The Gold Coast, a popular tourist destination in sunny Queensland, Australia, is not only about sun and surf. It plays host to a wide range of live music and performing arts venues, including HOTA. Originally opened in 1986 as 'The Keith Hunt Community Entertainment and Arts Centre', it was rebranded as 'Home of the Arts' in 2018 with the vision to be the home of arts and culture on the Gold Coast.
Over the years, HOTA has hosted a huge number of performances, from orchestras and string quartets to solo violinists such as Lawrence Gratton. Born in the UK but based in Queensland, Gratton is lauded as the most unique violinist in Australia — a 'live looping rock violinist', he combines classic music with modern styles and dance beats.
If you are privileged to see a truly talented violinist in action, you may find yourself inspired to give it a go.
But what do you need to know — and, if you live in the sunshine state, are there even violin classes in the Gold Coast?
Let Superprof give you a rundown on the ins and outs of violin instruction.
Why Learn Violin?
The violin you know today has a long history with its oldest known ancestor, the ravanastron, dating back to 5000 BCE in Sri Lanka. Since then, there have been many stringed instruments all over the world but the modern violin has its roots firmly in Italy, with credit for the first violin given to luthier, Andrea Amati, who was originally a sought-after lute builder.
Aside from its long and fascinating history, the violin also carries an aura of romance and mystique and so, is a popular choice for learning.
As with all musical instruments, playing the violin has multiple benefits for all ages:
- Social skills and a sense of belonging
While the violin sounds beautiful as a solo instrument, often you'll find it in an orchestra or a string quartet. Playing music in a group requires commitment and teamwork. The feeling that you are contributing to something awesome when together you produce delightful music, gives many musicians great satisfaction.
- Emotional outlet and stress reduction
You can totally lose yourself when making music. How you play at any given time can be a good indicator of your mood, and playing can help you release pent-up emotions. The effects of playing music on improving psychological disorders, particularly in children, is becoming well documented.
- Physical health
Your posture and upper body strength are enhanced through playing the violin, as are your fine motor skills.
If you already find these benefits appealing, you might want to start looking for violin lessons in the Gold Coast now.
A Few Hints and Tips Before You Begin
The violin has a misguided reputation for being a difficult instrument to learn. The same could be said of all instruments when students do not have the passion or commitment required to practise on a regular basis.
While there can be any number of reasons for losing your motivation to play an instrument, here are a few words of advice to help you get started on the right note.
Get yourself organised first
Do you have a dedicated space where you can practise? Have you got a folder to keep your loose music in? Do you have the basic equipment — music stand, chair, tuner, violin case, rosin?
If you have everything set up and ready to go from the outset, your practice times will be a lot more enjoyable.
Learn how to look after your violin properly
A good violin, even a 'student' model, is not cheap. If you want it to give you many years of beautiful music, you need to know how to care for your instrument.
If you learn how to set up your violin before you start playing, and clean and pack it away correctly as soon as you've finished, this will become a routine and part of your practice and playing regime.
Find a tutor
While you may start tinkering around, teaching yourself a few notes and easy pieces via YouTube, if you're serious about progressing, you are going to need an experienced teacher or tutor.
You may join an ensemble group or community band, where you can get support from other players or the band leader. Perhaps you are still at school and decide to join an extra-curricular music group lead by the band teacher.
Or, you may decide to employ a private tutor. Checking out local music schools is a good start, or you can look online. The Superprof platform, for example, has a number of violin tutors available, many of whom offer violin classes in the Gold Coast.
Invest in resources to help you learn
In no way are we suggesting you replace a violin tutor with an app or a YouTube series, however, there are resources out there that will assist you in between lessons and help you through the tricky techniques that are holding you back or frustrating you.
Consider resources such as tuning apps, practice trackers and technique videos. Not all will be free, and the better ones may charge a fee, but they will probably be worth it in the long run.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the rate at which you improve is directly associated with the amount of time you dedicate to practising.
A good idea to get you started is to set aside a dedicated time each day, or every second day, for practising. If you make it at the same time each day, you'll be more likely to remember and not let other activities encroach on your practice time.
Violin Lessons Gold Coast — Where to Look
If you're serious about learning the violin, a good teacher is going to be key. Whether you prefer to learn one-on-one, in a small group or as part of a larger orchestra, there are many opportunities to start taking violin lessons on the Gold Coast.
Dalseno String Studio
As suggested by their name, this studio specialises in string instruments — selling as well as teaching. Lessons are private and cater for all ages and abilities. All teachers are experienced musicians with vast performance experience.
Lessons are individualised according to the needs and abilities of each student and expose students to different pedagogical methods and musical styles. Students have the option of joining different ensembles and performance opportunities are frequent.
Maestro Barry Singh's Music School
Barry Singh is a passionate and professional teacher with over 40 years of experience playing and teaching violin, viola and cello. He believes music should be a key part of everyone's life and offers lessons for all ages and abilities.
Lessons range from 30 minutes to an hour and can be taken at your home or in Barry's studio. Classes are both affordable and fun.
Inna Kogan's Music School
While not strictly in the Gold Coast, this music school has a reputation such that students are willing to travel, from the Gold Coast, on a weekly basis to attend classes. The school offers private and group lessons on a range of instruments, including piano, guitar, drums, woodwind, percussion and, of course, strings.
All teaching staff are highly qualified; at present, there are 3 violin tutors, all of whom have extensive teaching and performing experience. Inna Kogan's goal is to reduce the drop-out rate so common amongst older learners by ensuring lessons are enjoyable, engaging and purposeful.
Freelance Violin Teachers
Not all teachers of the violin work in music schools. Many teach part-time or work as fulltime freelance tutors under their own name.
While a music school may require their teaching staff to have extensive performance and teaching experience, this is not always the case with freelance tutors — although this should not put you off as many excellent teachers prefer the flexibility and freedom of not being restricted to a school-based schedule or teaching method.
Also, it is important to remember that just because a musician has years and years of playing experience, this does not mean they can engage with students effectively. More often than not, it's about whether the student and the teacher 'click'.
Here are a few places to start your search if you'd prefer a freelance violin teacher:
- Australian Music Teachers Register — music teachers for all instruments, throughout Australia.
- Stars & Catz — offer a free teacher-matching service and have listings of violin teachers by location.
- Suzuki Music Queensland — have local listings of Suzuki Method trained violin tutors.
Of course, don't forget Superprof. You can search our listings of violin tutors to find violin lessons in the Gold Coast and teachers who fit your criteria. Your first lesson is usually free and if you can't find a violin teacher near you, many of the Superprof tutors also teach online.
Violin playing is a physical art with great traditions behind it.
~ Vanessa Mae ~
Do you want to be part of the tradition?