Online Violin Lessons?

September 6, 2020, 3:53 PM · I am an adult who has been teaching myself to play violin and now I would like to take actual lessons. My music experience goes back for 50 years, so I'm not an absolute newbie. I have searched exhaustively in my hometown for a violin teacher. There simply are NONE within 50 miles of me. (I have excluded the guy who plays guitar, mandolin and is willing to teach violin, I somehow don't trust that.)
My question is: How effective are online lessons? That route would not be my first option, but it may be my only option. So is it a viable option, or should I just press on with self-study.

Replies (7)

September 6, 2020, 4:34 PM · I've been doing online lessons for both my kids for a while. I have enough musical knowledge to help them so it works well. I think it would be a challenge for a young beginner if the parents didn't know music. Since you're an adult with a lot of musical background I think online lessons will work well. The plus side is you have your pick of teachers from all over the world basically, which is a big plus.
September 6, 2020, 4:50 PM · Good point. Thank you!
Edited: September 6, 2020, 5:18 PM · I don't know what it would be like starting with an online teacher from the start, but this 60 year old and her teacher was forced into an online format due to the current need for social distancing. It has worked rather better than I once thought possible.
Edited: September 6, 2020, 7:54 PM · Like Catherine, I am an adult returner who started with in-person lessons; age 64. I have been taking lessons via Skype since April and have been pleased with how well they work. My teacher sometimes makes notes in a Google doc, but he also records the lessons so that I can review them at my leisure and make my own notes in the Google doc. I'm sort of an upper intermediate player, and he's able to make all sorts of suggestions with regard to tone production, fingering problems, bowing mechanics, and so on. He emails me pdfs with his suggested fingerings and bowings. Since I tune and warm up and also check my Skype setup before the lesson starts, we miss out on the 5 or so minutes of banter as I unpack, so my lesson is a solid hour of work. I am not yet willing to return to in-person lessons, so I am very happy that this system seems to be effective for me.
September 6, 2020, 9:54 PM · Wow. Hire Kiyomi's teacher.
September 7, 2020, 8:47 AM · Kiyomi, out of curiosity, who’s your teacher? They sounded very dedicated, but so do you. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jarold - I highly recommend finding a teacher. Self-study can lead to incorrect posture (positioning) that may lead to chronic injury. Even with teachers, it’s common to find violinists with wrist, neck, elbow, or back problems from tight posture or developing poor habits.

There are a lot of good teachers, who are teaching online during COVID. My son has had good experience with some extra lessons through Virtu, but we plan to go back to in-person lessons when things settle. Especially a young student, it’s hard to beat having a teacher watch posture and technique from all angles - wiithout training, I think it would be very hard for a parent to keep them from developing bad habits.

For an adult, it’s different. You can be more conscientious about posture, and maintaining the discipline to do things right.

Also, later on, if you find the online lessons have challenges that are hard to overcome or find yourself needing access to a teacher in-person, maybe driving an hour will not seem as much of a difficulty.

Best of luck!

September 7, 2020, 9:24 AM · Jane, my teacher is Noah Baum in Princeton, NJ. He is an amazing teacher.


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