How to Find an
Exceptional Violin Teacher
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Violin Instructor
When you look for a violin teacher either online or in-person, sometimes it’s just hard to tell whether the instructor is professional, friendly and suited for you.
Which violin instructor should you ultimately choose? How can you tell if instructor A is better at teaching violin than instructor B?
You should actively shop around and choose the best violin teacher for you because they may have a huge impact on your learning journey. Students learn a lot from watching and imitating the way teachers play violin, think about music, level of technique, expression and musical nature.
Table of Contents
Get an Expert Violin Teacher From the Start
- tailor your learning curriculum
- inspire a love of music
- motivate you to challenge and grow
- give accurate, detailed feedback
Many violin students make mistakes by trying to start with an ordinary teacher who charges less, and then switching to a better violin instructor. One thing to note in this shifting process is that you will likely experience confusion in learning, which can take years for learners to get rid of any bad habits such as the posture, bow technique, sound and fingering.
Every violin teacher is unique and puts a different amount of emphasis in terms of lesson curriculum. Some teachers focus more on the technical side of violin whereas as some might tell you to focus on playing more musically.
Meet your violin teacher, discuss goals and begin 1-on-1 instruction.
No contract or credit card necessary.
Check the Teacher's Educational Background
Degrees in Violin Performance
- Are you majored in violin performance?
- Do you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in violin?
- Did you take any courses in pedagogy, music education, music theory or music history?
Q. Can a viola or cello teacher teach violin?
A majority of viola teachers teach violin since the physical nature of these two string instruments are similar. A few cello instructors can teach some basic knowledge of violin but their expertise is limited to cello, which belongs to the same string family but it requires different sound production, posture and technique compared to violin or viola.
Competitions and Performance Experience
When finding a violin teacher, it’s best to see if the teacher has listed any performance related accomplishments. This includes winning prizes from competitions (solo or chamber music), making a debut, collaborating with other musicians and giving solo or concerto performances.
The first thing you should do is to go to the violin teacher’s professional website and read their bio. If there are any live performance recordings listed, take time to watch the recordings.
Your potential violin instructor should at least put several descriptions of winning or participating in domestic or international competitions. Their resume should also include summary of their performance experiences such as recitals, orchestra performances, summer festivals and concerto performances.
Teaching Experience in Violin
In addition to checking the teacher’s degree, it’s also essential to look for an instructor with at least 3 years of teaching experience in violin. The best violin teachers will almost certainly learn a pedagogy class during college which demonstrates a high foundational level of teaching.
That being said, you should also look for someone who is comfortable teaching violin with method books. Method books are considered to be a great learning resource for beginners and children, so make sure to ask your teacher about using violin method books such as the Suzuki methods.
Not every violin teacher lists this online, but you should check if the teacher has done and passed a comprehensive background check, especially if the lesson is for your child. Some live online violin lesson websites, such as Lesson With You, offer free trial lessons with professional violin instructors who are fully background checked.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Violin Teacher
Once you’re done with narrowing down a number of potential violin teachers, the next step is to talk with the instructors. Here are some recommendations for questions to ask:
- How many violin students do you teach? What ages and levels?
- How do you build a lesson plan? Is the curriculum personalized?
- Do you expect students to participate in studio recital, jury or competition?
- What are your practice expectations for beginners and advanced students?
- Which violin method books do you use?
- How to do motivate students to practice violin and improve?
How Much Do Violin Lesson Cost?
Take a Trial Lesson First
When reaching out to potential violin teachers, make sure to ask if they offer trial lessons. Taking a trial lesson can give you fresh insights on a couple of things:
- Does the teacher speak clearly and ask appropriate questions to the student? How does the teacher respond to the answers the student provided and vice versa?
- How does the teacher initiate and lead the violin lesson? Is the lesson engaging? How frequent does the teacher play violin and show the technique to the student?
- Does the violin instructor give instruction on the technique and musical aspect?
- What’s the teacher like? Happy, calm or rather moody? Is the teacher likeable?
- How often does the teacher give feedback? Are they direct or indirect? Does the teacher pay enough attention to detail and correct the student? It’s also important to see how the student responds to the compliment and criticism.
- How does the instructor end the lesson? When the instructor gives assignments or homework, does the student leave the lesson clear on what to work on next?
Choosing the Right Violin Instructor After a Trial
Take plenty of time to choose the right violin instructor. Besides evaluating the trial lesson and teacher quality, consider these following aspects before making a decision.
According to our recent violin lesson cost guide, the average cost is $35 for a half hour violin lesson. Live online lessons using video chats typically charge between $20-40 for a half hour lesson. Local private violin lessons averages $40 per half hour lesson, while in-person group lessons can cost $25.
Violin instructors without a music degree can charge as little as $35 an hour, and professional instructors with active performance experiences and advanced degree might charge between $60 to $90 per hour lesson.
Your ideal violin instructor should offer a flexible scheduling and rescheduling option. Of course, it’s not a good sign when a teacher (or a student) cancels or reschedules lessons too often, but knowing the teacher offers a rescheduling option without change fees can be a plus.
When finding a violin teacher online or in-person, you should always check and read the lesson reviews. If you’re particularly looking for a live online violin lesson, you will notice the reviews left in the teacher profile. If 8 or 9 out of 10 reviews are positive, that means the teacher is great and able to teach a high-quality lesson.
If you want to get in-person lesson recommendations, you can ask friends, neighbors or even find a violin teacher online and ask if they offer lessons in person.
Not many violin lesson providers require long term commitment or contracts these days, but you’d still want to make sure if there’s a contract required or not before setting up the first lesson. It’s also recommended for students to check the type of payment the teacher prefers and when to send the payment.
Need help with Finding a Potential Violin Instructor?
Lesson With You offers live online 1-on-1 violin lessons with exceptional violin teachers who earned at least Bachelor’s degrees from top music schools including Indiana University, University of Miami and Texas Christian University.
The first trial lesson is FREE! No Contracts Ever.
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