What’s involved in learning the violin?
Learning the violin is rewarding for students who can stick with their violin lessons. Many people ask "What's the best way to learn the violin?" and the answer to that question will vary depending on the student and what works best for them. The best way to learn is the way that suits you and your particular cognitive processes. When you find the right violin teacher who teaches in a way that suits you, your experience will be heightened and you will reap alot of joy and satisfaction from the violin.
Learning the violin has a few key points:
Learning the violin has a few key points:
- Reading Music: many people learn an instrument "by ear" but if you want to play challenging repertoire and be part of an ensemble or orchestra, you will need to learn how to read musical notation (ie. music written on paper). If you know how to read music, either from a general music introductory course such as our Children's Music Program, or from prior learnings on a different instrument, then you have a head start on students with no musical knowledge. The ability to read music is fundamental to learning to play the violin. We recommend joining a group Musicianship lesson as an adjunct to one-to-one violin lessons. Our Young Musicians Program offers a 60 minute introduction to Musicianship which prepares students to undertake Grade 1 AMEB Musicianship lessons.
- Learning about the Violin: a good violin teacher will spend time with a student perfecting their hold, fingering, bowing technique and posture. Only by working on these things will a student be able to practice for any length of time and progress on their instrument.
- Learning technique: there are various techniques that are specific to the violin and need to be learned and practices regularly. If you are enrolled in our Saturday Morning Strings Program, you can join a Violin/Viola Technique class which concentrates on technical skills on the instrument.
- Practice: Students at the Central Coast Conservatorium receive a Student Diary at the commencement of the year. If you haven't received yours, please ask at the front office. In the diary your violin teacher can itemise exercises and pieces they would like you to work on in between lessons. Parents can work with children to encourage them to do regular practice and record practice sessions in the diary.
- Feedback: At the Conservatorium, our one-to-one students receive a report from their violin teacher every semester. This provides valuable feedback on the student's progress and the teacher's recommendations for sitting exams or how to improve learning outcomes. If you don't receive a written report from your violin teacher, please ask them for it. You can also sit an in-house Assessment at the Conservatorium. This will give you a close approximation of what level/grade the student is playing at, and where any shortfalls might exist.
- Ensemble Work: Playing the violin in an ensemble is a sociable experience as well as extending the performance skills of the student. Your violin teacher will tell you when you are ready to join an ensemble. We have ensembles for different levels of playing. They are an inexpensive addition to your teaching load and will open up opportunities to perform in the community and make friends.
- Performance: Our curriculum has a performance focus, that is, we prepare musicians to be ready to perform in public, at auditions, in recitals and in the exam situation. Each term, the String Department hold one or two Concert Practice sessions. These enable students to hone their performance skills whilst getting valuable feedback from the violin teaching staff. As well as concert practice, the String Department holds concerts for individuals, duos and small ensembles. Our larger ensembles perform in the End of Term Premier Ensembles concerts.
- Extension: We have many opportunities for extension in our violin program. These include the Violin Technique Classes, Workshops & Masterclasses and concert attendance. Our calendar of events includes many violin concerts, many involving our violin teachers and international violinists. Students can purchase a ticket to these concerts at just $5 each. Watching and listening are great tools for extending your understanding and appreciation of music.
- Caring for your yourself and your instrument: Your violin teacher will also teach you good practices for taking care of your instrument and your body whilst playing. This includes storing the instrument, tuning and replacing strings, correct practice techniques, posture and balance. These things are critical to your enjoyment of the violin.
We seek to inspire our Central Coast community to engage in and value music as an integral part of life through comprehensive music education and artistic endeavour.