Kid Playing Violin Around the World

August 31, 2011

playing violin around the world

When Mozart started playing the violin at 23 months, we never realized that we would be traveling the world for many years as a family. Thus we never realized that she would be a kid playing her violin around the world, but now it has become our Soultravelers3 signature and fun habit.

For kicks and a souvenir for her, we made our first Youtube video of her playing at various iconic spots around the world and were totally stunned when it became a viral travel video called Where in Heaven is Mozart. It has had almost 2 million views and continues to get daily views and comments.

We think it is hilarious that some people think that we just stayed home and put the photos of the locations on a green screen, but we actually visited each and every place of course. Now that we have been to 43 countries on 5 continents, we have two more similar videos coming, but haven't had time to get them up yet. This is a travel video not a music video and we made a delightful one of her playing music around Paris, playing a violin on a camel at Petra and serenading Tiger's Nest in Bhutan by violin too despite it being quite tricky to do these on the move in crowded, iconic places.

We actually never knew that she would be playing the violin at all. It happened because she had a passion for music from babyhood and grew up in a country neighborhood near an extraordinary Suzuki violin teacher ( and mother of 7). All the kids in the neighborhood played violin, so she had great interest in learning and an amazing teacher to meet that need.

Violin at 3

Voila! Violin became part of our life and piano followed quickly starting at 3. We didn't want to leave them behind when we began to travel the world as a family, so found a way because if there is a will there is always a way. The photo at the top is her playing in Edinburgh, Scotland of our many stops and the little one is in the midst of a violin concert at three listening intently to her teacher.

She  takes lessons via webcams with both violin and piano teachers on different continents. Our purpose with instruments is not to raise a great musician necessarily,  no more than learning languages is to raise a great linguist. We just feel they are part of a well rounded education and foundation.

Music, violin and piano plus the people we have met through them, have added so much to our family world trip. Who knew music and travel was such a great match?

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I took piano from childhood through my first year of college, and I am very grateful for the foundation. I am not great at it, but it has made me a better person. Again, inspirational post!


Sorry for the off topic post (I do think it is awesome that kiddo is so into music) but I was wondering if you could send me the name of the campground you stay in near Barcelona? I am heading there at the end of September and trying to figure out where I will sleep! I know you do not want to post it publicly, so you could email me at emily.henkemans at gmail dot com. I am just a poor grad student so I thought camping might be a good option to save some money.


Your daughter is SO amazing. I can't wait til our little on starts playing an instrument. Both my dad and myself were classical bassists, and I was a bassoonist for many years; I was lucky in that I had a great teacher in Singapore that was incredibly passionate about the instrument. Violin though is hard! or at least to me it was!

Jeff McCombs

I always love to watch that video and hope to see the remake in another 5-10 years when she's older.

Jeanne soultravelers3

Marlana that is great to hear! I've always regretted not having much musical training ( only short amount of time learning cello in 7th grade and late singing lessons in my 20's which I adored)so I suppose that has affected our decision about giving her a musical foundation.

To me it seems like an amazing gift to be able to look at any piece of music and be able to play it or compose songs in one's head.

Like all languages, easiest to learn in childhood when one has more time and even simply the discipline adds worth ethic benefits.

It's much harder for non-musical parents to support the musical instrument training, but worth it to us as she will be able to also pass these benefits on to the next generation with greater ease that we had. ;)

Jeanne soultravelers3

Thanks E! Send me a message via our contact page of this blog and I will give it to you!

Jeanne soultravelers3

Thanks so much Jeff! Fun to see you here and funny because I just wrote about you in my latest post. ;)

I never thought of the idea of Mozart making a remake of this video when she is older, but it is certainly an entertaining idea! ;)

Jeanne soultravelers3

Oops E, I will send it to you!


Hi there, I'm curious to know how you began this journey. My husband and I would love to be able to do this for our family. We've managed to move from New Zealand to Portland, OR USA but it wasn't about traveling. Do you work in each country you go to, and what kinds of work are they? Thank you!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Hello Celeste,

Good question, but no one quick answer. Check out our FAQ section and also How to do extended travel post to start:

We don't work, other than this blog and investments and homeschooling. I'm trying to get some books done, but have had many delays. We lived well under our means for many years and sold everything so that we could retire early, so don't have to work now.

BUT there are other families ( and singles and couples) that have found lots of ways to work and travel indefinitely. We travel the world for MUCH less than we ever lived at that is part of the key for simply and traveling slowly...then one does not have to work as much because one's over head is so low.

There are TONS of resources now about location independent living since Four Hour Workweek and tech started the trend so just google them, check out all the ways and make a plan that works for you!


We are thinking of doing some long term traveling with our four kids age 6-11, but a concern of mine was how they would continue with their music lessons (3 flute players, one who also plays piano, and a trombone player) in which they are all interested and making good progress. I am so relieved to hear about the way your family has found a way to make it work--and not only make it work but that it is actually a great way to meet and connect with people as you travel. Lessons by webcam are apparently still working out well for you guys after several years-- have you ever had an issue of needing to switch teachers, or occasionally needing an in-person lesson? What about tips on how to find pianos to practice on?

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Lynn, well it is certainly more of a challenge to do musical instruments while traveling the world rather than staying at home...and having 4 kids will add more to the challenge.

( Just as 2 instruments increased our problem, than just having one and a piano is more challenging than a violin just because of size and portability).

If you travel full time for many years like us, or just a short 6 month or 1 year trip will also make a difference.

We're VERY fussy about teachers and have tried a few teachers in person on the road, but have been happier with our online teachers..mainly because they were just much better teachers.

We've found a few pianos to practice on as we roam the world,

BUT don't count on that as it is rare. We have a full sized, top of the line, Yamaha digital piano that we keep in our RV in Europe. In Asia we just bought a cheap one for practice. We might do the same while we are in the USA for 3 months.

The key is flexibility and slow travel. MUCH harder to keep up with practice if you are going fast. A travel lifestyle is VERY different than being at home so it will slow you down ( since everything is unfamiliar so takes longer to do the simplest things like eat or bathe etc).

Also just carrying one small violin can be a challenge, so keep that in mind.

I love our teachers, but we had some problems finding them and my daughter went a whole year without any violin lessons...only practice ( and we are not musician parents so made some mistakes even with her daily practice).

As I've said before, my daughter would be further ahead with her musical instruments if we had stayed at home, but for us, it has definitely been worth this small sacrifice because she gained soooo much more through our travel and still got to keep the music.

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