With our digital technology skills tested to the limits earlier this year its time to look at the clear learning benefits that online violin lessons can bring. Of course we won’t for a second suggest that online violin lessons can replace the wonderful connection that face-to-face lessons can bring, although you can still experience the sheer joy of learning to play the violin.
We believe there is unique learning potential in using online technology, and here are our thoughts so far…
1. Encourage and cultivate independence
Online lessons mean that students need to do certain things for themselves, but if you look at this in a positive light it is a great chance for students to spread their wings!
- Learning how to tune: one of the very first things we learn is how to tune (see point 2)
- Writing down lesson notes for themselves: this reinforces techniques and ideas with students and helps them to connect to new concepts much quicker. Young students may well need some help with this from parents, getting parents.
- Note learning: one of the tasks we’ve given our beginner students has asked them write out note names (and rhythms) themselves and then compare to a copy we’ve written out with the note names. This has proved very useful for learning and really helped some of our students become familiar with music theory.
- Bowings and fingerings: leaning how and why we use certain bowings and fingerings is one of the most fascinating aspects of playing the violin, and asking our students to put in these markings themselves makes a big difference to the way they think about their playing.
2. Tuning their violin
This is such a big deal that although it belongs under ‘encouraging independence’ we thought we would give it a whole section. Tuning in online violin lessons is a tricky business for beginners but we’ve been incredibly impressed at how well our beginner students have managed, from dealing with broken strings to slipping pegs!
- Aural training: learning how to tune your violin effectively means training your ear, it takes time to teach your ear to hear the fine tuning subtleties and tuning without your teacher in the room is an excellent way to learn!
- Listening skills: what does it mean to really ‘listen’ to your tuning? It’s important not to rely on tuning apps but to test your ears and hear the relationship between strings.
3. Confidence building
Its always very interesting to see students in their own home because they immediately feel more relaxed and several of our young students have become far more confident in expressing their musical views, asking questions and becoming much more animated in general! Over lockdown we’ve had the unique chance to gain perspective on the way out students learn, and our young students in particular have proudly shown us their practise rooms, and naturally introduced us to their most loyal audience of all…their pets!
4. And last but not least…Parent involvement!
Parents (particularly of very young children) have a much more active role as co-learners for online sessions, from directly helping guide bows that go off track, to lifting elbows and directing scrolls, this list can be endless! But it is an essential role and we often find parents becoming much more aware of their child’s posture habits – the good and the bad ones! But it’s not just the physical issues – parents often need to help children in guiding note learning or clap out a rhythm. It’s wonderful to see students and parents working together and having lots of fun in the process!
So that’s it folks. We have lots more interesting articles and videos so if you’re curious and keen violin student then check out our YouTube page. To book your FREE trial lesson or for any playing advice (free of charge) then get in touch with Liv or Simon by clicking through here.