If I were a parent of a 3 year old, I’d have been happy to take my 9 month old and her friends to the string shop with me to teach us how to play the violin. It was not until the age of 14-15 that I got serious about my art, and only then, by accident, as I was doing research on the different types of bow. I was really shocked to see bows made of wood as I’d heard they can’t be made of metal!
So, if a parent is concerned about how their young kid may be learning their instrument and/or wants to make sure their kids are playing it in good musical condition, there are a few things to consider.
The first is safety. In my experience, my 9 month old was comfortable with a bow, not playing with one on. If you are concerned, I’ve read that bow safety is really important in a newborn because they are only learning all their skills at a very young age.
If you are concerned about your baby’s safety, I recommend asking her what she thinks is a safe level. I’ve learned that it makes a big difference to the kind of bow she learns. Some mothers will let her try to learn whatever level’s safe because, from a parent’s perspective, it was one of her toys. Others are more concerned about their baby’s safety after they’ve been taught the proper bow stroke for her type of bow to use.
If you are at that 10 month mark, I would suggest going back to the string shop to get a bow that is safer. A 9 month old will have learned a lot of bow strokes. When she learns how and when to use the bow correctly, you will be able to ask her to try out different bows until she’s comfortable using the proper bow stroke.
The second is how to store your bow. As I mentioned above, bows make sounds, which can be dangerous in a car crash or a blow-by, especially in a child’s environment. If you keep your bow out of the car to reduce noise, be sure to store it under the seat or on the lap. Also, when you play at the string shop, make sure that your bow is not allowed to be brought into your home. As with any instrument, the more you play, the more likely it is to deteriorate under frequent play.
You might get suggestions of storing your bow so it doesn’t wind out in your lap, but a long time ago, I had