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What are the age requirements for starting the Cello vs Violin?


Age requirements are slightly different to learn the cello than the violin.


Since the child needs to sit down with the cello, it is better to wait until the child is 4 years old and has the necessary torso length to be able to sit behind the instrument.


However, when your child turns 3 years old, he/she can begin violin lessons.





Does my child need to start with the violin and then switch to the cello?


Seeing a full-size cello up close or on stage can be intimidating. But cellos come in many sizes. The total length of the smallest cello, 1/10, is about 29 inches and can be easily played by a 4-year-old!


The common misconception of a small child having to choose the violin is simply the size of the instrument. Because a violin is small, people think the child should play the violin, and that it probably is easier to learn than the cello. In fact, starting with the violin and then switching to the cello can be more difficult than just beginning with the cello.


What is the right age to start learning the cello?


The younger the better.


The soloists we admire so much usually have one thing in common. They began at a very early age. But not all of us are that lucky. Perhaps you just want to learn how to play for your own pleasure. There are countless virtuosos who picked up their instruments long after their teenage years but still managed to master the skills.


If you love the music, there is no right or wrong age to begin learning to play the cello. You can be 4, 44, or 84. All you need is passion and dedication (see more below).


My child is 2 years old, do we have to wait 2 more years to start cello lessons?


A young child should be introduced to music as soon as possible. Although we need to wait for the child to get taller to be able to sit down with the cello, I do offer Music Appreciation Lessons for children between the ages of 2 to 4 years old.


Studying music increases the quality of a child’s early development. By starting early, children have milder temperaments and are more creative. It not only provides an outlet for creative expression but it is entraining as well.


In the Music Appreciation class, the child will learn coordination by learning to play simple percussion instruments and creative self-expression through singing and dancing. The child will also develop listening and auditory discrimination skills. During these lessons, the child’s motor skills develop which helps further ready the child for instrument lessons. It creates a perfect bridge for learning to play the cello when they turn 4 and the violin when they turn 3.


Is learning the cello harder or easier than the violin?


There is no one instrument that is harder or easier than the other. They are equally challenging and equally difficult to learn.


How often should the lessons be?


When we look at the best examples in history, such as Mozart and Beethoven, we discover that their parents were their first teachers and their lessons were daily. As nice as that would be, it’s not always an option, and not everyone is trying to be the next Mozart!


For the highest efficiency, the lessons should be held as often as possible. Most students either come once or twice a week, although there are students who take lessons more frequently. This depends on your goals and budget.


Whether you want to play for your church on Sundays, perform at your best friend’s wedding (or yours), play as a hobby, or make a career out of it, you will need consistency. That is why the lessons should be at least once a week.


Unfortunately, the practice itself is not enough. You will need constant guidance and continuous reinforcement of the learned concepts. This prevents the information from becoming overwhelming and keeps the progress steady and well-paced.


If you are serious about advancing faster, I recommend taking lessons twice a week.


Why should the lessons be weekly?


The repetition of correct posture, playing technique, and concepts are vital to learning any musical instrument. Constant guidance is key.


The best way to establish good habits and train the ear is to have a lesson at least once a week. Any more time in between the lessons and the student develops bad habits that take weeks, sometimes months, to fix. A “two steps forward three steps backward” type of deal.


Imagine practicing hard for two weeks, only to realize you have been solidifying bad habits. Going more than a week practicing the wrong notes with poor posture and other errors can easily become ingrained in the mind.


This is why bi-weekly lessons never work: they stall the forward progress of the student. The learning speed reduces to a snail’s pace and the student becomes disinterested in playing the instrument.


What ages do you teach? Do you teach adult students?


The youngest I accept for cello is 4 years old. The youngest for violin is 3. If your child is younger than 3, see the music appreciation section below.


Yes, I do teach adult students, no age restrictions.


I am __ years old. Can I still learn how to play the cello?


It is never too late to learn a musical instrument.


No matter your age.


In my experience, adult students master the basic concepts of cello playing faster than children (like proper bow hold), although young minds are more pliable. As you can see they both have their advantages.


You will need two vital things though. One of them is Passion. Without it, learning an instrument will become a chore no matter how old you are.


In addition to your passion, you will need Dedication; time put into studying the craft. Without regular time allocated for practice, you will not achieve the result you desired.


If you have Passion and Dedication, you can enjoy making music in any season of your life.


I have no musical background; can I still learn the cello?


You do not need previous experience or musical background to start taking cello lessons. Although having experience playing the cello or any other musical instrument (even briefly) helps make musical connections, it is not required for one to learn to play the cello.



How long will it take me to master the cello?


A lifetime is the short answer.

From the moment you start to learn a musical instrument, that question enters the mind.

How long till I play that famous piece?

How long till I play like the 2 cellos?


It’s great to keep in mind that learning a musical instrument does not come with instant gratification. It takes dedication, self-discipline, and practice.


A lot of practice.


It is okay; you may not create a great sound at first. You may not fall in love with the sound when you first start to use your bow. Through patience, hard work, and the right teacher aid, you progress.




Click here to learn more about Cello Academy Hawaii’s Music Appreciation lessons or schedule a free diagnostic lesson.

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