How to Find an
Exceptional Violin Teacher

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Violin Instructor

Picture of Rose Park

Rose Park

11/15/21• updated 3/19/24 • 4 min read

It can be really tough to figure out if a violin teacher is going to be a good fit for you, whether you’re looking online or in person. How can you tell which one is actually better at teaching the violin?

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to check out a few different violin teachers before making your final choice. The teacher you pick can really shape how you learn and grow as a musician, and it matters especially if you’re a complete beginner. Students often pick up a lot from their teacher, like technique, musical style, and overall artistic vibe. The right teacher can make a big difference in your violin journey.

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Get an expert violin teacher from the start

The sooner you meet the experienced violin instructor, the faster you will excel in violin with a steady technique. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay more to hire a teacher with impressive teaching and educational backgrounds. Whether a violin teacher teaches online, in-person or hybrid, you should make sure that your instructor will:

  • tailor your learning curriculum
  • inspire a love of music
  • motivate you to challenge and grow
  • give accurate, detailed feedback
  • encourage you to learn a new piece fast

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 different and emphasizes different things in their lessons. Some teachers focus more on the technical side of playing the violin, while others might encourage you to focus on playing more musically.

Check the teacher's educational background

Degrees in Violin Performance

Where possible, make sure to check the potential teacher’s degree they received during college. The ideal violin instructors will hold advanced degrees (Master’s or Doctorate) in violin performance from verified music schools. They are also able to demonstrate a high level of performance through recordings, number of competition prizes and frequency of public performance opportunities. Here are some suggestions for questions related to degrees:

  • 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?

For Parents: If you’re looking for a violin teacher for your child, try finding someone who studied music education with a focus on violin performance. These teachers can cover the basics like reading music, theory, and laying the groundwork for playing the violin. As your child progresses, which might happen in about a year or so, it’s a good idea to start considering switching to a teacher with advanced degrees in violin.

How to find a violin teacher - Lesson With You Violin Lesson Guide

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 step is to visit the teacher’s professional website and read their biography. If there are any live performance recordings available, take the time to watch them.

Your potential violin instructor should at least put several descriptions of winning or participating in domestic or international competitions. Their resume should also include summaries of their performance experiences, such as recitals, orchestra performances, summer festivals, and concerto performances.

Teaching Experience in Violin

Besides checking the teacher’s degree, it’s important to find an instructor who’s got at least 3 years of teaching experience in violin. Professional violin teachers will almost certainly learn a pedagogy class during college which demonstrates a high foundational level of teaching.

Also, make sure to find someone who’s comfortable using method books for teaching violin. Method books make the core foundation for beginners and children, so make sure to ask your teacher about using violin method books such as the Suzuki method.

Background Check

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.

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Questions to ask when choosing a violin teacher

About the lessons

Once you’re done with narrowing down a number of potential violin teachers, the next step is to talk with them. Here are some recommendations for questions to ask:

  • What’s the lesson cost?
  • How do you prefer payment for lessons, and when is it due?
  • Are there any fees or policies regarding lesson cancellations?
  • How can I reschedule lessons, and what’s your policy for that?
  • Do you offer weekly lessons?
  • Any lesson packages?
  • Is there a discount available for families?

About the instruction

  • What’s the size of your studio? What ages and levels of students do you mainly teach?
  • Which method book do you use? 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?
  • How to do motivate students to practice violin and improve?
  • What’s the timeline for advancing to the next level (method books)?

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?

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Choosing the right violin instructor after a trial lesson

Make sure you take your time picking the perfect violin teacher. Along with checking out the trial lesson and teacher quality, think about these things before you make up your mind.

Lesson Costs

According to our recent violin lesson cost guide, the average cost is $40 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 $40 an hour, and professional instructors with active performance experiences and advanced degree might charge between $60 to $90 per hour lesson.

Flexible Scheduling

Your ideal violin instructor should give you the option to flexibly schedule and reschedule lessons. While it’s not great if a teacher (or student) cancels or changes lessons too often, it’s a good sign if the teacher offers rescheduling without extra fees.

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Lesson Reviews

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. 


These days, not many violin lesson providers ask for long-term commitments or contracts. But it’s still a good idea to double-check if a contract is needed before scheduling your first lesson. Additionally, you should find out the preferred payment method and cancelling or rescheduling policy.

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Picture of Rose Park

Rose Park

Rose Park is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied Piano Performance and Arts Administration, receiving both Bachelor's and Master's degrees before co-founding Lesson With You. As a pianist, Rose was a prizewinner in many international piano competitions and performed at various summer programs and festivals across the United States, Italy, and Japan.