While the violin may not seem as poppy as the piano or as cool as the bass guitar, it's a very interesting and elegant instrument that spans from classical genres and performance to jazz, electronica and more in recent years.
Taking violin lessons with a private music tutor can help students of all ages find their passion and gain experience and confidence class by class.
What will your violin lessons look like?
There are a few different factors that will affect your private tuition as a violin student, and your tutor will probably spend the first lesson asking lots of questions about you and your goals.
Let's have a look at why your lessons in Adelaide could be just what you need.
Dedicated classes just for you
One on one violin lessons with a professional music teacher with experience have so many benefits for students.
First, every student has their own individual learning goals, and private classes give tutors the time and space to concentrate on exactly what the student in front of them needs, without being distracted by others.
Your first lesson will likely start with a little performance.
Don't be scared!
Playing like this will simply allow your tutor to assess your level and experience, identify areas where you might need more practice and simply get to know your playing style.
Then they'll want to know your goals for your tuition.
What skills do you want to leave your course with?
Whether you're simply interested in learning a new skill or you're preparing for a university entrance exam, your tutor will be able to provide activities to get you there.
Another great thing about private lessons is that your tutor will get to know their student very well over time.
They'll be able to challenge you, helping to become a better violinist, and you as a student will feel more comfortable and free.
Together, you can find your unique style and voice!
A range of topics to study
The final benefit of learning in a more informal environment is that you're much more in charge of what you learn.
A school, conservatorium or university course will follow strict teaching programs, which leave little room for flexibility.
With private lessons, the sky's the limit!
These are a few of the areas you can focus on in your lessons:
Classical theory and technique:
Whether you're doing voice lessons or playing an instrument, learning a little basic theory is vital.
It allows you to build a solid foundation, and once you know the rules, you can even start breaking them!
Concepts like scales, pitch and key will all be covered in your lessons.
For beginners, tutors may also spend some time during lessons teaching students to read music.
This is an important skill for any musician, and once you have it down, you'll be able to read (and even adjust) any piece of music you like.
Many of us daydream of living out our musical dreams of playing to sold-out crowds around Australia, but the reality is that without experience performing, your first time on stage can be pretty daunting.
From little things like where to stand or sit, to more important considerations like working with a microphone, taking the time to look at these skills with teachers during lessons can help lessen the learning curve.
While many might assume that the violin can only be used to play classical music, this is far from the truth.
There's a great range of styles that feature violin, from certain styles of pop to jazz.
Every style has its own history, characteristics and techniques, and it can be fascinating to learn about them and master various styles.
Equipment for Violin Classes Adelaide
Surprisingly, there are quite a few pieces of equipment you'll need for your tuition.
Let's look at what they are, and where to get them in Adelaide, starting with the obvious; the violin itself.
There's a huge range of violins that you can buy, depending on brand, size, quality and price.
If you're a beginner, it's a good idea to contact your tutor for some advice before investing in a new violin.
You can also do some research to find out the best violins recommended for new students.
The main difference between violins for beginner vs advanced is the quality of the wood, which of course affects the sound as well as price.
There are a few well-known violin makers, suitable for any level that are stocked in the majority of music stores in South Australia, like Harrison Music or Cecere's Music in Adelaide.
Brands like Stentor and Enrico provide student violins at relatively budget prices that can still make a quality sound.
You'll also have to consider the size of your violin, which corresponds to the length of the body, not including the neck or the scroll.
They go from 1/16 (the smallest, for children) up to a 4/4 (a full-sized violin).
Most adults will require a full size.
To check if it fits, you should be able to reach the notes easily with your left hand while holding the instrument in the correct playing position.
You'll also need to buy a few extras.
A shoulder rest is very important to have, as it will help you play more comfortably and develop the correct playing posture.
Rosin, a hard resin usually made from pine, is also needed to help the bow and strings create contact and friction to make a sound.
In today's world of distance learning, it may also be important to be prepared for online lessons.
You'll of course need a steady and strong internet connection, but it could also be a good idea to invest in an external camera that you can move around, as well as an external microphone that you can bring closer as you play.
While you might prefer lessons in person, the benefit of online classes is that you can contact teachers across the country, from Vic to Tas.
Formal Violin Qualifications you can get in Adelaide
For students who are looking to pursue violin playing as more than just a hobby, there are a few different pathways you can take.
Whether you want to become a qualified instructor yourself, or get into a world-famous orchestra or conservatorium, having a formal qualification is important.
For students who don't want to spend years in formal education, but want a certificate to show all the skills and experience they have gained from their private lessons, a graded exam is a good option.
The Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) offers exams to anyone from early students to those with years playing under their belts, in guitar, piano, bass, violin and so much more.
The exams start at the preliminary level and the most advanced is a Licentiate diploma.
Each exam involves different sections related to certain pieces of music, including testing students' general knowledge about the piece, sight readings, aural tests as well as performance.
It's also possible to undertake separate exams related to music theory and musicianship.
Any music teacher will tell you that while taking one of these exams isn't compulsory if you're just taking up the violin as a hobby, they can still be very beneficial.
Firstly, they can help to set goals and have something to work towards.
Preparing for an exam during class can help you to take the lessons a little more seriously, as well as give you a confidence boost once you achieve the grade you want.
It will also give students some experience with performance, as well as getting them to consider the full historical context of different pieces.
University of Adelaide
The Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide holds the title of the oldest tertiary music school in Australia and is very distinguished throughout the country.
The university offers diploma, bachelor, honours and master's programs in a range of learning areas, from music performance to classical voice, in a variety of styles, from jazz to pop.
In any of these programs, you will generally receive private tuition in the violin and expand your knowledge and skills.
You will also work on theory, group performance, including in an orchestra, and even historical studies.
Getting a formal qualification from a formal university could open up many doors for students who are sure that they want to pursue a career in music.
A degree of the kind could lead you into jobs that vary from music researcher to session player for a studio to playing in an orchestra.