Is the violin very difficult to play? Yes!
Can you become a pro within a few months of learning? No!
If it’s difficult to learn, how can you achieve success? By practising every day and never giving up.
These are some of the most searched questions beginner violinists look for online. You’ve got to put in the work to achieve success, irrespective of the field. While some hobbies or professions are more demanding and tasking, others aren’t. Music learning, specifically the violin, is challenging to learn.
From hip-hop to classical, jazz, and afro-pop compositions, Nigerians remain ever-present in the music industry. Whether you intend to compose music pieces professionally or be a back-up instrumentalist, you need a professional tutor. Nigeria celebrates violin playing; there’s no better place to purchase and/or learn the violin than in Nigeria.
This article seeks to ease your learning process by discussing the following:
- how to choose a violin tutor
- your learning expectations
- the cost of violin lessons and
- the violin courses available.
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist.
Online or Home Tuition: Which Is Better?
Before choosing which tuition medium suits you, pen down your goals for your learning. Then, evaluate the music teaching medium that would best help you achieve these goals. If your goal is to build confidence, overcome stage fright, and play in an orchestra, the group lessons would best be appropriate. For a Nigerian whose area lacks electricity supply and a strong internet connection, finding a private tutor might best serve his purpose. Let’s briefly highlight the advantages and disadvantages of online, private, and group music learning.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Learning Violin Online
Online violin learning is the practice of learning via the net devoid of physical interaction. You can use apps such as Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype etc.
Advantages of Taking an Online Violin Lesson
- It is less expensive than paid private violin lessons.
- You can learn from anywhere, even while on a vacation.
- You have more tutor choices. You can hire a native or international violin instructor.
- The learning schedule is flexible. You can easily skip lessons and make up for them later.
Disadvantages of Taking an Online Violin Lesson
- It’s anti-social. Besides interacting with your tutor via the web, you won’t have the chance to mix with other violinists.
- You cannot learn every topic. Sometimes, you need your violin tutor present to correct your posture, violin holding, or even tuning.
- Some areas in Nigeria have poor or no internet access. Also, not everyone has an internet-enabled device.
“Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter – to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.”
Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian Polymath.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Self-Study
This involves the use of violin materials (e-books, tutorial videos, and textbooks) for personal study. There are tons of videos on YouTube and other streaming platforms. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, you’d find channels with expertise-based tutorial videos
Advantages of Self-Study
- It teaches prioritization, self-discipline, and time-management.
- It’s free.
- It allows for self-paced learning.
- It neither location-bound nor time-bound
Disadvantages of Self-Study
- You can get distracted easily.
- You’re likely to practice selective learning.
- Your learning is unstructured.
- Your practice would lack professional feedback, thus encouraging bad playing habits.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Private Music Lessons
Private tuition remains the conventional method of music learning. Although it’s considered the most expensive, the experience is next to none. Private music lessons are recommended to beginners interested in learning the basics.
Advantages of Private Music Lessons
- You get a chance at personalized music learning.
- It’s not age-restrictive.
- It’s easy correcting students’ bad habits during one-on-one classes
- You can learn every topic during face-to-face lessons.
Disadvantages of Private Music Lessons
- Long-term private lessons are expensive.
- It might be impossible finding a credible music teacher around you.
“He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that’s what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.”
Hannah Harrington, Novelist.
Read more on the pros and cons of home or virtual music learning.
Hiring a Violin Instructor Based on Experience
Your goal, budget, and experience would determine the type of music teacher you would hire. Always find a tutor with the right mix of experience and expertise.
Helpful Tips For Tutor Finding
- Attend local Nigerian concerts.
- Evaluate the teaching styles of different music teachers.
- Compare rates of violin instructors online and offline.
- Surf the net for successful tutors.
- Get tutor recommendations from friends and family.
What Should Your Expectations Be?
Whether you are indifferent or ambitious about your learning, remember that the violin is time and effort consuming. As a violin student, you’re likely to use either the Suzuki method or the Traditional method. Below are the strengths and weaknesses of each technique:
The Traditional Method
Most violinists learned the violin using this method. The emphasis here is on note reading rather than rote learning. Also, it prioritizes private tuition over group learning.
- Note reading is introduced at an early stage of learning.
- Ability to play in an orchestra.
- There are numerous materials available for learning.
- Early introduction of note reading might be complex for younger students.
- Most music teachers combine multiple techniques which confuse the student.
- Due to parents’ passive involvement, there’s zero accountability.
“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”
The Suzuki Method
The Suzuki philosophy is that assimilation is best achieved as a kid. The technique involves five steps and they are vocalization, the use of sound recordings, adapting musical instruments, attending the Suzuki school, and engaging in the shared repertoire.
- It combines private, as well as group learning.
- Your ears would be musically tuned.
- Recital performance is mandatory; this builds confidence and self-esteem.
- The teaching schedule is tight.
- Students who suffer from stage fright would have difficulty performing publicly.
- Postponing sight-reading lessons is detrimental to progress.
What to Expect from Your Violin Lessons
- It would take a couple of years to be a proficient player.
- Irrespective of how long you practice, some people would be light years ahead of you.
- Constant independent practice is mandatory, whether you have a music teacher or not.
- Prepare for body aches, especially around your fingers, for the first few weeks.
- Your posture can make or mar your playing.
- Your violin should be cared for and maintained.
What’s the Cost of Violin Lessons in Nigeria?
The price of violin lessons varies based on the lesson method chosen, your expertise, and location.
Opting for Self-Study
Many beginners with little funds opt for this learning method because of how expensive private music lessons are. Even though experts recommend private tuition, it’s possible to become a great violinist through self-study. You simply require the right music materials, self-discipline, dedication, and patience. There are step-by-step e-book and video guides online that you can download for free. There are also free apps you can download:
|Free Violin Apps||Function(s)|
|Fiddle Companion||Scale fingering, Chord charts|
|Sight Reader||Music reading exercises|
|Music Journal||Track practise session|
|PlayAlong Violin||Rhythm and note evaluator|
|Plascore’s Tuner Lite||Violin tuning|
Opting for Online Study
Besides the fee charged by your online teacher, you should consider the cost of data. Some platforms consume less data than others. Try out a couple of social media apps to find out which is cost-effective and lags the least. Most online classes are held via Zoom, Google Hangout, and Skype. The average tuition fee for an online violin session on Superprof is ₦2,800/hr. Have an agreed lesson schedule with your tutor; if your time zones vary, agree on when to connect. Besides your violin and Wi-Fi, you need a headset and good lighting.
Opting for Private Tuition
This involves taking home music lessons with your violin teacher. It is sometimes deemed as more expensive than other avenues but worth the cost. You’ll experience comfort, personalized learning, faster assimilation, and one-on-one time with a professional violinist. You’re less likely to develop bad playing habits, thanks to close monitoring, professional feedback, and constructive criticism from your tutor. The average tuition fee for private tuition on Superprof is ₦3,300/hr.
Opting for Group Tuition
This is cheaper than regular private lessons. Enrol for group tuition only if you can assimilate in large crowds. Don’t expect your teacher to spend additional time explaining topics you don’t understand. This lesson method is best suited for fast and average learners ready to dedicate hours practising.
Whichever learning method you choose is up to you. Take your time to weigh the benefits and flaws of each method before selection. Have fewer expectations and practise more. Finally, take your time when interviewing private tutors. Never settle for less.
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