Choosing the Right Violin Teacher
You decided to learn to play the violin. Check. You bought your violin. Check. Now, you’re on a quest to find the right teacher and start violin lessons. But as a beginner, how do you know which violin teacher is right for you? To start, ask yourself these key questions.
What are my goals?
Make a list of your aspirations. They might include:
❏ Play the violin for family gatherings.
❏ Fill the house with music after a nice Sunday morning breakfast.
❏ Join the local community orchestra.
❏ Attend the pub’s weekly jam sessions.
❏ Take a masterclass at one of the summer chamber music festivals.
❏ Perform religious music at church.
❏ Enter an amateur musician competition.
❏ Give regular recitals.
The list will give any prospective teacher a clear idea of what you’re working towards. For you, it’ll establish how much of a role the violin will play in your life.
What is the value of violin lessons to me?
Your goals will determine the time, money, and energy to put into lessons and practice.
On the professional track, you may study with a highly credentialed and well-known violin teacher or professor, usually in a conservatory or university setting. Plan on that costing well over $100 per week. Not to mention, the time you spend learning, practicing and rehearsing will take precedence over many other activities in your life.
If you’re not seeking a career in music, you are more likely to end up in the $20-$100 range for a 30-minute or one-hour lesson each week. While you may not spend as much time in the practice room, you’ll still need to set aside some time for daily practice in order to become a competent amateur.
Regardless of the teacher’s price, it’s important to choose an instructor with the proper knowledge and experience. A teacher can make or break your enthusiasm for the instrument; they must know what they are doing and how to guide you.
What am I looking for in a teacher?
Speaking of enthusiasm, a teacher’s personality plays a huge role in your progress. Why? If you don’t have chemistry, lessons will lose the anticipation factor. In fact, you might downright dread making that weekly trek to your teacher’s studio.
That said, some people prefer strict, down-to-business violin teachers. While others might want a bubbly, light-hearted approach. The main point is how your teacher makes you feel about the whole process.
Here are the signs you have a good student-teacher relationship:
You can’t wait for your next lesson. (The anticipation factor)
Your teacher motivates you to keep going.
You never leave lessons feeling disrespected, defeated, or demeaned.
Your teacher constantly works to instill and grow your love for the music.
Your teacher believes in you and your goals.
Basically, you want a teacher who makes the journey fulfilling and worthwhile.
In summary, state your goals, choose the style of music you want to play, determine the value, and have fun. Learning the violin is a lifelong journey, so enjoy the ride!