How Do I Find a Good Violin Teacher

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How Do I Find a Good Violin Teacher?

Vivienne Eio Nov 18, 2021 Blog

Now that I have had 25 years’ worth of teaching experience across several continents, I thought I’d address one of the most frequently asked questions about seeking a good Violin Teacher.

This article is good for anyone who is looking for a Teacher or looking to change their Teacher, it also could be a useful read on how to better your relationship or learning journey with your Teacher.  If you are looking to take up the violin, I would strongly suggest some formal lessons with a good teacher even if you are just deciding to take it up as a hobby. Some good and professional advice could really point you to the right direction. However, it is also important to find a Good Teacher to nurture this interest For most, you have no idea what to expect and what your own learning achievements might be when you first begin.  A Good Teacher would know how to bring out the best ability at a good pace, which in turn your level of satisfaction in learning the instrument; time, money invested in lessons and practise would also be put to good use.

For this short article, I’ve come up with five main points to take note of to deduce a good working relationship with your Teacher:


    1. Compatibility

To a certain extent, it is important to be able to communicate with the Teacher.

  • Are there language barriers to overcome? - Having taught many foreign students, this can be effectively overcome if there is someone who is able to follow the student like a parent to the class to translate and follow up with home practise. 
    Are you able to have a certain level of trust with the teacher that he or she is teaching you the right technique or has your best interest at heart?
  • Are they able to motivate you into coming prepared for your next lesson?
  • Do you look forward to your next class each week to see your Teacher?  

I believe whether learning for leisure or competitively which I have a diverse range of students in this sense, there should always be pleasure and enjoyment in the process of learning. After all it is Music we are Learning and Teaching, not something stagnant and static.

I also make it an important priority for my students to have confidence to express themselves freely in any sense so that they are able to express themselves comfortably during classes through their playing. This safe nurturing environment to bring out the best expression and communication through music, will go a long way for each student to become a good Musician.

    1. Sustainability

As there are many Good Teachers out there, it is important to find one that you are able to see long term with. When you start a class there are often no learning time lines, hence many starters do not consider this. If you are happy with the learning process, you may need to see it as a long-term commitment. At Belcanto Violins Music Studio we do have general learning time lines for about 4 years for any average student to achieve a start to finish (From Grade 1 to Grade 8, if measuring by the ABRSM standard) and then another 4 years if you are thinking of achieving the 3 levels of Diploma. This is provided that lessons and follow ups of practise are done conscientiously by the student.  It is also good to note that some students who were previously taught improper technic and not taught from the beginning by us may take a much longer duration as it takes a longer time to snap out of a habit and to relearn something.  Research shows that it takes an average of 7 times of repetition to learn something, but will take 5 times more to unlearn and relearn.

Are you able to have once a week classes with this Teacher? Is the Teacher or yourself frequently missing classes? Is the location of the lesson a feasible and an acceptable commute for you?

    1. Commitment

Your commitment and the Teacher’s commitment are also important. There must be commitment to attend lessons regularly and not try to make up classes unless really necessary. This is because at each lesson we set practise goals for the student and this I usually a 7-day duration to our next class which will be just nice to the next lesson. However, if you have 10 days to your next class and just 4 days to another class for example, and if this is a constant occurrence, the learning goals and learning process can be highly disruptive and you may not be able to learn at your best if this is the case. There are definitely bouts of times where there is a busy period in one’s life, but Violin classes should not always be at the backseat as your commitment to follow up with practise is also fundamental to improving and making the classes interesting and work.

Similarly, the Teacher must keep up to be able to provide at least consistent weekly lessons and also learning goals for each student. These learning goals should be assessed and updated from time to time. I do this for my every one of my own students and also every 3 months for other students taught by the teachers of Belcanto Violins Music Studios by teaching and sitting through their classes together.

    1. Progress

If you are already possessing the 3 points above with your Teacher, naturally progress should follow in your learning. How fast or slow a student progress is based on talent and capability, but I feel equally important, based on their own hard work.  If the child is 9 and below, the Parents can play a very big role in helping them with this part to keep up with their practises and to encourage them to strife for their learning goals and achievements.  In the first place a good and systematic syllabus and correct violin technique also has to be taught to every student.

Some easy ways to keep yourself in check are fundamentals: Posture - when you take a video of your own playing is your posture correct? If after 6 months your posture has not improved, the Teacher may not be teaching a correct method. Posture is important in violin playing as there is no way to play it well if you are unable to have the correct arm and elbow positions needed for string crossings, left hand vibrato, detaché bowing, recognising and executing shifting just to name a few basic technique.  These inefficiencies will show up in time to come and even the most talented and hardworking students may feel “stuck” that they are unable to learn and progress to intermediate or advanced levels of repertoire with the same speed that they had learnt when they started.

Sadly when I Teach in Singapore, admittedly a conservative percentage of 90% of students which transfer to our studio had incorrect posture taught to them which had caused quite a lot of delays in their learning goals and frustration.  It is definitely therefore important to be able to find that 10% of Teachers who are able to help (This percentage is much lower in other countries which I have taught in). There are also good and credible Websites/Instagram/YouTube Videos these days who can help to point out some of these posture problems. Just to name some accounts I have come across are Anastasiia Mazurok, Sumina Studer, Hilary Hahn, Faidley Studios and Maxim Vengerov’s masterclasses. Eddy Chen in 2015-2017 of TwoSet Violin has a series of YouTube advice on correct technique and posture or ask Augustin by Augustin Hadelich.   


At Belcanto Violins Studio we also help the students see their own term progress with our compulsory 2 times a year concerts. This helps both Student and Teacher keep motivated by celebrating the progress together and also help to see what improvements can be made and what worked for the student. It also enables loved ones to celebrate the success of the student through these performances, exams and competitions. For us we may not nurture every student into becoming a Professional Violinist, but my goal is always to enable them to have confidence with their instrument and to be able to find ways in society to contribute what they have learnt as afterall, not everyone is in a fortunate position to be able to learn or play an instrument. This would hopefully translate to a lifetime of progress and learning and not just because they are learning with us for such a short time comparatively.

We highly recommend each students to participate in any way with what they have learnt at class even if it just performing for a relative or to be part of a greater school project and not to shy away from these experiences and opportunities.  Furthermore, every student learning at our studio for at least two years and have completed their gradings will be nurtured to also teach with us and hopefully they are able to also share this same school of thought to even more learners out there in time to come.  This way nothing they have learnt from us would go to waste and there is a sense of purpose to the learning process.

    1. Capability

Often times, degrees and accreditations can mean that the Teacher will be capable for teaching a student.  I personally have a view that a better gauge will also to be able check on the level of motivation of the Studio as a whole.  Is the teacher able to show a large percentage of students who can show their progress to an acceptable level?  

At Belcanto Violins Music Studio, we have 100% of our student’s recitals shown hence it is transparent for the public to see the progress rate of every student. We are also not selective with the students who enter our studios taking students in based on commitment rather than ability or talent is one of the key features of our school.  It is easy to teach a talented student, however it is with the students with learning disabilities or mediocre students where we can sharpen our teaching skills as a Teacher.  Thereby when we get to the students with high talents and abilities, we are able to help them further achieve their very best through our teaching experiences. 


Besides Examinations with good results, are there external competitions or awards given to outstanding students in the studio? How active is the Teacher or Studio in terms of teaching and relevance to the greater community, do they participate in collaborations? Performances? Is there a high dropout rate of teaching staff and students at the Studio? All these factors would affect the learning process of the students.   Thankfully at our school, we have a low drop out rate where mostly students who stop have graduated owing to finishing up their accreditations or either moving countries.  Our Teachers are also existing students at our school, hence we do not have any movements and changes of Teachers which translates to a smooth learning journey for our students.

I hope these above points here give greater insights to our school’s vision and also has helped any one reading this at a crossroads of your learning journey with your teacher some insight to make a decision or find a way to better your progress in the violin.