Violin / Viola

What To Expect In A Violin Course?

In case you don’t know – a decision to master a violin is a really serious decision, so before you spend money on purchasing a violin and pay for a violin course it is better to know what to expect from violin lessons .

The violin speaks to us from many different cultures and in many languages, but for example there will be hardly a course for folk violin or gypsy violin. At a usual violin course you will learn the general violin basics that every Singapore violin player needs, so in this article we tried to summarize the basics that you will face when mastering the violin.

What you need to expect is professional violin lessons. You can’t just pick up a violin and play a song at the end of the day. It took hundreds of years to create the violin as we know it and to learn all its secrets. So when you approach this instrument, feel like you are approaching something old and beautiful.

The violin lessons will take not too much time, but to play violin well you will need a lot of time, especially in the beginning. You will need to hold it right, to play it right and to care for it right. So there will be a lot of things to learn and countless hours of practice. This will be a real challenge but eventually you will master the real beauty. The more you give to the violin, the more it gives to you back.

Before you start the violin lessons, make sure that it is fully customized according to your violin progress. At some points you will want to spend different amounts of time on mastering or practising certain aspects, so a flexible violin course will be the best solution.

That’s why duration of a violin course can vary depending on your skill and learning speed. But in any case don’t expect to finish the violin course within a month or two. Also learning alone or in a group is a big difference.

When you play in a group you learn to interact with other violin players and acquire unique insights to playing the instrument.

However on the flip side, you might be slowed down by the general group course, if you are learning faster than other students. Private violin lessons might help you not only to become a better violinist, but also to become a better performer as the violin teacher will guide you into mastery.

To play a violin you will need a lot of theory and a very good musical ear. This is a serious instrument that requires a lot of theoretical knowledge. Of course you can master it mechanically, but this won’t be the actual playing.

As soon as you try to play with other musician without the notes, you have achieved an exceptional level. So if you have time it is better to learn some musical theory basics before the course, it will make the learning easier and more understandable.

Considerations Before Signing Up For Adult Violin Lessons

A musical education for a child is much easier than for an adult. A child is still not loaded with big life problems, so he has the time to master an instrument such as violin.

Also just like any other education, foundations of music education are easier to learn at an early age. As for the adults, usually playing an instrument is mostly a hobby.

And as in any hobby it is always useful to think if you really need it, before heading off to the store. At that point if you really want to play a violin you’ll find the needed time, most people can do it.

Even if you are completely busy, for example with work and caring for a small child, there will be a solution. A good one is to start learning simultaneously with your kid, it will give you a mutual interest and make the learning process more fun.

Yet the main problem for you most probably would be time. Mastering a violin will require a lot of time. Only hours and hours of practice will make you a good musician, so if you initially want to make these violin lessons useful, make sure that you have enough time for them.

There are lots of people who give up violin lessons, only because they think that they are just not capable to play this instrument. But this is wrong and only patience will help you not to join the ranks of the “lost” violinists.

So make sure that you have enough patience. As for some real numbers you’ll need around 30 minutes of practice every day for beginner level. Such time span is not difficult to set aside during a day.

Another important thing is defining the style that you want to play. If a saxophone for example is mostly used in jazz music and banjo in country or bluegrass, violin can be used anywhere. This instrument can be used to play anything, from gentle classic accompaniments to fast Irish dance jigs.

The style of the violin and the time required for mastering this style and practising will be different for each style music and you will also need different teachers. So before you start learning for example the gypsy violin, make sure that this is exactly the type of violin that you like and that you want to master.

Remember that learning will be more difficult for an adult. As a child you usually don’t care much about how you play and how fast you learn. You just play, because mostly you are told that you need to learn to play the violin.

As an adult you will constantly be paying too much attention to how good you play and some other things. This often results into dropping the violin lessons, because “it is just not for me”.

But don’t let this affect you, there are thousands of people who successfully mastered musical instruments during their mid age. If you are really passionate about the instrument nothing will be able to stop you.

Learning To Play The Violin In Singapore

Learning to play the violin in Singapore – what options are available?

Playing the violin has grown in the past few years and Singapore has many opportunities for the violin student. There are many music schools that include violin studies and they all have something to offer. Some focus on younger students while others welcome adults as well.

For younger students, many schools offer many music-related activities that help develop the student’s initial understanding and appreciation of music. They also stress the importance of having fun playing the violin or other musical instrument. Learning to work with and perform with other students is also part of the training.

Many of the schools that accept adult students go beyond the study of classical music. Students are exposed to the role the violin plays in Jazz and popular music of the day and in some cases, are given an opportunity to learn and play in a variety of styles.

If the violin student is interested in passing the Associate Board Royal School Music examination, there are schools that offer instruction to that end.

These schools often present studies in musical notation, sight singing, and composition along with violin instruction. Such programs are a little more demanding than others and require more of a commitment from the student.

It’s safe to say that every violin school or program in Singapore stresses the importance of proper technique.

The violin is more challenging than other musical instruments as learning the techniques for proper bowing and note placement can be difficult at first. Although programs differ slightly, all provide a number of exercises to improve playing technique and handling of the instrument.

Perhaps the best option for learning the violin is through private lessons. The best violin teachers choose to teach privately as it gives them the most freedom with regard to scheduling lesson times (as opposed to the set curriculum of a school). This benefits the student as well as they can select a lesson time that is convenient.

There are a number of accomplished private violin teachers in Singapore yet they are somewhat difficult to find.

Singapore Violin Lessons (SingaporeViolinLessons.com) acts as an agent for the finest teachers in Singapore and focuses on the personalized placing of the student with a teacher who can offer the best possible results.

One-on-one instruction allows the teacher to focus on a single student’s particular needs. Students learn more quickly and can be playing well in a matter of weeks.

A private teacher can quickly identify and correct bad habits and if the student has a particular weakness, a private teacher can provide them with customized studies and exercises. Every violinist of note mentions a particular private instructor who inspired him and contributed greatly to his success.

For those players with a competitive nature, The National Arts Council of Singapore offers its biennial National Piano and Violin Competition as a opportunity (and incentive) for violin players to master their skills. The competition has different categories for players of different ages and experience, and cash rewards are offered.

How To Buy A Cello?

The age and size of the student are major considerations when buying a cello. Like the violin, cellos are available in a number of sizes. (The average height of a full size cello is 46 to 48 inches.)

How to buy a cello based on size? The following is a general gauge of how to match the size of a cello to its player:

1/8 size: 4 to 6 years old
1/4 size: 5 to 7 years old
1/2 size: 7 to 11 years old
3/4 size: 11 to 15 years old
4/4 size: 15 and above

When buying a cello, bring along a cello teacher or professional cellist if possible. Let them play and test the instrument before buying.

Factors to consider when deciding on what to buy. Typically, a good quality cello is constructed with a spruce top and a maple back and sides. Be aware that there is a wide range of quality for these woods—woods from certain areas of the world are sought for their tonal qualities and can be quite expensive.

Only the beginning player should buy a cello made of laminate (layers of wood glued together) as this can greatly affect the tone of the instrument.

Be aware that some manufacturers say that the instrument’s top is made of maple, but fail to say it is maple laminate. The best quality tuning pegs are made of ebony but many players find that rosewood works just as well.

Be aware that if the tuning pegs (and their slots) are not properly shaped, the instrument will not stay in tune.

Make sure the endpin (the thin post that rests on the floor and elevates the cello for playing) is adjustable and can be easily adjusted. In some cases, endpins have to be purchased separately.

Another way to determine the quality of a cello is whether the top and back are hand-carved or not (less expensive cellos are machine produced and this not only affect the tone of the instrument but its strength as well.) You may need an expert to be able to tell the difference before buying the cello.

Don’t forget to carefully examine the cello’s bow as it’s crucial to the tone of the instrument. Some cello makers include high-quality bows with their instruments while others don’t. You may decide to buy a different bow than the one the came with the instrument.

Of course, cost is a major factor when buying a cello. The first consideration is the player’s age and his desire to play the instrument. Low-priced cellos are a good choice for those who want to try the instrument but are not sure if they’ll stick with it (renting a cello is also an option).

More serious and experienced players require a quality instrument while professional players often look for the best cello possible.

Good luck in buying a cello!

How To Select A Cello Teacher

Selecting the proper cello teacher can be a challenge. There are many factors to consider for the selection such as cost, the age and ability of the student, the location of the cello teacher’s studio (or if the teacher comes to student’s home), the cello teacher’s experience and reputation, available lesson times, and the personality of both the student and cello teacher.

As a general rule, the better the cello teacher, the more they are in demand. And, for the most part, the higher their fees for lessons. Both these factors have to be weighed against the seriousness of the student.

For example, if the student has aspirations to join a well-respected symphony or play professionally, higher teaching fees may be justified. On the other hand, if the student wants to learn cello for his own enjoyment, a well-known and accomplished teacher may not be required.

How To Select Cello Teacher’s Experience And Teaching Considerations

In either case, it’s important that the student finds out as much as he can about the teacher including the number of years he has been teaching, his training, his specialty, and his philosophy of the cello and music in general. These are important considerations for selecting a cello teacher.

Cello teachers who have a degree in music education may have more to offer their students.

Different teachers have different approaches to teaching cello and the methods they use will vary.

Some have a regimented style with specific timelines and milestones to be met while others allow the student to pick and choose his own areas of study and the pace in which he progresses.

Personal references are by far the best way to find out about a particular cello teacher. Speaking directly and frankly to one or more of a particular teacher’s students can help in decision making. Is the teacher friendly and encouraging or strict and demanding?

Selecting Cello Teacher’s Expertise And Track Record

Select a cello teacher according to his expertise. Is he good with young children or more comfortable teaching adults? Does he challenge the student and provides interesting material to play or does he just go through the motions. An enthusiastic teacher usually has enthusiastic students.

It’s also a good idea to find out how long students have studied with a particular cello teacher. Longevity is usually a sign that the student is making progress and enjoys working with his cello teacher.

Also, find out how many former students are still playing cello, including whether they are part of a symphony or ensemble. This is a good indication of the teacher’s ability to motivate his students and instill a love of music and performing.

Finally, find out how the cello teacher accepts payment and if he can provide discounts on strings, rosin and other accessories. Good luck in selecting a cello teacher!

Violin School Or Private Violin Lessons?

Most parents want their children to learn and experience creativity through lessons. Parents will enroll their children in different forms of art like painting, ballet and even music classes with the hope that their children might take interest in some artistic expression. When it comes to music, parents with a preference for classical music would select violin schools for their kids to get acquainted with.

There are several violin schools in Singapore which you can choose from but there are also private violin lessons taught in Singapore. There are different pros and cons in deciding between a violin school in Singapore or a private violin lesson teacher.

 

What Factors Matter? 

There are a couple of factors you should consider between choosing private lessons and violin school in Singapore. A private lesson would basically mean that a teacher would teach your children to play violin at home or at their home.

However the violin school in Singapore would teach your children with a group of children preferably of the same age and at their teaching campus. You should also consider the fees involved in both the teaching sources.

 

The Quality of Violin Lessons 

The quality of violin lessons is one of the most important points to be considered. With the private lessons, you can expect higher quality of teaching since you are usually given the option to select the teacher who is usually of a higher qualification and experience. In addition, most highly qualified violin teachers are usually teaching privately.

For a violin school in Singapore, you need to refer to reputation and standards of the school to find out about their credentials in grooming students. The lesson would be conducted together with several students and might be difficult to get exclusive time with the violin teacher.

Therefore, if you were looking to maximize the violin lessons, it would be recommended to hire a private violin teacher who is able to coach you individually.

 

Flexibility of Violin Lessons Schedule 

Violin Schools in Singapore follow a fixed schedule; date and timing for the lessons. In the situation where a lesson is cancelled, there is a risk of not having your fee refunded as the lesson must go on.

For a private violin lesson, it is much easier to change the schedule and timing of the violin lessons. With a call, the date can be changed to another date.

If you adhere to a very strict or inflexible schedule, it is recommended to hire a private violin teacher to prevent any loss of payments through missing the class.

 

Cost of Lesson 

Private lessons demand a higher fee as the violin teachers are travelling to your place and providing individualized attention. As for the violin school in Singapore, the cost of sharing the violin teacher with other student reduces the price quite a bit.

 

Other considerations

The other point of consideration is the student’s preferences. There are some students who prefer a group environment to learn and compare for faster learning. Whereas other students require a private teacher to learn violin personally in order to pick it up faster.

In order to make the best decision, it is recommended to go through the above factors to decide if it is better to go to a violin school or hire a private violin teacher.

Learning and Playing The Violin in Singapore

Who is playing the violin in Singapore?

A lot of people, from young to the adults.

 

With the success of artists like Lee Hom and the obvious benefits to learning this unique instrument, the violin has become one of the most popular instruments. However, in order to play the violin in Singapore you must first find a teacher.  You may feel compelled to go to a large school or music academy. But if you really want a personalized lesson tailored to your own busy schedule, then a private tutor would be a better choice.

 

Four simple strings, a bow and an infinity of possibilities. Since the fifteenth century the violin has rendered some of the most beautiful sounds known to man. Whether in a formal orchestra (where the first player of the first violin is considered the leader of the orchestra) or onstage with a modern rock or pop band the violin is as versatile as it is beautiful.

 

Learning the violin in Singapore is not difficult with the right teacher.  Your success will depend on scheduling regular lessons and your dedication to practice. Again the benefit of a private tutor is if you need to cancel a lesson you will be able to reschedule right away and therefore not lose any important lesson time for that week.

 

Benefits to learning to play the violin in Singapore for your own pleasure or performance include:

  •  Increased concentration
  •  Self satisfaction
  •  Meeting new people who have an interest in music
  •  Above all the ability to express yourself in a new and creative way!

 

Here is a list of violin shops in Singapore to get you started:

  • Gramercy Music: +65 63453815
  • Karl Heng Enterprise: +65 633917787
  • Per S Ovesen-Rare Violins: +65 91810404
  • Synwin Enterprises: +65 6743 7865
  • AmberCraft/Tong Ming Xi: +65 67327915
  • Wing Classic Enterprise: +65 64434140
  • Music Essentials: +65 67372905
  • The Instruments Front Pte Ltd. +65 63467903
  • Sonovox Music Centre: +65 63372700
  • Rso Enterprise: +65 63532780

The Suzuki Violin Method

Why choose the Suzuki Violin Method for your child?  Older teaching styles have not stood up to the Suzuki method.

Invented by Shinichi Suzuki (b. 1898, d.1998), a renowned violinmaker, teacher and player, Suzuki Violin has been long touted as the method to teach young children how to play the violin.  The idea is simple, music is a language and children are most capable of learning a new language at a young age.

Children are introduced to Suzuki Violin as young as possible, so that playing is considered like a natural function.  Therefore they are introduced to playing by ear before they are able to read.

Traditional music teachers have criticised in the past, who felt that the child would have to work harder to learn to read music at a later age, but the same could be said for learning your native language- You will learn to speak it before you learn to read it.

Today, Suzuki Violin teachers have begun to incorporate basic reading into their lessons so that it will be easier for the child to continue on easily in his studies.

Children are also taught to play and practise their violin in a group, so they learn to play in unison and also to encourage and inspire each other. Parents are also an integral part of learning.

Parents reinforce what the child has learned at home and also oversee practice.  This is a great benefit to both parent and child, as the parent does not need to be a violinist himself but simply encourages and aids in practice.

 Benefits of Suzuki Violin:

  • The young child learns music as naturally as it does his native language
  • Instruments are scaled down to size in order to fit comfortably in small hands
  • Group playing encourages camaraderie, support and the ability to play in unison at an early age
  • Frequent opportunity to play before an audience breeds confidence and natural ability to play before a crowd
  • Giving a child the gift of music gives him the gift of success not just in music, but other disciplines, such as math and the ability to think logically
  • A peer group of other players, interested in Suzuki Violin sets a good foundation for future peers
  • A Suzuki Violin teacher provides not only learning, but support, encouragement and the nurturing necessary to groom a talented and confident violinist

10 Ways To Get The Most Out of Your Violin Lessons

1. Find a good violin teacher.  Private violin lessons always are best.

2. Have no distractions during your violin lesson.  Shut the door, turn off the phone and do not allow other siblings or pets to walk through the lesson area.

3. Buy a quality instrument!  Have your violin teacher help you find the violin that is right for you.

4. Set aside a specific time each day for practice.  This works especially well with children.  The morning hours are best, before school.  Get the child into a routine. 

Younger children practise best without a timer because their concept of time is not as advanced as an older child.   Rather have them practise certain pieces a certain number of times.  Set aside a regular time for your violin lessons as well.

5. Reward yourself.  Adults sometimes reward themselves with a cappuccino at the end of a violin lesson! 

Children can be given treats or a special snack at the end of a good violin lesson, but praise has always shown to be the best reward for children.

6. Concentrate and take notes.  Can’t quite get it in the half-hour violin lesson? 

Ask the teacher to write down the important points of the lesson, or write it down yourself so you can use them during practice.

7. Don’t know anyone else who takes violin lessons?  Join an online group like www.violinist.meetup.com  for support and ideas. 

If there is no group in your area, this site allows you to start one.  Also check out www.expertvillage.com/video06773violinteachers.htm   for more ideas on how to get the most out of violin teachers and violin lessons.

8. Don’t run away from performance opportunities.  If your violin teacher is able to provide students with the chance to perform in a recital, do it.  Performing is a big part of learning to play an instrument.

9. Don’t get frustrated.  So today’s violin lesson didn’t go so well?  Don’t give up.  Think about what went wrong for you, write it down and try to find ways to remedy it with your teacher.

10. Above all PRACTISE!  Practise is one of the most important parts of becoming successful at the violin. 

How To Find A Good Violin Teacher?

How To Find A Good Violin Teacher?

Selecting a good violin teacher can seem daunting, but if you use these guidelines, you should match up with a good violin teacher. 

Maybe you are thinking of having your child take group violin lessons at a school.  While this can be a rewarding experience, nothing can compare to the personal attention given by a private violin teacher. This applies to adult violin lessons as well.

1. There are no distractions when given a private violin lesson.
2. The violin teacher will go at the child’s learning pace instead of having to accommodate a group.
3. The violin teacher will be able to come to your home and tailor their schedule to your personal needs, rather than that of a group.
4. They will be able to provide individual feedback for the student enabling the student to learn quickly.
5. The violin teacher will be able to concentrate all of his attention on the student.

When you have found a violin teacher interview them and ask these questions:

1. How many years of teaching experience do they have and are they an accomplished player?
2. Do they have a lesson plan, and what goals do they have in mind for the student?
3. How is payment made?
4. How many students have they had and what level of playing did they achieve?
5. What age group are they used to teaching?

Traits to Look For in a Violin Teacher

1. Patience!  Learning to play is very technical, is the violin teacher patient and encouraging?
2. Experience in teaching, do not worry if they are not a professional performer, not all performers make great teachers.
3. Do they provide good feedback and constructive criticism; do you see an improvement in your playing?

Call Audrey at (65) 8168-8251     or     Email info@absolutelyintuned.com.sg