Which size violin should I get?
Your teacher can help you with that at your first lesson.
There are many different sizes of violins. Adults usually get full-size instruments but for children it is more like buying a pair of shoes. As your child gets larger they will need to trade up to a larger instrument, often many times. Most people prefer to rent a violin when their child is young as it is easier and less expensive to trade up to a larger size that way.
Should I purchase or rent a violin?
That depends a lot on if you are still growing (children) and are committed to learning the instrument.
There are decent beginning instruments out there, both used and new for under $200. Please be careful if you are buying used over the internet. We have seen some very unplayable violins come into the school. If you can't consult with your teacher first it is usually best to purchase a violin at a place with a good return policy.
Do you offer fiddle lessons?
Many of our classical violin teachers also teach fiddle.
What is the difference between fiddle and violin?
Usually fiddle is a reference to using a violin to play folk or improvised music.
That is a deep subject and has many different answers. Most people who ask us for fiddle lessons are referring to using a violin to play folk or country music, usually in an improvised way as opposed to using a violin to play classical music that has been written by others. Please see Wikipedia for more info on fiddle.
Where is the best place to purchase or rent a violin?
It depends on where you live and what quality instrument you want.
Costco.com sells some decent beginner instruments if you can find the size you need. Also they have an incredible return policy if your teacher doesn't feel that it is a good instrument for you. For the largest selection of sizes and pricing it is usually best to check with your local violin dealer. Call us for names of dealers in your area. Most of these shops offer rentals and violins you can purchase both new and used.
What age should I start my child on violin?
Five years of age is the youngest we recommend starting children on violin.
Violin isn't as easy to learn as piano, so if your child isn't fully committed to learning violin at the age of 5 and 6 we suggest starting them on piano (keyboard) for a year or two first. What they learn about music on the piano will be directly applied to the violin when they start so they will have a much easier time learning it.
Do you offer Suzuki and traditional violin methods?
Many of our teachers can teach using tradition and Suzuki methods. Please call us to ask about availability in your area.
What is the difference between the Suzuki method and traditional teaching methods?
Suzuki method focuses a lot on learning to play by ear instead of reading traditional music.
That is the overly simplified answer. Which is better? Most teachers feel that a traditional method of learning to read music while also incorporating some ear training and playing by ear Suzuki style is the best approach. Many critics point out that students studying the Suzuki method often have a very difficult time switching over to reading music and playing in a traditional orchestral environment. This has long been debated and you will find many different opinions. It is best to search the web and get answers for yourself as to which method you wish to pursue.
Do I need to bring a violin to my free trial lesson?
No. It is helpful if you can but not required.
Your teacher will generally be able to let you or your child use their violin at the first lesson. If your child is very small then the free trial lesson will be more about determining the proper size violin as well as teaching the basics of the instrument and music. Another goal is getting to know the teacher to make sure their personality is a good fit for you or your child.