There are multiple reasons why learning an instrument is a worthwhile pursuit.
As a muscle that needs regular exercise, not only will your brain benefit from learning an instrument, you will also find your memory improving, your stress levels reducing and your confidence growing.
Plus — playing an instrument is fun!
Whether your goal is just to learn for enjoyment, to play in an ensemble with friends or even to perform as part of an orchestra, making music is one of the great joys in life.
The question is: What sort of instrument do I choose? Brass? Woodwind? String? Percussion?
The choices are endless but if you've made the decision to take up the violin, Canberra has many options on offer for music education, tutoring and classes.
This post will give you all the information you need about violin lessons in Canberra, including where to find a teacher and what to expect.
Where Can I Take Violin Lessons in Canberra?
Finding violin tutors or a music school is relatively easy via the internet these days — just search for violin lessons in Canberra. You can also search for music directories, such as the Australian Music Teachers Register or Music Teachers Online to find accredited and experienced violin teachers close to you.
However, if you don't want to spend hours scrolling through the listings, we've compiled a short selection of places and tutors to help you get started.
Amy's Music Studio
Based in north Canberra, Amy is a teacher of violin, viola and piano to students of all ages and levels, offering private and small group teaching.
According to her website, Amy's students learn using the 'SMART System of Teaching':
- Snap shot
- Movement, modelling and gesture
- Aural and singing
- Rythym and reading
- Technique and artistry
Intermittently throughout the year, free community-based workshops are offered, and studio concerts also feature at the end of each term for friends and family of the students to enjoy.
The fees for individual lessons start at $68 for a 45-minute lesson and are required to be paid in advance in a 10-week term block.
Bellchambers Music School
Bellchambers has been operating its music school in Canberra since 1982 and provides individual, small group and ensemble lessons for school age students of all levels in a wide range of instruments, including violin. Teaching includes both practical and theory components.
Lessons are 30 to 45 minutes on a weekday after school hours. They take place either in the Bellchambers studio, or in a range of public schools throughout Canberra. Fees start from $39 a lesson, payable at the start of the school term.
Do Re Mi Canberra Music Academy
This small family-owned company has lessons teaching strings, piano and singing. Private tutorials are available starting at $46 per half hour. Group lessons can be arranged by negotiation.
Do Re Mi lessons focus on:
- technique and theory
- playing together
They also offer exam preparation skills.
Music For Canberra
The result of a merger between Music For Everyone and Canberra Youth Music in 2015, Music For Canberra represents over 80 years of music education experience in the Australian Capital Territory.
Among a range of lesson structures, including orchestra, ensemble and private tuition, Music For Canberra has a range of teaching options for people wanting to learn violin, including:
- two orchestra programs
- four string ensemble programs
- chamber music ensemble
- private violin tuition
They also provide private and group classes for young people and adults with disability.
To enrol in one of their classes, you first need to become a member (starting at $30 per year). Private lessons are paid per term, starting at $44 per half hour lesson.
Can I Learn Violin Online?
While there is no doubt that music lessons benefit from an in-person presence, online tuition for learning instruments is becoming increasingly popular.
The greatest benefits of online tuition are not having to travel and access to a much wider range of tutors from anywhere in Australia and, indeed, the world. You just need to weigh these up with the lesser disadvantages of needing to have access to all equipment and the separation created by the screen.
If you think online tutoring will suit you, have a look at what you can access in Canberra.
Online tutoring platform, Superprof, provides tutors in all education and interest areas, including violin.
At the time of writing this post, Superprof was showing three violin tutors available in the Canberra region. Being in Canberra, you could well take up face-to-face lessons, but you can also choose to do your lessons via Zoom or other remote digital platforms.
Alternatively, you could also select from over 1000 violin tutors across Australia, many of whom are happy to conduct your lesson online.
An hour-long lesson will cost you, on average, $47 an hour.
Petah Chapman Private Studio
With 16 years of experience teaching music, Petah Chapman is well regarded for her tuition and mentoring skills. She offers live online lessons in violin and voice, starting at $30 for a 30-minute private lesson.
What Should I Look for in a Violin Tutor?
With so many tutors and tutoring companies to choose from, picking the right violin tutor for you may feel a bit overwhelming.
Before starting your tutor search, you need to know a few things about your own requirements and expectations first.
- What is your goal? What do you want to achieve out of these lessons?
- What style of music do you want to learn?
- How much can you afford to pay?
- Do you want to learn with others, or would you prefer to learn by yourself?
While it may take several lessons to know if the violin tutor you've chosen is a good fit for you, and vice versa, there are a few questions you can ask to help you narrow down the field.
- How much experience does the tutor have? (This may be teaching experience, or playing experience, or both.)
- What do they provide for you and is this inclusive in the cost, or an extra fee?
- What is their teaching style — do they follow a particular system, or is their style student-centred and flexible?
It is also important to ask about lesson length and associated fees, cancellation and makeup lesson policy, expected home practice times and whether or not they offer a free or reduced-cost trial lesson.
Doing your research about tutors and music academies is well worth the effort. Make sure you ask for testimonials and references as well.
What Can I Expect During a Violin Lesson?
The lesson style will vary between violin teachers and may be dependent on the student's needs and goals as well. Generally speaking, however, there are several common factors you can expect.
Most private music lessons will run anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. A small group session will be the same, whereas full ensembles or orchestra lessons will be longer.
As mentioned above, the content of your violin lesson will more than likely be determined by your needs and goals. If you are only learning as a hobby, the lesson is likely to consist of a higher proportion of playing time. Alternatively, if you are preparing for an exam or an audition, you are likely to spend a little more time focusing on theory and technique.
A standard lesson would usually include the following elements:
- revision of the previous lesson
- questions from the student
- introduction of a new piece of music, or a new technique
- focus on a particular section of music or technique that needs refining
- setting of homework
It would be a rare, or non-existant, tutor who would say 'Don't worry about practising.' Your violin teacher's expectation will be that you will have practised in between lessons. And honestly, if you don't practise, what is the point of lessons?
This is not to say there is no recognition that we all lead busy lives. If you discuss with your tutor how much time you can realistically devote to practice each week, they should be able to modify your lesson and their expectations around this.
If you start with a tutor and find you are not a good fit for each other — that's okay. Talk to your tutor about why it's not working for you. They might be able to fix it, but if not, they will likely offer a refund.
If you're still searching for the right violin tutor for you, and are wanting violin lessons in Canberra, remember to check out the tutor profiles on Superprof. You'll discover all the options available and the different styles of tutoring and, who knows, your perfect tutor might be right there.