classical CD for example.
Listening to music, along with watching tv and reading are the favourite pastimes of the UK (spending about 15 hours a week doing so). It would be interesting to look at the learning strategies of our favourite musicians to see what are the basis of their philosophies and training.
One of the basic ideas for musicians is to be able to motivate themselves, without losing sight of the pleasure that music provides when listened to, but also when played, be it in a concerto, a string quartet, a symphony orchestra, or an international competition. What are some quotes and phrases that can help motivate those of us who choose to learn this beautiful and challenging stringed instrument as we continue to work daily on our virtuosity and harmony?
An instrument that, while at first might scare us with its complexity, can actually be a real object of happiness for most musicians! (Source: Pixabay)
It’s a fact that, whether it’s wind instruments, string instruments, ancient instruments, or percussion, practising music requires real work. However, hard work does not need to be a bad thing, in fact, it can be quite the contrary. Working hard to improve your musical skills can be beneficial, allowing you to gain self-confidence, to feel proud to have played Schuman or Tchaikovsky, and allowing you to improve your knowledge of music in general.
Nevertheless, and this is normal, sometimes motivation can decline. The desire to play the strings might no longer there, the virtuoso who lives inside you has seemed to take a nap, and Beethoven is just no longer your favourite composer. Between the bass, clarinet, oboe or trombone, almost all musical instruments are subject to the same work ethic principles, which inevitably can lead at times to a lack of motivation.
It is at this precise moment that the various ways of finding motivation come into play. Famous composers (Brahms, Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Berlioz, Van Beethoven, etc.) can become our inspiration to reach towards, our loved ones can encourage us, or quotes, small phrases on the fly, can actually be quite powerful!
Indeed, these little mantras, on music, the violin, motivation, or training, have the ability to be quite universal, and can help us to sometimes see the violin in a new light, through the prism of values that are beautiful, encouraging, or even challenging, and help our desire to continue progressing in our musical endeavour! But which are the best phrases to help us find our passion again with our violin lessons?
A small musical instrument plus a bow, and suddenly we’re ready to make beautiful music! (Source: Pixabay)
Among the thousands of motivating and inspiring phrases one can find, there are few who include the violin as their primary subject, probably because it is more music in itself which has the most universal quotations. However, there are some quotes where the violin is placed on a pedestal, which gives us great pleasure to share with you today!
Happiness is an art to practice, like the violin – John Lubbock
Here, the violin is taken as a real tool for happiness. It involves a strong comparison, which tells us that music (and, in this case, the violin and the practice of this instrument) leads to joy and happiness, through hard work. So one must not get discouraged, but instead keep working, to hopefully one day reach this nirvana!
Like playing the violin or the piano, thinking requires a daily practice – Charlie Chaplin
This sentence is especially interesting for what it represents and what it symbolizes. Indeed, it deals with the basic idea, that to achieve a goal, you must work at it every day. Whether it be the piano, cello, fiddle, saxophone or violin, your hard efforts will pay off!
If the violin is the most perfect musical instrument, then the Greek language is the violin of human thought – Helen Keller
In this quote, it is the first part especially that interests us. Helen Keller assumes that the violin can be considered a perfect musical instrument. This could sure help motivate us to continue to strive for as close to perfection as we can become!
Violin and music are two big themes, where motivation strongly comes into play. It is important to stay the course and not get discouraged! (Source: Pixabay)
If there are motivating quotations about the violin, there are certainly many more quotes on music in general, which can help to encourage us to take up one’s stradivarius, and to play Vivaldi, Mozart or Brahms with his bow. As music is a more universal theme, it can also be more unifying, with many more people around the world who have written about it. Here is a selection of some of our favourites, not an exhaustive list, of course!
We do not sell music. We share it – Leonard Bernstein
As you can see here, music is seen as a real art, more than a consumer product, and this is a good thing! It’s best to start with beautiful values, and enjoying the good feelings it brings, like sharing, to make you want to learn and create music. To make inspired music is a goal, whether it be with the flute, guitar or violin!
Music is a revelation higher than any wisdom and philosophy – Ludwig Van Beethoven
A true tribute to the art of music, and, by extension, the violin, which honours all the hard work and efforting to progress in this domain. Indeed, by putting music above all else, Ludwig Van Beethoven (what a great name) sanctifies his practice which inspires us even more!
Music is the language of emotions – Emmanuel Kant
From a point of view a little more poetic and sensitive, Emmanuel Kant (no longer with us) gives us a motivating phrase for the music lovers amongst us. Indeed, through playing the violin, we can find ourselves conveying messages and deep feelings, whether they be about love, friendship, etc. A nice way to motivate yourself to play!
Life without music is simply a mistake, a boredom, an exile – Friedrich Nietzsche
Here we have a very Manichean perspective, but also very beautiful at the same time. Indeed, it is true that, even if practising the violin involves hard work, or discouragement, the success and joy of achievement in playing its beautiful notes is an incredible feeling, which Nietzsche understood well.
Music brightens the places where it is heard – Julien Green
Another very motivating phrase for all violin lovers. In fact, when you hear, and by extension, play the violin, everything becomes more beautiful, more pleasant, more alive. A great quote to inspire anyone feeling a little discouraged while learning the violin, and, as they say, music soothes the soul!
Like all musical instruments, the violin requires hard work. But to then be able to play such beautiful pieces, it is often worth it! (Source: Pixabay)
It is a fact, that we sometimes tend to forget, that playing music often involves hard work. A Beethoven sonata, a violin concerto in D major or professionals in a Paris orchestra were not created overnight, quite the contrary. It took many hours of work, discouragement, and motivation to arrive at such beauty in music.
That’s why hard work is a necessity when it comes to the violin, and in order to become a good violinist. And yes, being able to play Mozart or Liszt has a price, which is a lot of effort!
One only learns through making mistakes – Turkish proverb
A quote which could not be truer and applies to many situations in everyday life as well as violin practice. Indeed, playing an instrument well is not innate, and you will have to make mistakes and work hard to progress and get there properly!
Whoever is happy to learn will become a master one day – Persian proverb
Another proverb, but this one is also very telling when it comes to being inspired by hard work. Indeed, through working and practising, we improve, but we can also and above all aspire to become a great musician, maybe recognized, and whose work is appreciated!
Work is a treasure for men – Aesop
To place work as a value and an endeavour that is precious, such is the position of Aesop, puts work in a very positive light. Working involves harvesting what you sow, often for the better. Work can be healthy!
In short, through the help of some beautiful quotations, we can be successful in motivating ourselves to continue learning the violin, and music in general. The violin is a beautiful instrument, and should not be dropped or put to the side without serious though. It takes courage and persistence to hang in there through the ups and downs but it is so worth it!