Many people dream of having the ability to play a musical instrument.

It can be pure enjoyment listening to an Orchestra performing at a live concert venue or even listening to one on a CD at home,  the experience can truly be awe inspiring. Many of us yearn to experience the pure thrill and satisfaction of being part of  an ensemble of musicians who can create such incredible music.

‘A sandwich and a cup of coffee, and then off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony’ – Sherlock Holmes, The Red-Headed League

Experiencing the joys of the violin need not be limited to grand concert halls or CD's  – anyone can learn to master this the smallest member of the string family,  by enlisting the help of  a violin teacher!

Learning to play the violin requires motivation and dedication!   Attending regular violin lessons in Vancouver , or in any city in Canada, with a professional violin teacher who can tailor your learning needs and objectives is a great option for many aspiring violinists.

So, if you’ve been thinking about taking up a string instrument, what are you waiting for? Superprof has loads of tips for beginner violinists!

You can take violin lessons anywhere in Canada. 

Violin Lessons for Beginners

Before you meet with your violin instructor for the first time, you’ll need to find yourself a violin to play.

It can be difficult for complete beginners to know what exactly they’re looking for or need when searching for an instrument so it's best to trust the knowledgeable violin specialists.

A violin specialist will give you the best chance of finding the  right size violin for you, and instruct you on how to take proper  care of your new instrument.

Check out violin lessons here.

Get specialist advice before you take home your first violin
Learning to play violin involves taking good care of the instrument itself ¦ source: Pixabay - webandi

To find the right violin tutor you will need to look in the right places. Private music teachers are often found by word of mouth referrals, whereas those offering group lessons tend to opt for online advertising.

So, once you’ve found a teacher, what can you expect?

The format of your violin lessons will also vary depending on your level of musical knowledge and theory.  Sessions begin with warm-up exercises (such as scales and arpeggios) before you begin focussing on tunes and pieces.

Music lessons are usually taught with the intention of preparing students for ABRSM or Suzuki examinations. These exams assess your level of proficiency in playing a given instrument and your musicality (by assessing your musical ear and aural abilities with vocal tests).

The complexity of each level of a music exam is rated according to a scale of eight grades, where grade 1 is beginner level and grade 8 is expert.

The lesson content usually follows the syllabus for the grade you’re working towards.  Complete beginners are first introduced to music theory,  as the basics of proper form and positioning, tone and technique,  along with violin exercises and exam pieces.

Finding  Your Ideal Violin Teacher

If you’re not involved in a musical community or you don’t know anyone already taking music lessons, it can be difficult to know where to begin your quest for a good violin teacher.

A good violin teacher will be able to accommodate you as a student, taking your needs and goals into account and adapting private lessons accordingly.

It is particularly important that beginner violinists are taught by a tutor with great patience and enthusiasm.

Developping a relationship of student between teacher and student will make for productive lessons
Finding the right teacher is crucial to the success of violin lessons ¦ source: Visualhunt - nathanrussell

And it’s not just your level which needs to be taken into account when looking for a violin teacher; other factors such as your age, location and budget will also play a part.

If you’re the parent of a young child, you can always rely on word-of-mouth by asking for recommendations from other parents.  You can also  consult the local classifieds, in the advertisement sections of your local newspapers and magazines,  and community centres.

Advertisements for music teachers usually include a small amount of information about where they are based,  as well as the services they provide in addition to contact details. The internet provides information in your search.

A Google search of ‘violin teacher near me’ will give you a range of links including teachers’ websites, tutor platforms (such as Superprof) and music schools in your area.   Tutoring is particularly useful if you’re looking for specific qualities in your instructor as each teacher creates their own profile detailing their experience, qualifications, and teaching style.

Superprof, for example, allows users to filter search results according to the levels taught and the response time of the tutor themselves!

Whoever your ideal violin teacher may be, they should help motivate you and encourage your learning process.

The Cost of Violin Lessons?

Musical instrument lessons can have a reputation for being pricey.  However, music lessons being offered are on the increase, learning to play an instrument is now much more accessible.

Prices for music lessons varies according to a range of factors. Everything from the student’s goals,  the hometown of the teacher , the education  experience or expertise of the tutor, all have a bearing on hourly rates.

So, how expensive are violin lessons in Canada ?

The  prices advertised on Superprof, may vary from the Superprof average of $42.00 per hour nationally.

Paying for a good teacher means that you will be getting quality teaching for your money

Music lessons are an investment in yourself or your child.  ¦ source: Visualhunt - .v1ctor Casale.

What you may find is that violin teachers’ rates vary depending on where they’re based.

The price varies  between major city centres and can be higher, for example the Toronto average hourly price, is almost 20% higher than prices in Winnipeg  and Edmonton.

We can assume that the higher average hourly rate of $46 in Toronto is due to the higher concentration of people and  the attraction of Toronto,  a major arts centre to trained professional musicians who may offer lessons in addition to their orchestral work.

Alternatively, you can always learn to play the violin online!

If you’re struggling to find a suitable teacher in your local area, finding a violinist who can instruct you via a webcam connection can be a viable option.

Another advantage to taking violin lessons in Oakville  or locally,  (unless, of course, your teacher is in a different time zone!), you will not have to worry about the logistics of getting to your lessons.

Essential Equipment for Violin

When it comes to learning a musical instrument, it may surprise you to know that you will be needing  more items than just the instrument itself!

What equipment do you need to play violin?

Of course what is essential is getting the perfect violin for you,  but there are several things to consider before you purchase or rent your first violin!  Some shops may even offer rent to own options before purchasing a violin.

Buying your violin isn’t as simple as walking into a music shop and choosing one of the shelf,  your violin has to be matched to you, variables such as by primarily size, colour, tone and origin of violin, and overall personal preference.

Violins usually come in six different sizes, ranging from the smallest sixteenth size (1/16) to full size (4/4), and best matched to the players based on the length of their arms.  Ensuring  the violin is fitted correctly to the player is the most important part of finding the right violin!

Finding the right size violin is especially important for young players
The scroll of the violin is the spiral shape at the end of the violin's neck ¦ source: Visualhunt - Photo Phiend.

Musical instruments need to be looked after – it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure that their violin is properly maintained and these are essential

  • Rosin: is a type of hard tree sap in block form that is gently rubbed along the hairs of the violin bow, providing the necessary grip on the violin's string. Violinists apply rosin to their bow before every other time the violin is played.
  • Cleaning cloth:  violinists wipe down their instruments with a lint-free cloth after every practice to remove excess rosin, oil from the hands and any dust to prevent building up on the instrument.
  • Bow adjustment: . Before every lesson and practice session the hair of the violin bow must be tightened.  Equally important is each time after playing, the hair should be loosened before the violin is returned to its case.

These three points are the fundamental habits of caring for the violin that every  new violinist should learn!

Violin Practice: An Essential Part of Learning to Play the Violin

We’ve all heard the words ‘practice makes perfect’ –regular comprehensive practice is absolutely key to success as a violinist.  .

But where do you start as a beginner?

Your violin teacher will advise you on every aspect of your practice sessions including how often you should be practicing violin and how long each practice session should last.

When it comes to making steady progress, getting into a good routine with your violin practice will not only reinforce what you are taught in your lessons, and help you to progress as a musician.

At the end of each session with your violin teacher, you will be set ‘homework’ for the week. This homework will usually be made up of three parts:

  1. Scales & Arpeggios
  2. Exercises
  3. Pieces

Scales and arpeggios are not only useful for warming up for practice. They are also great for developing your muscle memory and playing them will set you up for playing runs in your pieces by helping with your sight-reading.

You will often find that your teacher prescribes you specific exercises to practice at home aimed at strengthening certain muscles in your hands, developing muscle memory and finding your way around tricky notes.

Whether it's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or a theme from Paganini violin concerto, perfecting your pieces and mastering the technicality intricacies and intonations is a rewarding and gratifying sense of accomplishment. Being able to play beautiful music on the violin after practice and dedication to the instrument is truly motivating!.

Who knows? You could be inspired to leading your own philharmonic symphony orchestra one day…

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.