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Pauline Lerner

Online resources for beginning violinists

April 25, 2012 at 2:37 AM

This is a followup to Robert Lindsay’s blog on this subject (http://www.violinist.com/blog/monkymind/).

I teach beginning violin to adults and kids, and I’ve found a lot of helpful resources on the Internet. As a teacher, I’ve learned that different approaches work for different people, so I recommend trying several video tutorials online and finding which ones work for you.

For starters, I recommend the website I made for my students, Pauline Lerner’s Violin Studio at https://sites.google.com/site/paulinelernersviolinstudio/. In the page called “How To Hold the Violin and Bow,” (https://sites.google.com/site/paulinelernersviolinstudio/how-to-hold-the-violin-and-bow), I have embedded several videos made by different teachers. I recommend trying all of them and seeing what works for you. One of the videos was made by Laurie Niles as she was teaching first graders. It is helpful for adults and older kids, too.

Here are some instructional websites for beginning violinists and my highly personal reactions to them.

Todd Ehle (http://www.toddehle.com/). This site has links to all his videos on Youtube. Many people like Todd Ehle because his instructions are very detailed.

Jason Salmon (part of Expert Village) (http://youtu.be/yELUUeHTegI) I like his approach very much. His videos have subtitles, which may be helpful for people who speak English as a second language.

Pete Cooper on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuQoMvwV4w0) and his own website (http://www.petecooper.com/home.htm). I like his approach very much, too. He says that techniques for playing the violin are based on balance, not power. I also like what he wrote about practicing, (http://www.petecooper.com/musings.htm). His orientation is fiddle playing, but it is also very useful for studying classical violin.

Violinmasterclass.com has a lot of good, easy-to-follow videos for beginners and more advanced students. This website is a rich resource of lessons which focus on just one skill at a time. I recommend it highly.

For learning to read music, you can play a computer game which is fun. http://www.musictheory.net/exercises/note/bg1yyyyy

For ear training, there is another fun computer game at http://www.good-ear.com/servlet/EarTrainer

For learning rhythm, I recommend a page on my website, https://sites.google.com/site/paulinelernersviolinstudio/rhythm-notation-1

There are many more good resources online for beginning violinists. If I have omitted one that you especially like, please let me know about it. My students and I will appreciate your suggestions.


From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 5:41 AM
Thanks, Pauline! And I'll give a little plug for the Violinist.com FAQ page, which we are planning to build up a bit more in the next year. Suggestions always welcome!
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 5:59 AM
I apologize for the omission, Laurie. I especially like the part of the FAQ section about how to practice.
From Tim Maynard
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 2:09 PM
A couple of your links are wrong. The one about learning to read music links to a video on harmonics. The rhythm game also isn't working properly.
While we're on the subject however, I always recommend musictheory.net for lessons on music reading and theory. It has three sections: lessons, exercises, and tools. The exercises can be used to drill note names, intervals, chords, scales, including many ear training exercises. And it is customizable, so if you need practice reading above the staff, you can set the pitch range where you like.
From Joe Hague Jr
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM
i like your personal website.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 3:08 AM
Tim, I like musictheory.net, too. The correct URL for the music theory game is http://www.musictheory.net/exercises/note/bg1yyyyy. Please note that it is on the musictheory.net site. I don't understand why the link for my webpage on rhythm notation is not working. The URL is correct. You can access the page by going to the home page of my website, https://sites.google.com/site/paulinelernersviolinstudio/, and clicking on "Rhythm notation" on the menu.

Joe, I'm glad you like my website.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 4:49 AM
Link fixed.
From Kit Jennings
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM
I really like violinlab.com. Lots of great videos and a decent forum. A good range from beginner to intermediate information.
From Terez Mertes
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM
Nice to see you posting, Pauline, and how kind of you to compile this list!
From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM
Yes, I'm glad to hear from you, after your last blog in which you fainted at a Joshua Bell concert.

My son teaches guitar and I'm excited that some of the sites you mentioned will be useful for his students, too.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM
Laurie, thanks for fixing the link. Kit, I'll check into violinlab.com. Everyone else, thanks for welcoming me back. Just wait until ypu read what I have to say about Joshua Bell conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in an all Beethoven program in which he played the Beethoven Concerto, with his own cadenzas, as it has never been played before. That was a concert of a lifetime.
From Thomas Gregory
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
You might be interested to check out my new iPad version of Vamoosh Violin Book 1. I believe it's currently the only Violin tuition book currently available on the iPad. Great for following the music, hearing the backing with additional features like filming and sharing your performance. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vamoosh-violin-1/id516910629?mt=8
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM
Thomas, that's a great suggestion. I'd like to see it, but I don't have an iPad. Maybe one of my students does.

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