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  #1  
Old 06-19-2006, 09:35 PM
Calliah Calliah is offline
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Default Pre-beginner Violin questions

Hi everyone,

I have been considering learning to play the violin for some time now, but I've never had enough money to get started. It seems that my budget will now allow for that, so I've decided that I may begin soon. The thing is, I have a few questions, and I'm not sure where to go.

1. I would assume the answer to this question is yes, but should I turn to a teacher rather than to books and dvds?

2. I am 24 years old, but I have about a year's experience with the piano. Would it be fruitful for me to pursue this on a pure hobbiest level? How about playing semi-professionally?

3. What is the current going rate for lessons? I have found a place that does $60 US for 1 hour lessons, and I don't know whether or not thats a good deal.

4. While I absolutely love to listen to music played on the violin, I have never delved too far into the instrument itself. As such, I know absolutely nothing about buying a new one. What should I look for when I decide to buy a new (beginner's) violin?

Any other information that you all can give me would be wonderful.

Thank you,
Steve/Calliah
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2006, 03:18 AM
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AustinViolin AustinViolin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliah
Hi everyone,

I have been considering learning to play the violin for some time now, but I've never had enough money to get started. It seems that my budget will now allow for that, so I've decided that I may begin soon. The thing is, I have a few questions, and I'm not sure where to go.

1. I would assume the answer to this question is yes, but should I turn to a teacher rather than to books and dvds?

2. I am 24 years old, but I have about a year's experience with the piano. Would it be fruitful for me to pursue this on a pure hobbiest level? How about playing semi-professionally?

3. What is the current going rate for lessons? I have found a place that does $60 US for 1 hour lessons, and I don't know whether or not thats a good deal.

4. While I absolutely love to listen to music played on the violin, I have never delved too far into the instrument itself. As such, I know absolutely nothing about buying a new one. What should I look for when I decide to buy a new (beginner's) violin?

Any other information that you all can give me would be wonderful.

Thank you,
Steve/Calliah



I've been playing for a little over a year now, and I started at age 35. I had previous music experience (clarinet, bagpipes) so reading music was not a problem.

At the very beginning, I tried to learn on my own via book and dvd/cd. However, I found it tough going, so I got a teacher. I'm REALLY glad I did that, as it avoided a lot of bad habits and such. I don't think I would have progressed very well without a teacher. I don't have aspirations to become professional, I'm just a hobbyist. I play classical and celtic styles mostly. I also just got a mandolin (fingering is basically the same as violin).

$60 seems a little on the high side for 1 hour lesson, but it will probably depend a lot on where you are. I pay $40/hr here in Austin for a teacher that is in the local symphony.

I'm not an expert on violin selection, but there are a lot of beginner violins out there. You really want one that has been set-up properly by someone who knows what they are doing. So, even if you don't spend a lot on a violin make sure someone has made the effort to set it up. My friend's little sister got a cheap-o violin online and the bridge wasn't even set up properly (strings were WAAAY off the fingerboard..crazy).

I don't know how much you want to spend on an outfit (case, bow, violin). I spent around $1000, and that was really for an outfit that was well beyond a beginner, but I just loved the sound of that violin.

If you buy a beginner violin, you should ask the store what their poicy is on trade-ins, so that you can upgrade later without losing too much money (or any at all) if you decide to stick with it. You could also consider renting an instrument. You can check out places like www.sharmusic.com, www.swstrings.com, www.stringworks.com, and many others to get an idea on what pricing is like. I got the "Romanov" model from this dealer in Austin: www.violinsetc.com.

I think this link will be helpful to you: http://www.violinist.com/luthiers/

Anyway, that's my $0.02. There are several other violinsts on this site with more experience than me, but that's what I've gone through.
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2006, 06:53 PM
Calliah Calliah is offline
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Hey, thanks for the quick response.

The bagpipes? The music played on that instrument is normally so beautiful. Is it true that it takes years before you can even attempt to play any recognizeable songs? I had a guy at work who played them, and he told me it took him about seven years to do that. I'm just wondering if that's normal, or was it just him.

I think I'll take your advice and skip the attempt to learn on my own. I've been talking to others, and they've said the same thing. $60/hour seems to be about the best I can get around here. That seems pretty standard, according to the teachers that I've talked to.

I was looking on one of the sites that you mentioned, www.violinsetc.com, and they have two "economical" choices, which I think may be ok for me to try out at first. I was looking at either the Troubador or the Bianca. I was leaning towards the Bianca, because they said its the better quality of the two, but still good for beginners. And its only $10 more a month. I'm still looking for a place around here to rent from, because it would be nice to have a local place to rent from.

Thanks again for the help,
Steve/Calliah
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2006, 05:59 AM
S.A.RoseViolin S.A.RoseViolin is offline
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Default Pre-Beginner Violin Questions

Unless the tradition or market is different in your area, most instructors including myself, offer private instruction priced in 30 minute increments. including professionals that are adjunct faculty providing "Applied Music" instruction in fullfillment of the curriculum requirements for performance majors in the University of Texas System. If you are like AustinViolin who has been dedicated to learning, can you not start with a 30 min a week lesson with provides critique on technique and instruction on needed practice. When using a structured method book or printed and leveled instructional material, an adult is their own best instructor thereafter. I use, and or integrate the beginner leveled material provided on VSM, due to its "cut to the chase" pedagogy and utility. The audience for Method books is normally students other than adults. With the current "touchy feelly approach" in instruction, indicative of the U.S. intolerance for discipline, these materials are limited in pagination for methodology and technique by the population of beginner repertoire such as "twinkle twinkle little star". You don't need to pay for instruction on these tunes, so pay for the technique and methodology until your proficientcy with scales and two or more octave arpeggios indicates your stamina for technique and methodology instruction warrants a full hour. Use VSM for leveled adult practice tunes.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2006, 04:31 PM
Miltiadis IV Miltiadis IV is offline
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Hello Calliah!
I've been playing violin for the last 13 years.Personally I think it is better to start with a teacher and that's because sometimes dvds are inaccurate, or you may not notice some very important facts on technique.If you hold the violin in a wrong way and play for some hours, you can cause injuries to your arms.It is important to have a good professor during the first years to teach you the right position and technique.Furthermore, I believe that with a teacher you will save time.
As for your age, I think it is never late to do something you like.If you appreciate the violin sound, go ahead!And violin is an instrument that very much lets you free your passion.I do not know exactly what are the oppurtunities for violinists in USA, but I think you are a bit old to play violin professionaly...
As for buying a violin, I thing you must not consider the fact that you are a beginner.Since you are not going to change size in the future, you can buy a 4/4 good violin and keep it for the rest of your life. If you agree and want to buy a good one, I strongly recomment that you buy a handmade one, no matter the cost.Sound difference is unbelievable.
You mentioned that a friend of yours studied the violin for seven years before he could play any piece.It depends on your skill and talent, however I think 7 years is too much...I started at the age of 5, knowing nothing about sheets, had to learn the keys, the notes and all these things you already know from your piano experience.Still, after 1 1/2 year I could play simple melodies(you know, 3 minutes long, max ).I remember that after 3 years of lessons I could easily play "Ode to Joy",the Rieding concerto and such pieces.Of course, if I play them again now, that I have practiced a lot on my technique, they will sound much much better.As you learn new songs you play the old ones better.As for violin, you can never say you have finished with a piece.There is always a better way to play it.
I wish you take the right decisions.If you start learning the violin, keep in mind that it is not as easy as piano you have already started.You must wait ase you expertise your technique, and day by day you will become better.

Last edited by Miltiadis IV : 06-27-2006 at 12:52 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2006, 01:00 AM
ViolinChic ViolinChic is offline
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I also am a "pre-beginner". I bought an incredibly cheap "new beginner's" outfit from eBay (I am now trying to digest the vast amounts of information on purchasing a good violin) along with a bunch of learn at home dvd's. After about a week, I started my hunt for a real teacher. I was amazed at the difficulty in finding an instructor in my area that would teach outside of a school. As a full time working adult, I needed an instructor that could provide private lessons evenings or weekends. I contacted every school music department, music associations, local orchestras, etc. with no luck. I eventually stumbled upon a local music store that offers 1/2 hr weekly lessons for $75/month! Half of what I had expected to pay. Luckily, the instructor tours with a few progressive rock bands (she plays the electric violin) and has a ton of information posted on the internet so I was actually able to research my instructor before signing up for lessons.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2006, 12:50 AM
S.A.RoseViolin S.A.RoseViolin is offline
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Default Pre-Beginner and Electric Violin Teacher

I would do nothing to disuade your excitement in finding an instructor that can be well reseached on the internet. I would only caution that electric violin players are simply violin players using an amplifier with a piezo or transducer bridge. Is this excitement brought on about an immediacy of the possiblities to play what you hear played on the internet, or because this teacher returns to the basics and tuitions you in the principles and techniques necessary to become a violin player. Tricks, Alternate tunings for certain sounds and, even more importantly the use of effects pedals will not cause you to grasp the basics my contemporary above discussed.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2011, 04:18 AM
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StephenC StephenC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliah
Hi everyone,

I have been considering learning to play the violin music for some time now, but I've never had enough money to get started. It seems that my budget will now allow for that, so I've decided that I may begin soon. The thing is, I have a few questions, and I'm not sure where to go.

1. I would assume the answer to this question is yes, but should I turn to a teacher rather than to books and dvds?



Personally, I would suggest you go for an actual instructor. It's better to learn that way rather online. With regards to the violin, any violin with be good at the moment that you are just starting to learn it. Best of luck.

Last edited by StephenC : 07-10-2011 at 10:30 AM.
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