Beautiful, elegant, classical, and sparkling- are all adjectives that we can associate with the violin, but to become a player capable of evoking these feelings from the instrument is not an easy task!
Learning violin is a hugely rewarding activity and one that will give you quite a unique skill. While many people choose to have piano lessons, guitar lessons, voice lessons and drum lessons, not as many opt for flute lessons, cello lessons, bass lessons or violin lessons.
This is partly because the musical instruments aren't as easily accessible in government schools so pupils aren't exposed to things like the violin from an early age, but it is also because of how tricky it can be to grasp, not to mention the fact they aren't as commercially seen in popular music.
In any case, persuing any of these arts will be beneficial and you'll be surprised at how the skills we learn performing arts can be useful in our lives!
Although violin can be one of the more challenging instruments to take on, it can also be one of the most beneficial and fun. Violin utilises both sides of the brain's hemispheres, each holding different responsibilities. Learning to read sheet music and playing the violin contain different qualities and benefits for a developing child such as improved memory and attention span, better mental function and aids with sensory development.
The key, as always, is to practice, practice and practice some more. If you really want to become a proficient violin player, it will happen, maybe one day you'll find yourself in a full orchestra!
Luckily in the city of Perth, you have a few options to get started learning the violin!
Violin Lessons at a Music School
The most accessible way to start learning a musical instrument in Perth is through a music school or music academy. These are private businesses who hire professional teaches and provide group or individual classes to children and adults, and they can even sometimes provide the instrument!
Let's take a look at some of Perth's most notable music schools.
Perth Music Academy. Located in Willeton, this school currently specialises in private lessons for piano and violin. Tutoring is done one on one, once a week. At this school you actually pay a package of a full school term, which is usually a duration of 10 weeks. The fees are high, but the quality of teaching is also at a top level, so tuition costs $891 for one hour classes over the full school term.
West Coast Music have multiple locations around Perth. They emphasize pacing and programing their individual courses based on the needs of the learner. Like the previously mentioned school, they offer training courses on a school term basis, so it's ideal for children. They offer 10 x 30 minute private lessons for a tuition fee of $420.
Forte School of Music Success. An impressive name, do they live up to it? With several tutoring locations around Perth, the company has built quite a reputation in the city. They offer lessons for several instruments including the violin. Unfortunately the website does not display a tuition fee for their violin lessons, but they do offer lessons for both a group setting or individual lessons.
What are the benefits of taking lessons at a music school?
Learning an instrument in a music school has several advantages. Music schools are great fun if you want to meet other people learning the same instrument, or if you're interested in group classes. You can also be assured that your teachers will be well qualified to teach you the violin.
Choosing a school, you may want to consider things like location, reviews, equiptment and of course the cost. The cost of lessons at a music school are generally higher than if you find a tutor yourself. At least for a one-on-one lesson this will be certainly be the case because the school will take a percentage of the cost of the course away from the teacher. However, you can choose group classes which will be more cost effective and fun, but possibly less beneficial for your learning as you won't have the same kind of attention from your teacher.
Violin Lessons at a Public Primary School or High School
One of the unique and highly regarded programs for children in public schools in Western Australia is the instrumental music program which is run in schools through Instrumental Music School Services.
The teaching standard is extremely high. As well as having a passion for music, instrumental teachers are qualified musicians and registered teachers. They work with more than 400 primary and secondary schools across Western Australia, teaching students from Years 3 to 12.
Instruments generally offered in primary school include brass (trumpet, trombone and baritone), classical guitar, cello, clarinet, double bass, flute, violin and viola. The student will of course also learn how to read music. Students can continue the program in secondary schools.
Private Violin Lessons
One of the most recommended ways to get started on an instrument is learning with a private tutor. If you already have a violin, a tutor can come to your house, very practical if you don't have much time! Alternatively, you can of course go to a private tutor's home to practice, maybe even with their violin, which is perfect if you don't have a violin yet.
To find a private tutor you have a few options.
Find a tutor online
Online tutoring is extremely simple these days. Many websites have violin teachers offering their services but you needn't look further than Superprof. Superprof connects students and teachers all across the world and learning the violin is no different. Look here to find a violin teacher on Superprof in Perth.
From a quick search we can look at a profile of two interesting tutors.
- First we have Hannah from Innaloo. She has been a face to face and online violin tutor for around 6 years, mainly mentoring children and adults for playing violin from a beginners level. Her students are aged from 6 years old to adult. She has been playing the violin since she was 5 years old. She mainly uses the Suzuki theory in her teachings though she can teach various techniques. Hannah charges $50 per hour.
- Next we have Daniel from Perth. He is a violinist and educator, who has been playing the violin for 20 years. His experiences include performing with orchestras, bands and ensembles in Melbourne and Hong Kong/China. He also has several qualifications in music, including ABRSM - Grade 8 Certification, Trinity College London - Associateship Diploma, Bachelor of Music from Monash University (Jazz & Popular Studies) and RMIT University - Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education. With all of his experience and qualifications, naturally, Daniel's lessons come a costlier price due to his profile, at $75 per hour.
Find a tutor offline
Perhaps a bit rarer these days, but it is of course still possible to find yourself a private tutor offline. Have a look at local music shops, musicians may post their number or email on shop windows, looking for a student. Or, go inside a store and ask someone working there if they know anyone giving private lessons. The people who work in music stores are usually well connected to the local music scene in the community and they could have some tips for you.
Learn How To Play the Violin Online
Learning how to play the violin online is also a possibility. Though that will require you to own the instrument yourself of course.
Many online videos go through the basics of how to play the violin and review many techniques and methods to improve quickly on your strokes.
Websites such as Udemy offer training courses on just about any topic you can think of, including violin lessons. They offer several resources including,
- 12 hours on-demand video
- 2 articles
- 6 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of completion
Some tutors also offer remote lessons through Skype or Zoom, which can be an option if you're living far from major cities or town or if you can't commute at all.
While it will probably take you a bit longer to progress using remote lessons, it is entirely possible and will just require you to have your phone or camera pointed at your violin while you play for the tutor to be able to correct you as you go. Just make sure you have a decent microphone to use for your lessons so your tutor can hear you properly.
Tips On Beginning Violin
One of the most complicated things about learning how to play the violin or viola is actually holding the fiddle! See below some tips on how to hold the violin, along with the bow, and how you should be music making by making bow strokes.
If you want to perfect the correct violin positioning, you should hold the violin horizontally and angled slightly to the left of a straightforward position. The base of the instrument should be parallel with the floor below you. The wooden instrument will sit on or around your left collarbone and the left side of your jaw will rest on the chin rest. You can use shoulder rests or alternatives (like sponges) if you find this more comfortable.
Violin placement is just the first step. If you want better advice than we can provide, find a tutor!
Find a Tutor on Superprof
Superprof is a hub of professionals looking to pass on their knowledge and experience onto students. One of the best things about it is that you can see reviews left by other students about a violin teacher and find the perfect match for your needs and expectations.
You can also search for violin teachers in Perth, see if some tutors are willing to come to your home or maybe join a group lesson schedule near where you live.
Keep practising what you are taught during your violin lessons and you will master the bow in no time, getting ready for your first violin solo performance in an orchestra before you know it!