7 Tips for Finding the Right Violin Teacher
Choosing to learn the violin is an exciting new venture that includes lifelong benefits. However, the violin teacher and type of curriculum you select has a very big influence on whether or not you’ll make the progress you anticipate. Learning to play can be a challenge, and beginner violin students need constant encouragement. To be successful, you must stay enthusiastic about training. In addition to verbal praise and support, you need to see regular improvement. And although a large part of that involves choosing the right beginner instrument, finding the right violin teacher also plays an important role in furthering that goal.
The choice of a violin teacher shouldn’t be taken lightly. Parents and students should evaluate music instructors according to some specific criteria to ensure a good fit. Since everyone has their own unique learning style, the teacher you select should be a good match for the student’s personality and for the way they learn. The instructor should also mesh well with the student’s goals. For example, are you an older student who is looking for supplemental guidance for an online course? Or, is the student very young, and needs teaching that is tailored to his or her age? These seven tips and suggestions can help you navigate the process and discover a violin teacher who will make music training a joyful, exciting experience that will facilitate your progress.
Outline your personal goals. This will help beginner violin or intermediate students recognize the type of instruction required. For example, are you searching for an instructor to enhance your training over the summer months? Or, are you interested in giving your child a good foundation before he or she enrolls in a school program? Maybe you’re an adult learner and would like to pick up where you left off years ago. By outlining your personal goals, you’ll be better able to identify an instructor who will be able to meet them.
Evaluate teaching credentials and performance history. Music instructors should at least hold a bachelor degree in music pedagogy, but additional teaching awards and accolades are also good indicators. Their performance history is essential, especially if you are searching for a violin teacher to help you master an upcoming recital or audition. Instructors who have professional experience are able to offer personal insights and guidance that is extremely beneficial, and they are able to offer inspiring musical abilities.
Find possible instructors in your area. There are many online sites and music teacher associations dedicated to finding a violin teacher in your location. The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) offers an immense directory of instructors who meet their criteria, and offer private studio instruction. Likewise, the Music Teachers Directory makes it easy to search local violin teachers who offer private or online instructional courses. Both of these options are a great place to start.
Reach out through your community. Another great way to search and find a violin teacher who meets your needs is to contact local instrument dealers and educators at local schools. Many qualified instructors are not part of large organizations, but you can discover them by talking to people who are involved in the music community. Definitely ask around at your local violin shop, or even at your church. You can also contact public schools and speak with their music staff. Some of these people offer individual lessons, but don’t advertise their service.
Talk to other parents and students. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few possible choices, one of the best ways to determine on a violin teacher is to speak with parents and current (or former) students. Ask the instructor for a few references, he or she will be happy to give them. By learning how successful previous students have been, you can gain a good impression of how successful you’ll be with that teacher.
Ask specific questions about the learning style. When you are interviewing prospective violin teachers and their students, be sure to ask about the learning style. This will help you ascertain whether or not the instructor will be a good fit. For example, does the teacher use the Suzuki Method, or utilize a combination of learning techniques?
Ask about observing a teaching session, or having a “trial” class. Many private instructors offer very flexible terms concerning beginner violin students and are happy to provide an experimental session. This is important for ensuring that you’ve selected a violin teacher who will accurately lay the foundation to help you make progress.
After lessons begin, make sure that you periodically examine whether or not the teacher is continuing to motivate you or your child. The key to learning violin is to maintain your enthusiasm. A great instructor will make learning a fun, inspiring activity, which will translate into success.