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Learning the Violin in Canada 

Learning any musical instrument can be a challenge, but many consider the violin as the hardest instrument to master. The violin also one of the most beautiful instruments, with compositions by some of the greatest known composers in Western Classical music from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Vivaldi. 

Why should you learn to play the Violin? 

Develop your musical ear 

As a violinist, it’s essential to have a good musical ear due to the precision of the notes that you’ll be playing. Unlike the piano with keys or fret boards, it’s more difficult to know if you are playing the right note. You’ll be able to learn to recognise when you are making the notes by ‘playing by ear’. 

Improve your posture and dexterity

Having the correct posture is one of the first things you’ll learn when you start the violin. Playing the violin requires a great deal of coordination in your movement between your hands arms and your core. Additionally, while your left hand does the fingering on the violin, your right hand holds the bow. Given these two different tasks, you’ll need to develop a great deal of dexterity and coordination. While it may seem tiring and tedious in the beginning, the more you’ll play it will become like second nature. 

Play in an orchestra or ensemble 

The violin itself is one of the most important instruments in classical music ensembles  and takes up an important section in the orchestra. Violins will often get the most important parts during an ensemble piece and will often get more solos than other instruments in an orchestra. Joining an orchestra can be a beautiful experience and a wonderful way to meet new people who share your love of music. 

Enjoy the challenge 

Although it is challenging, you’ll get a great sense of fulfilment as you work hard and begin to master new techniques. With the guitar you’ve got the frets and with the piano you have the keys to guide your fingers to play notes, but with a violin, you’ll have to develop precision and skill to learn to play notes correctly. Don’t be discouraged if for the first few weeks (or even months) you make scratchy and squeaking noises while you play. 

Things to remember when starting the violin

It’s all about position 

Before you even start playing, you’ll have to learn the correct positioning for the violin. You’ll need to stand up straight in a neutral position and hold the violin in your left hand side. You’ll need to position the violin on your shoulder and parallel to the floor. Your bow should be held neutrally (not too tight or too loose). Even while you’re playing, you’ll need to make sure you are holding the right posture in order to make sure you produce the best sound possible. 

Find the right violin for your size 

When it comes to violins, it’s not one size fits all. There are many different sizes of violins, so it’s important to find one that’s most comfortable for you 

You’ll need a lot of equipment 

In addition to the violin, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment including a case to store your violin and to transport when you are travelling. An absolute essential for playing the violin is rosin which you’ll need to apply regularly to your bow to make sure that it grips the string correctly. You’ll also need a shoulder rest such as a kun or a sponge which will help you to hold the violin correctly. Other essentials include a violin tuner (you’ll need to tune your violin each time before playing), a mute, an extra set of strings, and a metronome. You’ll also want to discuss with your teacher what technical books and music books you’ll need. If you’re following a certain methodology such as the ‘Suzuki Method’ you’ll have certain books to buy depending on your level. 

Learn violin with teacher 

Unlike some other musical instruments, the violin is certainly not an instrument that can be learned on your own or through simply watching videos on youtube. The violin is a highly technical instrument that requires a great deal of skill in order to play correctly. A teacher is essential in learning the right positioning, the right techniques, hand movements and musical theory. Without a teacher you risk developing faulty technique and habits which are very hard to undo. 

It’s important to find the right teacher when playing the violin. With the right teacher, you’ll learn the correct technique and be able to advance your practice in a shorter amount of time than if you’re learning on your own. It’s important to do your research in order to find the most suitable teacher and not just start with the first teacher who you find that’s available. A good violin teacher should have many years experience playing the instrument, and depending on your level, should also have some experience in teaching. Before committing to lessons with a violin teacher, here are some important questions you may want to ask: 

  • What qualifications do you have? 
  • How long have you played the violin? 
  • Do you have any experience teaching the violin? At what level? 
  • What age group are you willing to work with? 
  • How often would you recommend having lessons? 
  • What is your hourly rate? 
  • How often would you recommend practicing? 
  • What material will I need for lessons? 
  • What music books do I need? 
  • How will you evaluate my progress? 
  • How do you plan your lessons? 

Where can I find a violin teacher? 

 It’s a good idea to get an average idea of the prices of violin lessons in Canada and in your local area. 

There are a number of places where you’ll be able to learn the violin in Canada as either a complete beginner or advanced player. You may wish to attend 

Here are a number of ideas where you may find private violin teachers: 

  • music schools
  • music sections of college or university programs
  • music stores 
  • friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances 
  • yellow pages or local directory 

Finding a violin teacher on Superprof

One of the most convenient ways to find a tutor in your local area in Canada is to use the Superprof platform. On Superprof, you’ll be able to search through a series of profiles for violin teachers in your area. Each profile highlights the tutor’s rate charged per hour, the location where they will hold their lessons, their teaching methodology, experience and a mini resumé. It’s never been easier to find a teacher based on your own needs and lifestyle! 

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