Various Styles for Teaching Violin

April 7, 2011 at 08:10 PM ·

I am wondering what different methods of Teaching and instruction that people have either used and or learned from and what did you find worked best for you?

I am a beginner, I have been playing Violin for roughly 2 weeks now, and I Play about 3-4 hours every day with my instructor and an additional 2-3 hours of practice on my own. My first lesson was just a few simple various exercises to learn the strings, different methods to hold the bow, the amount of pressure, and how to play scale, correct fingering, Posture and how to hold the neck. We worked on this for a few hours time until I was quite comfortable with it. 

Afterwards, I was asked why I want to learn the violin, and what I want to play. We gathered the sheet music for the peaces I wanted to learn and we began working on each measure until I got it right, and whenever I lost a note I had to play scale until I found the correct Note again, and then continue repeating the measure until I was comfortable with it. He told me many teachers will spend hours on teaching a player the fundamentals to lay a proper foundation for the player but that it is his belief that you should jump right in and learn what it is you want to play so you are inspired to want to always better yourself and to develop those abilities on your own in order to improve your playing.


I was just wondering what methods your instructors used or for other teachers what methods you prefer to use in order to teach your students?

Replies (13)

April 7, 2011 at 08:24 PM ·

You started two weeks ago and you are playing 6-7 hours a day?  Sounds like you are setting yourself up for an injury.  But it does raise an interesting point.  If you play 6 hours a day, will you learn 6 times faster than if you play 1 hour a day.  My inclination is to say probably not.  The brain needs time to assimilate new things.  There comes a point of diminishing returns.  If you play just one hour a day, you can probably do it with greater concentration, and effectiveness.  Some people can probably do 3-4 hours and still be effective, beyond that, I would think it might become counterproductive.


April 7, 2011 at 10:03 PM ·

 Hours of teaching fundamentals. Also hours of practicing fundamentals.

April 7, 2011 at 10:31 PM ·

But somehow without sabbotaging interest, eh Laurie :)


April 8, 2011 at 12:40 AM ·

 Perhaps I should explain, I am not practicing 6 hours str8 all at one time, I wake up practice for a half hour or so just because I want to, I wait at the buss stop to go see my teacher I take out my violin and play, I take my lesson, usually 2-3 hours long We play for an hour break get a snack drink etc, and vice versa, And usually once My lesson is over I will head off to the park to relax and usually get bored and start playing again lol. I love to play, and do so quite often, I  even play for a short while before I hit the sack and I usually end up dreaming about playing while im asleep >_< Its just something I enjoy, and I dont do it to the extent that im in pain, If I get tired I stop *shrug when I want to play, I play.

April 8, 2011 at 02:03 AM ·

Hi, I would ring a bell here...

It's normal to take much time exploring the fundamental techniques because violin is like a receipe and one must learn all the different ingredients separately (at first) that will be mix in different combinations later on (each combination beeing a specific peice that assess specific "ingredients")  

Studies, scales and exercices as well as some beginner peices are done specifically for you to learn these ingredients in a (most hopefully) single way. 

Once all this will be solidly in place, you'll not only be able to play a few peices, but to "play violin" which means that you will be able to take a peice on your own, put the good fingerings that work for you, analyze it, analyze what are the technical challenges to overcome etc (all by your own!!!) 

But if you fail to learn the ingredients, you will maybe be of those who play "peices" but not "the violin" 

So it's important to study basic exercices and things to learn the technical fundamentals of the instrument...  

But that is just my opinion from what I saw around me.  (and my own teacher's philosophies)

April 8, 2011 at 09:43 AM ·

Good point about what Anne Marie said that  you can 'slip' into becoming one that learns to play 'pieces' but not the 'violin' that's what my first teacher was doing to me.....we were not doing any etudes (sevcik/kayser/kreutzer) just pieces pieces pieces.... I moved on and my current teacher splits all the lessons in half technique and half pieces, I have noticed a huge difference in me since I've been with him! (now almost 2 years with new teacher....)

Maybe the 6 hours a day is just because you're new to it with not much else to do (lucky you I am jealous as I cannot spare more than 3 hours a day hehehehe), still it's not the hours that will give the result but what you do with it....for example Sarah Chang never practiced longer than 4 hours a day all her life (and never all in one go but always 'split' sessions during the day), I practice 2 to 3 hours and I only need one more hour to do what Sarah did in regards to practice hours but I will never reach her playing level hahahahaha ;) not even if I do 20 hours of 'proper' practice a day hahahahaha

April 8, 2011 at 01:19 PM ·

There are as many ways to get from here to there as there as there are people in the firmament

Just go with it and learn.

April 8, 2011 at 09:52 PM ·

You are lucky to have so much time both learning and playing. Your postraised an interesting question about how much to spend with the teacher. When I first started learning the violin my teacher only taught for 15 to 30 minutes, and that was once a week. At the time I was also learning the piano and the standard lesson for it was 60 minutes give or take. I still take lessons on the violin, not the piano ad it's 60 minues. I would say a third on theory and technique, a third on a new piece and a third polishing repertoire. Its' never hard or fast though. I'm not a professional musician, so I usually practice aftre dinner and the evening news until I get too tired to concentrate. What do others do?

April 8, 2011 at 10:57 PM ·

I like the Russian tyrant method:

"For to be great, must to suffer. Zo, is good idea myake pupil cry a little bit at every lesson!" ;-)

April 8, 2011 at 11:33 PM ·

Raphael, true and always tell the good comments about a student to everyone else except to the student himself... otherwise he/she'll have a too big ego... 

and don't forget to scream/yell once in a while, break bows and throw the music sheet on the floor (because nothing frightens more a faulty student than a mad professor... : ) 


April 9, 2011 at 03:19 AM ·

Yes - and as for projectiles, let's not forget ashtrays!

April 9, 2011 at 07:38 AM ·

"Hours of teaching fundamentals. Also hours of practicing fundamentals."

Laurie, that's assuming that most of the teachers know the fundamentals!! (wink)

April 9, 2011 at 07:45 AM ·

 I like the Russian tyrant method:

"For to be great, must to suffer. Zo, is good idea myake pupil cry a little bit at every lesson!" ;-)


Raphael, that sounds like my teacher LOL LOL LOL

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