Guide to Online Learning

August 21, 2020, 5:36 PM ·

Violin Online Learning and Teaching Guide

Looking for help with online violin lessons? Whether you are a teacher, student or parent, we have what you need: instructions on finding and maintaining an instrument, practice videos, lesson plans, ideas for motivating students, technical advice for online teaching, and even lessons on how to host a Zoom recital.

For Students and Parents

Why Extremely Cheap Violins Are Not a Good Deal
Why does a beginner needs a good-quality violin? Here are some of the reasons why parents (and administrators who buy for schools) should avoid buying ultra-cheap violins.

What Size Violin Does My Child Need?

What Size Violin Does My Child Need?
A properly-fitting violin will help ease a student's studies, making the innately awkward instrument easier to handle and hold. There are seven typical "fractional" sizes for violins, from smallest to largest: 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full-size. Here are straightforward instructions on how to measure your child or student, with a chart to determine what size instrument you need.

How to Tune Your Violin [With Video]
Here is an easy guide to tuning your violin, for parents and students who must now do this at home, without help from a teacher. It describes how to use the pegs and the fine tuners and has a PDF guide that can be printed out.

Taking Care of Your Violin [PDF]
Here are some simple instructions for young students and parents about taking care of a violin or stringed instrument.

How to Change a String on the Violin [With Video]
In this video, Laurie Niles shows you step-by-step, how to change all the strings on your violin.

How to Make Box Violin - for Beginning Students [With Video]
Before very young students play a "real" violin, they often use a cardboard "box violin" one to practice positioning. This DIY video shows how to make one, plus provides a free PDF violin cutout that kids can color for their "box violin." This also makes for a fun music-related craft activity, for any classroom of young students!

Practice Videos for Beginning Violin Students [With Video]
Here are about a dozen practice videos by Laurie Niles. They are designed for beginning violin students, to help them acquire the skills needed to play the Twinkle Variations, the first piece in Suzuki Book 1.

Daily Practice Record [PDF]
Print out a practice chart to keep track of daily practice. Teachers are welcome to send this link to students. Depending on your goals, the student or parent can attach small stickers for each day, or write in the minutes practiced.

How to Take Notes at Your Violin Lesson
Specific advice for students, teachers and parents, to help you to take effective notes at your lessons so that you can use them all week in your practice.

Learn (or Teach) Your Key Signatures in Nine Weeks
If only key signatures felt as logical on the violin as they do on the piano! Here is an explanation of the key signatures, followed by links to worksheets for students to help them memorize this, for good!

Back to School Practice Routine - Advice for Parents
How can parents help children fit practice into their routine, especially when that routine has been uprooted by online schooling? Here is some advice.

Just For Teachers

The Learning Potential Of Online Lessons
Are there actually advantages to online lessons? Claire Allen outlines the positives, like cultivating independence in the student, improving communication, learning more readings skills and more.

Online Violin Lessons

How to Upgrade Your Technical Setup for Online Violin Lessons
Here is an article with printable PDFs with simple guidelines to help with technical issues such as: Internet service bandwidth; mic recommendations; Zoom settings for violin lessons; troubleshooting for lag and sync issues; and how to set up your room and camera for best communication between teacher and student.

Advanced Technical Set-up for Online Violin Lessons
Carrie Salisbury takes a deep dive in to the logistics of online private lessons, enhancing the studio setup with things such as multiple cameras, using an iPad for PDFs and handouts, using more advanced Zoom settings, setting up an external mic, mutings for duets and more.

Group Class Ideas
How do you teach instrumental music to a group of children online? Carrie Salisbury shares lots of group class ideas.

Online Violin Lessons

Games for Levity and Community - Violin Studios in the time of Zoom
How do you keep college students involved when everything is online? Susanna Klein shares a fun idea: studio class happy hour, complete an age appropriate drink of your choice and musical games, which are described in this article.

How to Host an Online Music Recital on Zoom
An online recital is different than in-person, but it has the same goals. Here are some of the ways to create a successful recital: preparing musically with pre-recorded piano accompaniment, creating the right environment; and taking into consideration a new set of logistics for both parents and teacher.

Pandemic Recital Planning for Violin Teachers and Students
Preparing for an online or outdoor recital is different from a "normal" recital. Here are tips helping students prepare: with four printable PDF's: How to Memorize Recital Pieces, Playing with Prerecorded Piano Tracks, Preparing a Recorded Performance Video and Preparing for an Outdoor Performance.


August 22, 2020 at 03:25 PM · What an amazing resource, Laurie! And I know you have plans to continue expanding the content with blogs and guides from some of's top contributors. I'm not a teacher or a parent of a student, but I can imagine how valuable this will be as people continue to navigate this new online terrain!

August 22, 2020 at 07:49 PM · Thank you so much!

August 22, 2020 at 10:12 PM · Thank you Laurie!! Truly great resources!!

Combined with the ASTA Guidelines for Online Teaching (available on ASTA website)that provide resources for school orchestra teachers, one may feel well equipped for upcoming semester. Wishing us all the best! Dijana

August 23, 2020 at 03:08 PM · This is wonderful, thank you!

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