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Some Different Methods for Learning the Violin

There are many ways to go about learning to play the violin, but the best piece of advice for beginners is to obtain the services of an experienced teacher. Patience is another superb virtue for violin students, as learning this instrument can be a long journey.


Suzuki method and Traditional violin lessons

Two different methods divide the violin-learning landscape: Suzuki Method and Traditional violin lessons. Both styles can lead students to be successful violin players, but the two opposing camps have been known to behave as if their respective methods were the best way to go about learning. The Suzuki Method for violin is a great way for new students to get a handle on the instrument, though even some of those who practice this teaching technique will often admit that it has flaws of its own. Traditional learning techniques have been around a lot longer than those of the Suzuki Method, and are often employed upon students young and old.

Suzuki method relies upon sound

There has been some level of fear surrounding the Suzuki Method – for example, many parents worry that children who learn this way won’t be able to read music. This learning method teaches students to pick up music by ear before beginning to make sense of sheet music. However, students do in fact, eventually learn to read it.

By relying upon sound alone, Suzuki students are able to put greater focus on intonation, technique, posture and tone. Children especially do well with these learning techniques, and are often able to pick up musical pieces incredibly fast after hearing them. Learning by pitch teaches students to pay attention to the details of the music.

Traditional violin lessons teach notes first

Before the Suzuki Method was established, students learned note-reading as they learn beginning violin technique.

In actuality, the tradition includes multiple teaching styles, which are united by the fact that note-reading is taught to beginners. Being exposed to sheet music early on often makes for incredible sight-readers, but this capability can come between a violinist and his technique. To combat this problem, beginners are often made to memorize pieces in order to work on their technique as they play.


The best method to learn violin often depends upon the student’s unique talents and goals. Both Suzuki and Traditional styles have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to the student, parent, and teacher to recognize the best path forward.


photo credit: doc(q)man via photopin cc

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