Every experienced violinist will tell you that the first step to becoming a great violin player, is finding the right violin teacher. A violin teacher will be able to guide you and inspire you on your path to playing such a beautiful yet difficult instrument. But what makes a great violin teacher and how do you find one?
This article will help you to think about the qualities to look for in a great violin teacher, and how you can find a teacher that is suitable for your needs.
Finding the perfect violin teacher is not always an easy task. It takes time to search for teachers and interview the ones that we may like to work with. That's why Superprof is here to help you find a teacher in your local area no matter what your level or years of experience.
Our Superprof guides will provide helpful tips for those who are just learning how to play the violin and for those who are looking for a teacher to help them meet their learning goals.
Violin Teacher Ads in the Classifieds
If you're just a beginner violinist, then one of the first places you may wish to look for a violin teacher is in the Classifieds, such as the Yellow Pages or Kijiji in Canada. Local newspapers in your regional district or province may also have ads with teachers advertising their services.
These are great resources to find violin tutors or teachers who are advertising their services in your local area. You'll want to call or email to ask for more information, and for to ask for them to send you references and resumés to get to know them better. Some teachers may also post their ads in local shops, music shops, community centres or schools to advertise their services, so it's a good idea to keep your eyes open.
Another great way to find a violin teacher, is to go to your local music school and ask them to recommend a teacher. Bear in mind that you are likely to pay higher prices for private teaching in a music school than working with a private violin teacher outside of a school.
Before coming to a decision about whether to hire a violin teacher, make sure that you have as much information necessary. It's important to ask about qualifications and experience- but also to get an idea of the teacher's personality and teaching style to make sure that you will be able to work well together.
It's important to ask any prospective teachers about their teaching methods, teaching experience, preparation for music exams, their availability and their hourly rates for violin lessons.
Find a Private Violin Teacher through Word-of-Mouth
Finding a teacher by word of mouth is also one of the most highly recommended ways to find a tutor, as you'll already have a good reference for the teacher's quality of teaching. Additionally, you'll be able to ask questions about what it's like working with these teacher and what their strengths and weaknesses are. By asking friends, family, colleagues and other people in your social networks for recommendations, this will help you to make a more informed decision about whether to hire a violin teacher.
Your friends and peers will be able to be honest with you about what it's like working with a teacher, and give you good advice and feedback about what they think about their violin instructor.
If you don't have many musically inclined friends, don't be afraid to exploit your social media networks and think about joining any Facebook groups or forums in your local area that may be able to help you find a teacher. Always be aware of personal safety when using these tools, and avoid sharing any personal information.
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Join a Music School or Conservatory
If you are looking for a more formalised means of learning, then you may wish to join a music school for private or group lessons. There are a number of music schools and independent music centres for students of all ages and levels.
This is a good option for students wishing to follow a particular method, such as the famous Suzuki Method or the Royal Conservatory of Music Exams in Canada. Music schools will generally incorporate classes for musical theory with general music classes for a variety of different instruments and for every level and age group. By working in a music school, they will also likely have the available equipment for the violin that you can use during your lessons.
One of the greatest advantages of taking lessons in a music school, is that you can be sure about the quality of education that you are receiving. Although the lessons may be a bit pricier than with a private tutor, you can be sure that the violin teacher is of an excellent standard and level. This is because music schools will often have very stringent recruitment methods to ensure that they are only recruiting the very best teachers.
If you are willing to pay the extra buck, then you won't have to worry as much about recruiting the right teacher, as music schools will be able to refer you to a teacher that is most suitable for your personal needs.
Beyond just learning to play the violin, learning to play an instrument is all about learning how to perform! You may be able to play perfectly alone in front of the mirror, but it's another thing to play the Bach double in front of an audience of one thousand people.
One of the best things about playing in a music school, is that you'll have the chance to perform in front of other students that your teacher is working with. All music schools organise end-of-term recitals to showcase each students' talent. This is a great motivation for students and gives them something to work towards at the end of the year.
You may also wish to work play in a musical ensemble or orchestra, that are another form of class offering in most music schools and conservatories. Whether you want to join a beginner group, a string quartet or a junior orchestra, almost all music schools in Canada are able to offer these lessons!
If a music school sounds like a good option for you, check the internet for local music schools for more information.
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Study the Violin at your Local School
For your violinists who are in elementary school or high school, then they may also have the option to take violin lessons through their local school. Some schools in Canada offer excellent musical programs, allowing students to develop their musical talents during after-school programs.
One of the advantages of taking lessons through school, is that your local school or community will have vetted each teacher, so you can be sure that they are trustworthy and have experience teaching young students.
Music lessons in local schools also tend to be offered at a much lower price than lessons offered through a music conservatory or through private violin lessons, so they are a great option for students and families on a tighter budget. Another advantage is that the lessons are often held directly at the child's school, so you'll save time and money taking your child to and from lessons.
Your child may also have the opportunity to work with their peers and to play in front of their friends and classmates. This is a huge motivating factor for younger students who enjoy playing in a group.
To find out whether your child's school offers music lessons, contact your local school or music department for more information.
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Find Your Violin Teacher Online
By far the most easiest way to find a violin teacher, is by making use of the wealth of online resources now available.
The internet has a vast array of information for aspiring violinists. In order to find a teacher, all you'll need to do is type 'violin teacher near me' and dozens of results will show up.
However, it's also important to be wary of using the internet and to bear in mind that not every result will be useful. One of the most trustworthy resources is to check out online learning platforms such as Superprof, to help you search for reliable tutors and teachers online and in your local area.
Before committing to finding a teacher online, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- What format would I like to take lessons in (online, in person)?
- What previous teaching experience should my teacher have?
- How much are you willing to pay for violin lessons?
- How many times are you able to practice per week?
- What are the objectives of taking lessons (exams, leisure, university entrance)?
- What level am I at and what level of teacher am I looking for?
- What is their teaching methodology?
- What will I be able to achieve with this teacher?
Platforms such as Superprof specialise at putting in contact motivated students and teachers that are passionate about their subject.
Superprof publishes teaching ads for teachers in a variety of different subjects so that students may get in contact with prospective teachers to organise a lesson. Students are able to browse through hundreds of different teacher profiles, and select a teacher based on their hourly fees, location, teaching methodology, teaching experience and more.
Online platforms are one of the best ways to collect reliable information about a teacher, presented in a clear and concise manner. Once you've selected a teacher that suits your needs, you'll be able to contact them to discuss whether they would be suitable for your learning needs.
The ability to contact tutors with a range of different experience and methodologies is the best way to find a tutor to suit your specific needs. This is particularly important for more advanced violinists, who may be seeking a teacher who can help them with more technical matters such as music theory, musical performance and vibrato.
It's important to discuss with your teacher how often you should practice the violin outside your violin lessons in order to keep up your skills and advance as quickly s possible.
If you live in a remote area or have a busy schedule, you may also opt for online violin lessons. With a number of improvements in technology, this is becoming an increasingly popular option for busy students. Here are just a couple advantages of taking online lessons:
- Flexible schedule: when taking online lessons, you can schedule your lessons at any time of day or in between classes or your personal engagements.
- Learn with teachers around the world: you won't be limited to working with teachers in your local area, so you can learn from the very best teachers all over the world
- Save money: in general, online lessons tend to be cheaper than lessons in person, so you'll be able to save money. Additionally, you'll save on transportation to get to and from your lessons.
It can be quite a challenge to find the perfect violin teacher, but once you do you'll have taken the first step in the right direction towards becoming an excellent violin player!
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