Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How Can You Tell If a VIOLIN TEACHER is Good?

English: Susanne Hou performing the Mendelssoh...
Susanne Hou performing the Mendelssohn violin concerto with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra in Vernon, BC, Canada. 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The main reason you want to find a good teacher is to get access to learning correct violin technique. Why do some violin players only perform in the local school halls while others grace national concert halls and world-renowned recording studios performing with symphony orchestras? A great deal has to do with correct technique.

Don't Be Fooled

Just because a musician puts an ad in the local paper advertising their services as a music teacher, does absolutely NOT mean that they may suitable or even appropriate as a violin teacher. Notice I didn't mention qualifications?

Once again, if a violin teacher has a BA in Music or a 4th grade "this "or 5th grade "that" may also not be a definitive indication that this violin teacher has herself been taught correct violin technique. So how do you judge?

The Best Advice Here

A virtuoso Australian jazz pianist who also was the head of music department at a prestigious art school in Australia always used to say in lectures - "It all comes down to; how well can you play your instrument" That may seem simplistic however that's where the beauty lies...

If you ever try to get a job with a symphony orchestra you'll find out that they're not that interested in the "pieces of paper" you have, but you can count on having an army of people sitting at a table watching you carefully and listening to your audition. Again, I pose the question - "How well can you play your instrument"

So, therefore a good teacher will have these:

Look for a professional performance resume

Most good violinists have delivered some notable performances at some point. These could include theater or concert, TV performances or traveling overseas to perform. Recordings or touring with artists who are publicly known is a good indicator that a musician has reached a proficient level.

Look for a professional teaching resume

Also, a good indicator is a violin teacher who has some teaching experience in a quality educational music facility. Some musician is so good that they don't make very good teachers mainly because they don't know how to break down complex musical concepts into small 'bites size pieces' for students to pick up and digest. You may find these quality education facilities as high priced private high schools or colleges.

A good idea might be to call up the school and ask who the violin teacher(s) there is. Then ask if they teach privately. Ask them about fees (also another good quality indicator - generally high prices indicate quality, but not always). Also, ask them for a professional resume or less formally in conversation "who do you perform with?" If they say an orchestra of some description, make a note and look them up. They may also say a string quartet. Again, look this up on the Internet.


Starting with a teacher that will teach you correct technique from the start is absolute GOLD! If your serious about learning an instrument, spend some time to find that teacher. Good luck in your endeavors.

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