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.
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.
You can loan a violin, but you are better off buying one as there are so many styles to choose from. Photo on Foter.com
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.
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.”
Many companies offer lessons specifically for kids. Photo credit: nathanrussell on Foter.com / CC BY
For more information on violin lessons London, click here.
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.
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.
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).”
Check out more violin classes in Birmingham here.
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.”
One of the best ways to go professional is to attend a conservatoire. Photo credit: 92 Keys on Foter.com / CC BY
There are, of course, many more places to learn violin in Manchester.
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.”
Click here for details on learning violin in Glasgow.
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.