Tips to Find a Good Violin Teacher
Once you’ve decided which instrument best suits your child’s personality and aptitude, only half the battle has been won.
The other challenge – choosing the best teacher – lies ahead, and the road to finding the most qualified and suitable music teacher is long and winding.
Okay, you’ve settled on the violin, one of the oldest and most lyrical instruments ever invented. Finding a patient and nurturing teacher for worthwhile violin lessons can be a daunting task.
An accomplished violin teacher does not have to be a virtuoso on the instrument, but he or she must LOVE teaching violin and passing the torch to young enthusiasts in a way that will inspire them all their lives.
A teacher must be coaxing and gentle at times, stern when needed, and a musical role model your child can look up to – all in equal measure.
To be honest, you don’t want a violin teacher who is more of a friend than an educator. Of course, violin lessons can be more enjoyable when conducted by a dynamic teacher with a dazzling personality, but choosing your child’s music teacher/mentor should not be a popularity contest. Here are some straight forward steps to finding a good violin teacher:
- Go to as many young violinist recitals and performances as you can. Talk to the youngsters – and their parents – about their training and teachers. This is important because a violinist who is a gifted virtuoso on stage is not always a great teacher, and may not have the temperament and patience to keep students interested in their violin lessons.
- Visit your local music store. They often have a bulletin board with lists of music teachers and schools that offer violin lessons. Just like searching on the internet, this method requires a good amount of screening and weeding out before the violin lessons can begin.
- Contact each violin teacher and find out all you can with a few simple questions. Does the teacher perform regularly with an established group or orchestra? This is certainly not a guarantee that they are good teachers, but it helps you make a decision. Do they have a waiting list for violin lessons? Again, this is not crucial, but a good indication of teaching skills. Don’t be afraid to ask for a trial mini-lesson to see if the teacher is a good fit for your budding violinist.
Base your decision more on gut-feeling, internet reviews and neighborhood recommendations. Violin lessons are unlike any instruction your child has experienced in school, and the teacher must be likeable and patient. Never be swayed by how long the lessons are. Just because a teacher offers ”extra-long” violin lessons, it’s rarely an indication of quality.
Yes, you can always change violin teachers later on, but it’s better to try to find the right teacher right from the start, so investing time researching the teachers right now is crucial for your child’s success.