The violin is well-known for being a beautiful musical instrument, and one that is so often associated with class.
Predominantly linked to classical music, the style of music that is usually played by violinists is more often than not traditional and classical, but that isn't to say that violinists can't pick up a new trick or two and manipulate the sound of their string instrument to sound more modern.
Would you love to be among those who can pick up a fiddle and make beautiful music by bowing a symphony seamlessly?
If you haven't had any kind of musical tuition before, then you may be on the lookout for a teacher in your area who can help you to learn violin. Alternatively, if you have already received violin training at any point in your life, then you may simply wish to find a violin tutor or instructor who can help you to improve and develop your style.
Here, we will take a look at some of the best places to learn the violin across the major UK cities. But first, let's learn a little bit more about the violin and its accessories.
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What You'll Need To Play Violin
Even as a beginner, you will need to have your own equipment when learning to play violin.
A private tutor isn't going to have spares for you to try out during practice sessions, and even if they did happen to have one or two lying about then they wouldn't necessarily suit you. This is because you need to find an instrument that is comfortable for you to hold, bearing in my mind that everybody has different length arms and will feel at ease holding their wooden fiddle in slightly different positions. Being left or right handed will also come into play.
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When you learn to play the violin, it's easy to be fooled into thinking all you need is yourself and your instrument. However, every violinist needs, as well as their trusty instrument:
-a good bow
- a carry case
-a rosin (bow hair needs friction in order to make sound so the sticky rosin is applied to trigger these vibrations and then leaves a residue that must be cleaned off)
-a music stand
-pencils and erasers (for note-taking)
-a metronome (a device that helps you stay in time)
-good lighting (in which to read music and practice playing in)
To purchase a violin, you'll be looking at spending anywhere between £100 to £500, depending on the type, quality, and where you go to buy it. You can also opt to rent a violin if you aren't ready to commit to buying one, which can cost upwards of £10 per month. If you work that out on a yearly basis, you'll be paying at least £120 a year so have a think about it if it's worth renting one or taking the plunge.
Now that you know and what items you will need to start learning the violin, let's focus on how you can learn to play the instrument.
Find a teacher who can teach you the basics at your pace and help you to improve over the course of your study programme. There are many different methods of learning the violin: at school, group lessons, or at home with a private tutor.
Remember that are more ways you can learn, like by teaching yourself with ear training or using video tutorials online, but below we will place emphasis on the most effective method for fast learning and quick results, by finding tutors and courses in your area. For each location, we will suggest one option that you might like to consider during your search for tuition.
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Violin Lessons London
Endorsed by big names like The Guardian, The Evening Standard, BBC and The Daily Telegraph, Arts Academy is a part of the Arts Group Ltd and offers young pupils the opportunity to be taught string instruments like the cello, double bass and the violin. They teach students of 4 years old and older, and you can scroll through their extensive list of teachers plus their bios on the websites.
With a free session offered if you sign up, the company has a proven method of teaching kids to keep them interested.
"Our unique method focuses on separating you child’s MusicHour™ into diverse activities so there is no time for boredom, always keeping things moving, and never, ever do one task for more than 15 minutes:
- 5 mins of Meet & Greet
- 15 mins of revising the previous weeks piece
- 15 mins of FunTime™ (using flash cards/playing music games)
- 15 mins of starting the forthcoming weeks piece
- 10 mins of FunTime™ (using flash cards/playing music games)
[...] The system has been organically developed by Creative Director, Robert Emery over ten years of teaching. He discovered his pupils found traditional methods of learning restrictive and ineffective, leading to the creation of the Arts Academy method."
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Violin Lessons Leeds
Leeds Violin School
Leeds Violin School is a centre of excellence for violin teaching and offers group or one to one lessons for children and adults alike.
"Learning to play the violin is satisfying, challenging and fun, whatever your age. Leeds Violin School welcomes students of all ages, from as young as 3 years old to long-retired adults. Whether you are a parent interested in lessons for your child, or an adult wanting to refresh a childhood passion or start a new hobby, Leeds Violin School will help you achieve your goal - and it is never too late to start!
One-to-one tuition is the key to effective learning. Leeds Violin School prepares a programme tailored to each student's individual needs, abilities and preferences. It can be as slow or as fast as the student chooses, and the teachers at Leeds Violin School ensure that the full potential of each student is explored.
Group learning in addition to individual lessons is extremely beneficial as well as being enjoyable to share music-making with others. In addition to providing individual violin lessons on a one-to-one basis, Leeds Violin School encourages students to join either its Junior Violin Group or the Leeds Folk Fiddle Group for adult learners. Leeds Violin School also collaborates with local orchestras and is happy to assist in finding a suitable orchestra for anyone wishing to play classical music with others in addition to individual lessons."
You can find more about Leeds violin lessons by clicking here.
Violin Lessons Birmingham
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire offers a strings department which can support students throughout their journey to musical professionalism.
"As a student in the Strings Department at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire you will be part of a dynamic and exceptionally supportive student and staff fraternity. Strings Staff include and internationally renowned performers and pedagogues.
We foster creativity and individuality through our bold and varied performance programme offering a wide-ranging agenda of solo, chamber music and orchestral performance opportunities, many internal and external recital possibilities and frequent from international artists and visiting tutors.
We devote much attention to Pedagogy and the importance of adequately preparing our students for this essential and fascinating facet of the music profession. Above anything else – we care about the future of every one of our students and are utterly committed to helping them realise their dreams.
Tutorial Staff within the department include seasoned soloists, chamber and orchestral musicians, pedagogues and educators at the forefront of Conservatoire training.
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Learn from world-leading artists who will help you nurture your talent
Our students have the opportunity to work with visiting artists such as:
- Heath (Ensemble in Residence)
- Schubert Ensemble (Ensemble-in- Residence)
- Alexander Baillie
- Jo Cole
- Natalie Clein
- Ben Davies
- James Ehnes
- Margaret Faultless
- Pavel Fischer
- Rebecca Gilliver
- Richard Harwood
- Alina Ibragimova
- Nobuko Imai
- Robin Ireland
- Jennifer Koh
- Tasmin Little
- Julian Lloyd Webber
- Thomas Riebl
- Hannah Roberts
- Karen Stephenson
- Nathaniel Vallois
- Eduardo Vassallo
- Tamsin Waley-Cohen
- Raphael Wallfisch
- Esther Yoo
- Henning Kraggerud
- Berent Korfker
- Jennifer Pike
- Martin Outram
- Simon Rowland-Jones
- Roger Benedict
- Rudi De Groote
- Giuseppe Ettore
- Milos Karadaglic
Students are also offered the opportunity to audition for placements with leading professional orchestras, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Welsh National Opera, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO)."
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Violin Lessons Manchester
Royal Northern College Of Music, School Of Strings
RNCM's School of Strings provides an inspiring environment in which to pursue your violin training to the highest level, offering study in the following areas: violin, viola, cello, double bass, classical guitar and harp.
"The School has an open class policy and you will be encouraged to attend as many classes as possible given by tutors other than your own.
Throughout your degree you will receive:
- Weekly Principal Study lessons
- Opportunities to take part in masterclasses given by visiting tutors
- Regular Performance Classes
- Opportunities to be involved in chamber music sessions on core repertoire such as Brahms Sextets
- Regular workshops and clinics on ‘How to Practise’
- Your instrumental lessons are complemented by various extra classes throughout the year which have been designed to enrich your learning as a solo player or ensemble musician such as Speciality Classes, Strings Recitals or Orchestral Excerpt classes.
You will receive a broad range of solo, chamber and orchestral performance opportunities through Recital Classes and Professional Experience Schemes with our unrivalled range of professional orchestral partners as part of The Platform.
There are twice-yearly compulsory auditions (behind screens) for RNCM orchestras and ensembles, which include the RNCM Symphony, String, Chamber, Concert and Session Orchestras. In addition, there are a number of internal competitions and opportunities to play in RNCM festivals and masterclasses, including the annual Strings Festival.
The School has a strong tradition of chamber music; leading chamber ensembles such as the Brodsky, Navarra and Sorrel Quartets were formed at the RNCM. You will be given numerous opportunities to be involved with chamber music with both staff and students, and you will be able to establish your own student ensemble through the College’s Chamber Music department. You will quickly develop and refine interpretative, collaborative and rehearsal skills under expert direction provided by RNCM tutors."
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There are, of course, many more places to learn violin in Manchester.
Violin Lessons Glasgow
Singing Fiddles is a company offering fiddle and violin lessons to mainly children (but adults too) in the Glasgow area.
"Conveniently based in central GLASGOW, near Buchanan bus station, Queen Street station and with good local parking, we can provide lessons and individual tuition that suits you day or evening and can help you develop your voice or playing skills at your own pace.
Fun and affordable singing and violin lessons in Glasgow. Aspiring musicians come to us from across Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire, Paisley, Giffnock, Newton Mearns, Bishopbriggs, East Kilbride and more.
Explore our website for more information and fees. Contact us to arrange a relaxed, fun and friendly, no-obligation, £12 trial half-hour, one-to-one lesson. We can provide lessons and individual tuition that suits you day or evening and can help you develop your voice or playing skills at your own pace.
So whether you want to learn to sing, get violin tuition, pass your Grade exams, rehearse for a performance, audition for an on-stage role or just learn singing or violin for fun, we can help."
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Violin Lessons Belfast
While it can take time finding the right tutor for you, there are several benefits to having a good violin teacher. For example:
- A good teacher can help build your confidence when playing the instrument;
- You can be encouraged to play more challenging pieces, whether they’re classical, jazz, or pop; or
- You might increase your proficiency in the instrument quicker.
When it comes to learning the violin in Belfast, there are lots of options available to you, whether you’ve never picked up a violin in your life or you’re already a grade 8.
For more advanced players, such as those looking for a potential career as a musician, you could consider formal music education in the way of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in music.
Queen’s University Belfast, for instance, offers various undergraduate degrees in music, including music performance and music and sound design.
However, if you don’t have three years to commit to a full-time degree, or you’re not sufficiently skilled at the violin to play it at a university level, then there are other options for violin tuition.
The Ulster College of Music, for example, offers both group violin lessons (which are taught with the Suzuki method) as well as individual tuition if group lessons don’t appeal to you.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to commit to weekly lessons, then you might find that a one-off course at The Crescent suits. Courses such as “An Introduction To Playing The Violin” and “Rediscover The Violin” might appeal to anyone with little to no experience of playing the violin, or anyone looking to return to the instrument after a break.
Equally, you might find a great violin tutor via an online tutoring website, such as Superprof. Superprof has a database full of tutors experienced across various musical instruments, from the violin to the piano and guitar, so why not search for a violin tutor near you in Belfast?
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Choosing A Violin
It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to violin lessons, a lot of the time you might be asked to bring your own violin along to classes. If you don’t have your own violin, then there are typically two options open to you. Either you buy a violin, or you can see whether you can rent one.
There are lots of factors to take into consideration when choosing a violin. For example, violins come in lots of different sizes, from a 1/16 right through to a 4/4 violin (with a 4/4 being a full-size violin). There are also different makes of violin, from Hidersine to Stentor and more. Equally, you’ll have to choose between a traditional, acoustic violin and an electric violin.
If you’re unsure of what type of violin would be best for you based on budget, ability level, and size, then try and speak to a knowledgeable member of staff at a music shop to find out more about which violin might work for you.
Equally, if you’re not sure whether to buy a violin, perhaps because of cost, or if you’re not sure if you are likely to play the violin in the long-term, then renting a violin might be an option. Some music shops, such as Matchetts Music, offer a rental service for certain violin sizes.
Violin Lessons Edinburgh
Whether you’re young or old, a novice or experienced violinist, Edinburgh has something for you.
If you’re looking for formal music qualifications in violin, for example, you might consider studying for a degree such as the BMus Music course offered by the University of Edinburgh, or the BMus (Hons) in Music from Edinburgh Napier University.
Alternatively, if you’d still like to gain some qualifications, but aren’t looking for a degree in music, composition, or musical performance, then taking the ABRSM exams is another option. For the violin, there are different grades of exams, from the initial exam to grade 1, through to grade 8.
There are many music schools in Edinburgh that are happy to help train and prepare you for exams, but equally, if you’d rather play for fun, there are tutors out there that are happy to support you.
With so much diversity of music tuition on offer, the below are just some institutions you might consider for violin lessons in Edinburgh.
For lessons geared specifically towards younger learners, you might consider:
- Stringbabies; or
- Portobello Music School.
A Stringbabies violin tutor based in Edinburgh is Sheena Ferguson, who can teach absolute beginners as well as more advanced pupils (with experience teaching up to grade 6 standard).
Portobello Music School is also there to help introduce and teach children music from a young age, from classes available for babies up to teenagers.
You don’t have to be a child or young adult to learn the violin, as many schools offer violin lessons to adult learners as well.
Edinburgh Music School, for instance, teaches children and adults and recommends 45-minute lessons for adults who are beginners when it comes to the violin. However, if you’re an adult learner who would like to improve their ability on the violin quickly, the music school does suggest hour-long lessons.
Alternatively, you could research the Morningside School Of Music, which teaches adults, whether you’re interested in jazz, classical, Scottish folk, or pop music. Violin lessons at the Morningside School Of Music tend to last for either 30 minutes or 60 minutes.
Is There A “Typical” Violin Lesson?
As you can see above, there are plenty of music schools and tutors in Edinburgh that offer violin lessons. As a result, there is likely to be some degree of difference between the violin lessons you’ll have at one school compared to another. Differences could be down to factors such as:
- Whether you’d like to learn for fun, or you’re studying for exams;
- Whether you’ve never played the violin or a string instrument before or you’re a highly skilled musician;
- What style of music you’re playing; and
- How long your lessons are and how experienced your tutor is.
As a result, when looking for a violin teacher try to find an educator who you think might be a good match based on factors such as experience, lesson length, cost, and quality.
Violin Lessons Cardiff
If you’re looking to learn the violin in Cardiff, then you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to tutors, regardless of your ability level and age.
In fact, you should be able to find a tutor, even if you’re an absolute beginner wanting to learn the basics of how to play the violin and read sheet music, or if you’re an experienced violin player looking to improve aspects of your performance as well as your technical skills.
Experienced Violin Players
If you’re an advanced violin player, you may well be looking at taking a formal qualification of some kind in music.
If you’re considering a degree in music, then one establishment to consider is the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which offers a bachelor’s programme as well as various postgraduate programmes in topics such as orchestral performance and music performance.
The College has a fantastic reputation and gives students the opportunity to have training in areas such as chamber music and orchestral training.
Another benefit of studying at the college is the instrumental borrowing that’s on offer. According to the College’s website:
“We have a growing number of instruments and bows which we lend out to students as well as a visiting Luthier who can take care of repairs, rehairs etc.”
Beginner and Intermediate Violin Players
Although many people may aspire to become an advanced violin player, you have to put the practice and hours in to get to that level!
So, if you’re just starting out on your violin journey, one of the best things you can do is find a violin teacher who can help you become a better player, whether that’s through the Suzuki method or the traditional method.
However, one factor that might influence which music tutor you turn to is your age. While you can start learning a musical instrument at any age, some tutors are more focussed on teaching young children, while other music schools and tutors have more adult-focussed lessons.
For example, there are Stringbabies tutors in Cardiff who teach the violin. These teachers tend to focus on helping children from as young as three – perfect if you’re looking for music lessons for your child, but not as helpful if you’re looking for violin lessons as an adult.
Thankfully, there are other options for adult violin learners. For instance, there is Staccatos Violin Tuition, which offers classes for adults as well as children and accepts students of all ability levels, from beginner to intermediate and advanced.
Of course, if you do find yourself struggling to find a violin tutor in Cardiff, remember that there are tutoring websites such as Superprof that offer a range of violin tutors in your local area who can hopefully help you become a better violin player!
Find A Private Tutor With Superprof
One of the best ways to find an experienced violin tutor is to consult Superprof, a leading platform for tutors and students to connect and form working partnerships. With the use of Superprof's user-friendly website, you can instantly locate tutors offering musical services in your area, as well as those who are able to offer online tuition.
Be sure to read about your prospective tutor and take advantage of the one free lesson policy so that you can get a feel for their teaching methods and work out if you think you will get along in a professional student-teacher manner.
Remember, the cost does not always reflect the person's experience and qualifications (the cheapest tutors are not necessarily the least successful at teaching learners and the pricier ones are not always the top teachers) but, that said, you do get what you pay for so don't be reluctant to pay for a good tutor and then complain that you haven't learned what you had wanted to!
It is important to have a good relationship with your tutor so that you look forward to your lessons with positivity instead of dreading each time you come into contact.
If you choose a tutor who does not live nearby, the chances are that they will set you work by sending you demonstrations and tutorials, and will also schedule some virtual face to face catch ups via Skype or video call to ensure that you benefit from real-time interaction and instant feedback as well as reading and playing music alone.
The platform that connects tutors and students