Online Lessons

October 22, 2017, 7:03 PM · I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but I couldn't find a thread asking my specific question. I don't know of any violin teachers in my area, and even so, I'm not in the position to take them at the moment. Both these will change in the future I think, but for the moment, I'm curious if anyone has any recommended online tutors or schools? I'm not a total beginner, as I've learned fiddle for years, but violin is a completely new territory. I'm just looking for something that can start me and give me a decent foundation until real life lessons are a practical idea.
Thank you

Replies (21)

October 22, 2017, 7:19 PM · How about Michael Sanchez:

Edited: October 22, 2017, 7:44 PM · There are a number of places. Are you interested in recorded courses or something more like in person Skype lessons?
Edited: October 23, 2017, 1:20 AM · If you want someone watching you playing and correcting your technique and postures, etc. like video conferencing, then maybe Michael Sanchez (as Paul suggests) and Beth Blackerby from violinlab could offer these services?

If you only want instructional videos, then youtube is the best place to go to. Personally starting to learn the violin just from youtube, I recommend these three channels:
1. violinmasterclass - the best youtube channel for studying violin in my opinion. I don't know the guy's name but he looks old and very respectable. He often demonstrates the techniques via his young students. His videos are short and very concise. (update: his name is Kurt Sassmannshaus, and he is actually a renowned violin expert - thanks to Ella Yu who helped me find his name).
2. ProfessorV (I think his full name is Todd Ehle) is great. He gives you lots of useful tips!
3. The Online Violin and Piano Tutor (Alison Sparrow). Her videos are a bit long and she explains things in painstaking details. She will be a good choice for you if your learning style is to have an instructor repeat the same points many times.

October 22, 2017, 8:41 PM · Riding on this topic, has anyone experience on online personal skype (or similar) classes? How did they work for you?
October 22, 2017, 10:02 PM · A combination of general instructional and personal videos would be great I think. I can use more than one tutor if it would be beneficial. Thanks for all recommendations so far. :)
Edited: October 22, 2017, 10:18 PM · There are resources on with a link to a violin lounge academy. The has some quick tip tutorials that aren't structured for learning, but the paid violin lounge academy has a structured video lesson curriculum and you can do video exchanges and Skype lessons with the owner Zlata Brouwer. The guy at violinmasterclass is Kurt Sassmannhous. He has a site called, which could be down. There's paid videos and skype lessons at and free video lessons on
October 22, 2017, 10:56 PM · Will, regarding the online piano and violin tutor: she is controversial. The vibrato technique that she teaches is... highly uncommon. And indeed, her videos are long, but with a rather low information density. She talks and talks without getting to the point.
Edited: October 23, 2017, 12:52 AM · Hi John
I have Skype lessons with Alex Depue and can highly recommend him. He is a realy good violinist ánd teacher (best I have ever had) He also a fiddle champion so he knows probably very good how to grow from 'fiddle' to 'violin'
Edited: October 23, 2017, 1:22 AM · @Han N. Actually I don't like her videos and I personally find them a bit boring. Her videos are quite long, in which she tends to repeat the same point over and over again. In other words, like you said, they are of low information density.

However I appreciate the fact that her channel has by far the highest number of subscribers and views, surpassing any other violin instructional channels on YouTube. This makes me think that there can be others who find her videos useful (especially beginners). It's the only reason I mentioned her.

October 23, 2017, 8:12 AM · Will, I think what happens is a kind of snowball effect whereby when you see two videos, you're more likely to click on the one that already has more "views." I personally don't lend any credibility to that, especially in an age when thousands of "views" can be purchased outright. (I'm not alleging that any specific person did that, of course.)
Edited: October 23, 2017, 3:17 PM · keep in mind that the popular above named channel is around since many many years and was probably the only channel like this for a long time. Also grabbing a Beginner Piano Audience will drive much more traffic than just on the topic of violin.
Purchasing views is also not something you want to do, if you don't want to get your channel closed. YouTube has some advanced algorythms to recognize such things and then they probably close your channel.
The thing is that clicks alone will not mean quality content on YouTube.
I have one video on the topic of vibrato that drives around 200-300 clicks per day, which is quite amazing already. But I think this topic is about as popular as you can get in the realm of violin educational videos on YouTube. It is interesting to me, that other topics like intonation and bowing are not close as popular as violin vibrato is.
As for Tutorial Channels I think that "Violinlab" is one of the most professional ones with lots of videos.
I personally also like "Nathan Cole's" videos, but they are much more specific and about advanced techniques. I am working on a concept for an beginner online course at the moment, but it is actually very hard for me to translate what I do every day into multimedia content. But I think in the end it will be helpful. But still way to go!
October 23, 2017, 11:30 AM · I recently happened on a site called Udemy. The lessons are very reasonably priced.

I wouldn't use Udemy as my only resource.Makes a nice addition to another learning system IMO. I tried one course so far. There were a few things I liked and a few questionable things.

The course I took was on adding ornaments to Irish music.There are many others.

In my lesson,the teacher was giving a lot of leeway in how you hold a violin. Saying things like, " Classical musicians hold the violin like this, however some prefer to do this" (shows alternatives). This made me a bit uneasy since I believe there is a best way to hold a violin. FWIW he did recommend holding it the classical way.

October 23, 2017, 11:57 AM · The online violin and piano tutor may have some useful tutorials too on YouTube those are free. I'd say if you have a high quality camera Webcam lessons may work. Often teachers point out things to you that will never occur to you when doing it without help. In the beginning of my violin journey my teacher kept telling me if my left thumb was sticking out pointing straight at the ceiling above the fingerboard. I never would've noticed this without guidance. So definitely get some guidance from a pro whether off or online. even if it's just once a month
Edited: October 23, 2017, 4:43 PM · @Simon Yes I forgot about violinlab (Beth Blackerby) as a great source of online tutorials as well. Sorry :-) Her videos are long and detailed, but with great information density in them.

In my experience vibrato is always something most attractive for the violin from a beginner's or outsider's perspective. Hence the number of views on your vibrato video.

I also checked out your channel, Simon Streuff Violin Education, and I honestly found your channel to be very informational as well.

About the popularity of the 'Online Piano and Violin Tutor', I think several factors are at work here:
1. She speaks clearly;
2. recording of her videos are of good resolution, light, angle and focus; she obviously invest her time on the videos.
3. free downloadable music sheets for practice, together with the online lessons;
4. lessons are in a clear order, from beginner day one to day two to day three scales and bowing etc. - all of these make beginners feel like she offers a complete package that guides them step by step from knowing nothing to playing violin without having to hire an instructor.
5. instructions on how to play some popular songs;
6. some catchy titles (such as 'how to play the violin within one hour' that sort of thing).

On top of that, she also reviews and test-plays student low-end violins (many of which $60 - $200 range) which gives the confidence to beginners and novices who aren't willing or can't afford to invest in better instruments just yet. At a time where a typical instructor would tell you to never buy anything below $500, her review videos provide some sort of consolation and assurance to beginners worldwide that they can actually start learning the violin without too much investment. (she may or may not be an independent reviewer, but I'll give her benefit of the doubt here).

But all in all, I agree with Han N that she is not the best instructor on youtube for the aforesaid reasons - The reason for her channel being most popular is that her videos are the most accessible to beginners, and she is better at marketing, designing, and structuring her videos for complete beginners than many other violin channels.

October 23, 2017, 5:09 PM · Thank you Will! You gave me there a good list to consider for my channel as well. ;)
October 23, 2017, 5:15 PM · I believe there is variation in the way one holds a violin because of physique, and a teacher must point these things out to you.
October 23, 2017, 5:53 PM · I found Joy Lee a while back and really like her videos, she will also do videos by request!
October 23, 2017, 7:27 PM · a +1 for ProfessorV channel. The videos are very focused on one single issue and this way it clears things when you are confused about something. The channel is full of videos but the structure of the classes can be followed here:
Edited: November 21, 2017, 5:31 PM · Adult learner here. My favorite YouTube channels for violin technique info:

1. professorV (Todd Ehle)

2. Violin Lab Channel (Beth Blackerby)

3. Nathan Cole

4. Red Desert Violin (Lora Staples)

5. Jennifer Clift

6. Eddy Chen

7. Violin Tutor Pro (Michael Sanchez)

8. Doree Huneven

9. Ros Stephen

10. Ray Chen - His videos are great; I just wish he made them more often... (I know, I know, he's busy being a world-renowned soloist, lol).

EDIT: And like some others in here, I have mixed feelings on Alison Sparrow (The Online Piano and Violin Tutor). On one hand, I have to commend her for the sheer amount of free content she has provided for beginner violinists. On the other hand, her videos really suffer from a lack of editing - Han N. hit the nail on the head with the "low information density" remark. Compare her videos with Ray Chen's wrist vibrato tutorial:

Chen's video has snappy editing and clear, to-the-point advice. Honestly every person on my above list could learn a thing or two from watching his videos.

On that note, Saher Galt's videos really impressed me as well:

If only he was a violin teacher!

November 21, 2017, 5:23 PM · I believe you can buy video lessons by Nathan Cole, just find his website and the company that runs that for him is linked there. You can't do much better than lessons from someone of his caliber. The service also includes him reviewing videos of your playing and providing comments and suggestions.

Also, is back up again, hurray!

November 21, 2017, 5:36 PM · Is Nathan still accepting new subscribers? I cannot choose him as instructor on ArtistWorks.

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