I m giving private lessons on the violin to beginner students- what kinds of things should I be teaching?

I’m a high school student (been playing for 8 years now) and I’ve just started giving private lessons to beginner students. My students’ musical experience goes as far as reading whole, half, quarter, and eight notes and recognizing and playing a D major scale. The pieces they play are relatively simple so there does not seem to be much to go over yet.

Other than getting acquainted with the notes (I wrote fingerings in-had my first student today!) and working on sound production, I’m not sure what exactly I should be going over at this point.

I played through some of his pieces with him too, helped him recognize notes and worked through rhythms. I’m a little worried I’ll run out of topics for him though, he’s a very quick learner. I’m planning to bring him some of my old music next week though.

Any more ideas?

Remember to make sure that even when you teach your students things, that they keep doing them. Some of the major issues with beginning students include proper bow grip, making sure that the left arm stays up, and that the left wrist doesn’t drop. You can make sure that you continue to go over intonation. This is important. No one wants to hear bad pitch. I recommend using finger tapes to begin with. Other than that, it is nice to have a good beginning technique book. They help to keep you on track, and make sure that you don’t miss anything. Go over different markings that might be found in music. Work on techniques for bowing and pizzicato. I would definitely recommend a good technique book though. I learned with Strictly Strings. Some of my friends used the Suzuki method. I know there are others out there. You may just want to look through a few and pick the one that you like best.

Teaching piano is a lot more than being able to teach lines and spaces along with note names. Although you have an extensive piano background yourself, there is a large agenda in your profile still missing, but you may be able to address this quickly. It is the pedagogical studies, the application of knowing how to teach your musical instrument. The first thing I would advise if you are not able to take a course in this is to purchase some of the method books such as Alfred, Bastien, Faber and Faber, and study the techniques used for teaching by interval from the beginning. The trick is to get on the level of your student in every case, and not to come off as a know-it-all while teaching or playing. You must be able to open the doors of inquiry to the student’s mind at all times and avoid bossiness. I strongly advise against any rote method. Your goal is to provide a way for the student to learn to read the music. When you are ready to go into the university, take at least one pedagogy class for piano instruction. It will cover the basics and far more as you desire to expand. It will also give you a fall back if your therapy career takes awhile to develop. I usually advise against someone at your age teaching without credentials. However, if you follow the outline given above, and if you provide a well thought out policy statement from the beginning regarding lesson fees and the outline of make-ups, etc,, then you might give this a try. Check with your professor for a second opinion.

-correct bow hold. ive been taking violin lessons since i was four and I still have problems with it..
-try teaching the suzuki method. Ive noticed most of the people in our orchestra(not school orchestra) went by the suzuki method. goes from book 1 to 10. has he learned twinkle twinkle little star? first song I ever played. what I used to do in book one, was work on a song and i got a cool sticker for every one i passed =D just dont spend too much time on one song or move too quickly.
-teach correct posture, correct way to hold the violin
-put the tape on the fingerboard where the correct fingerings are supposed to be. most kids grow out of this in 3-5 years
-work on good bow stroke, like use the full bow, between the fingerboard and bridge,(dont go over the fingerboard!)<-haha had problems witht that too
so pretty much once they learn stuff like holding the violin and bow somewhat correctly, playing and recognizing notes and rhythems, work on different techniques. the different songs in the suzuki books demonstrate different techniques, but its good to have other excersize books and scale books too, but since they are begginer, just stick to one.

good luck teaching! and congradulations on having ur first student! I think you’ll be a good teacher 🙂


Violin/Viola FAQ
What are some of the techniques teachers use to approach beginning students?

ensure he is holding the instrument and bow correctly. teach proper tuning and maintenance. give him a piece to learn for each next lesson. sometimes playing a recording on lp. tape, or CD helps quite a bit (they can hear how it is supposed to sound).

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