Playing an instrument like the violin can be such a rewarding experience – whether you’ve never even picked up a musical instrument before, or you already have your grade 8, there’s always something new you can learn when it comes to music.
What’s more, one of the best ways to improve as a musician, be it in your performance or technical skill, is to take regular lessons.
If you’re a violin player looking for a new tutor or are a complete beginner looking for violin lessons, then you’ll find plenty of options to suit in Belfast.
This article outlines some places where you can find violin teachers in Belfast.
What Should I Look For In Violin Lessons?
In short, what you’ll need out of your violin lessons will really depend on several factors:
- Your ability level – a beginner’s lesson might involve playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, whereas an experienced player would be conquering much more complicated pieces;
- Your goals – whether you want to learn for pure enjoyment, or study for your grade 6 or another grade; and
- How much time you have to commit to lessons – typically, the more regular practice you put in learning the violin should lead to a quicker increase in ability.
When it comes to how often you should have violin lessons, generally tutors recommend a regular weekly practice, and typically offer violin lessons near me that run for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes, though sometimes even longer lessons are possible.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to commit to weekly lessons, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn the violin. Just reach out to a tutor that you’d like to have lessons with and explain your situation – you might find that they’re able to accommodate more infrequent classes, particularly if you’re interested in learning to play the violin just for fun.
Looking For Formal Qualifications?
If you’re an advanced violinist (for example, you are grade 8 in the violin) then you might be considering taking further music studies and gaining further qualifications.
If this is you, then it might be worth looking into taking a degree in music, either at a bachelor’s level or as a postgraduate student.
For example, you could study at Queen’s University Belfast. They have a range of degree programmes, with undergraduate music study options being:
- BMus in Music;
- BA in Music Performance;
- BA in Music and Audio Production; and
- BA in Music and Sound Design.
Looking at the BMus in Music in more detail as an example, this degree is 3 years full-time and “is designed for students who wish to develop a deep understanding of music in the broadest sense whilst honing their specialist skills to professional standards.”
When it comes to employment prospects after completing this particular course, the university website states:
“The programme prepares students for a wide range of possible career paths and graduates in Music at Queen’s have found success throughout the UK and internationally in both musical and non-musical careers including orchestral playing, opera singing, solo artist careers, performance, composition, teaching, media employment and arts administration.”
So, if you’re looking to ultimately play the violin professionally one day, taking a degree in music may help.
What If I’m Not Interested In Studying The Violin At University?
If you’re not able or interested in completing a degree in music, there are still lots of ways you can learn the violin.
For instance, you could study for the ABRSM exams, with the aim of working towards grade 8 in the violin.
Alternatively, you could just commit to becoming a better all-around player, without focussing on any examinations.
Regardless of how formally you’d like to learn the violin, there are tutors out there to help all ability levels. Some music schools that offer violin lessons in Belfast are highlighted below.
Ulster College Of Music
Suzuki violin lessons are offered in groups at the Ulster College of Music and take place on Fridays and Saturdays.
For those unfamiliar with the Suzuki method, the Ulster College of Music describes the Suzuki method as:
“[…] an internationally recognised violin method and philosophy. Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki pioneered the idea that proficiency on violin playing can be acquired in the same natural learning process that allows children to speak their own native language. Suzuki referred to it as the Mother Tongue Method.”
Alternatively, one-to-one tuition is also offered in the violin, if you’d prefer not to take group lessons.
The Crescent is a community arts centre that offers lots of different courses, including courses for violin players.
There is a range of courses on offer, including:
- An Introduction To Playing The Violin; and
- Rediscover The Violin.
“An Introduction To Playing The Violin” is a one-off two-hour long course that looks at the basics behind playing the violin, such as best posture and technique, with some music playing as well.
“Rediscover The Violin” is a course “designed for people that may not have played the violin since their youth and want to pick up where they left off.
After a recap of basic technique and posture, you will go on to play some classical favourites to finish off the afternoon.”
It is a one-off, two-hour long course, which is great if you’re not looking to take up regular lessons.
Other Private Violin Tutors
If none of the above options appeals, then you can always consider hiring a private tutor to help you learn the violin in Belfast.
There are lots of different tutoring websites available that offer to connect you with experienced tutors in your local area.
Superprof, for instance, offers tutors across all sorts of subjects, from drama to economics and music. So, if you’re looking for a violin tutor in Belfast, but have been struggling to find a good match, whether that’s due to cost, location, or the style of lessons, you might find what you’re looking for by searching through Superprof’s database of tutors.
A private tutor also has the benefit of letting you tailor your violin lessons to address your specific learning aims. So, if you have a specific piece in mind that you’d like to master, or you just want to learn more about sheet music or technique, then you can let your tutor know so that they can accommodate your aims in your lesson.
There’s also the flexibility to have lessons as often or as infrequently as you’d like – which is great if you’re not sure if you’d like to commit to weekly lessons.
You can also let your tutor know if you have a particular preference when it comes to lesson length – if you’d rather have 45-minute lessons as opposed to an hour, then just let your tutor know and they should tell you if they can accommodate you.
Do I Need My Own Violin?
Usually, you should bring a violin to a violin lesson, rather than be given a violin by the tutor to play.
If you’re looking for a new violin in Belfast, there are a few music shops you may want to check out, including Matchetts Music, Dawsons Music Belfast and Belfast Music Supplies.
At Matchetts Music, for example, there are different violins available, including:
- Stentor; and
Additionally, it’s worth thinking about what type of violin you’d like. There is the traditional acoustic violin, which is the type of violin that people most commonly think of when they picture the instrument. Typically, an acoustic violin is better for beginners to the instrument.
Alternatively, there’s the electric violin, which is typically recommended for those who are experienced violinists.
You can also choose between types of violin, from baroque or classical violins to the modern violin.
If that wasn’t enough to choose between, there are also different sizes of violins! You can find a 1/16, a 1/10, a 1/8, a 1/4, a 1/2, a 3/4, or a 4/4 size, with the 4/4 being a full-size violin. The size of the violin you choose may be dependent on your age, with younger children perhaps being drawn to the smaller size violins, and adults gravitating towards a full-size violin.
If you’re not sure which type of violin you should buy, then an assistant at a good music shop should be able to point you in the right direction.
Ultimately, it’s about finding a violin that is within your budget, is a size you want, and in the style that you’d like.
If you’re unsure about committing to buying a violin (maybe if you’re just starting out) then you could also look into the possibility of renting a violin. Matchetts Music, for example, offers a violin rental scheme, which offers rental for sizes 1/4 to 3/4.
So there’s no excuse not to try out the violin if you’ve been thinking about taking violin lessons!
Find more violin lessons in the UK: