April 2012

Online resources for beginning violinists

April 24, 2012 19:37

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.

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