Arturo Riera

Arturo Riera

As a music teacher, teaching violin requires a good amount of planning, preparation, organization, goals and objectives.

But more than that, there has to be a few different approaches depending on the student.

When it comes to violin, a student’s age can vary from a 6 year old to maybe a more experienced musician who wants to experiment with a second instrument.

But of course this can also be applied to teaching other instruments, so let’s dive into the specifics of learning how to play violin.

Posture

This is something that needs to be reminded to students every once in a while after teaching it for the first time.

The idea is to remind your students to keep an upright posture, but remain loose and flexible, from your knees up through your neck. Keep the violin parallel to the floor. In the process of playing, you will invariably move the violin up and down, but your home base posture should have the violin aligned parallel to the floor

How to Hold the Violin and the Bow

violin

This is one of the most important parts of teaching a young musician how to play the violin, and while every instrument requires a specific technique, it is more notable with the violin.

When we are talking about playing the piano or even holding a guitar, it comes as a very natural posture, however with a violin, something feels strange at first.

This is why it’s easy for the student to make mistakes when it comes to standing correctly and holding the instrument the way they should.

Pizzicato

Remember to mix things up a bit while having your students learn how to play pizzicato, which will strengthen the left hand, and focus on intonation.

It may even be a good idea to start with pizzicato before even learning how to use the bow as a way of letting your students get familiar with violin without the complexities of holding another part of the instrument.

It’s a really fun way to interact with the instrument and it will get your students to interact with the violin in an interesting unexpected way.

Interview with Violin Teachers

Rigo Murillo is a classically trained violin teacher who specializes in lessons with students between the ages of 3 to 18 years old.

In an interview with Murillo, he spoke about some of the most important aspects about violin teacher., For example giving advice to parents seeking a violin teacher for their children.

OBSERVE a lesson with a prospect violin teacher before you sign up. Do not let their hourly rate be the first screening factor. Effective, quality-oriented music teachers with adequate training and experience are not cheap, but are well worth your money, translating in a great experience and proper technique, musicality and music theory learning.

While his advice is directed towards parents, as teachers, it’s important to keep this sort of advice in mind when thinking about becoming a dedicated violin teacher.

Music teacher Bonnie Foti on the other hand comments on the difficulties of keeping the violin in tune, which at first seems like an easy thing but it can be very chaotic for beginner violinists as she tells of an experience with her students.

It’s awful. I had a parent tuning class. Strings were broken and bridges fell. It’s such a sensitive instrument, like if you don’t know the history behind it, at the making of it – the shapes, and nothing’s glued. You know these parents just rented it. They don’t have the touch for it – to be gentle, or to know how much to turn the pegs. So I told the kids the great thing about the instrument you play is that you can still play it without making noise. They can do the fingerings, hold it up and just go through it. Just sit and say the name of the letters if you don’t have your instrument. Read the music. Yes tuning is definitely a problem.

Remember giving the much needed attention to tuning the violin properly as it could turn into a bad habit for your students.

To help you with your lessons, remember to check out Music Teacher’s Helper to keep your lessons in order.

 

 

 

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Teaching music composition may seem like an easy task: you show your students the tools, you teach them how to use them and that’s it.

However, the most difficult thing is to teach them how to be creative and translate unmeasurable things such as feelings into music.

Teaching students to use composing skills  is not an easy subject, but to make things a bit more organized let’s go through the steps to guide a young music student through their composition journey.

A Passion for Music

Composition

Now, the first thing that should be clear from the start is that there is a passion for music.

There are many cases in which a young student can become a great performer but there is no passion for music, and it is very hard to  change that.

It might be a bit controversial since it involves parents who wish the best for their children by helping them learn music but when it comes to art, the act of creation can’t be taught, it’s an impulse and sort of a second nature.

That doesn’t mean that some young students can’t find a passion for music after learning a few key things and discovering a whole new world.

But it is important for the teacher to identify these things in order to strengthen their students’ weaknesses.

Rhythm Composition

Rhythm is the backbone of every music composition, there is no music without rhythm but there can be music with just a rhythm in the form of percussion.

This is also some of the easiest ways to make your students feel like they are making some form of music and feel the happiness of success.

It is definitely the best way to approach music composition at first, as it’s quite easy to make it fun and involve several students in exercises.

Encourage Improvisation and No Restraints Approach

This may be easier for musicians that focus on genres of music such as rock, punk, blues or electronic music due to the nature of those types of music.

But when it comes to including improvisation in the formation of music students, it’s a bit more difficult.

After helping your students build a strong musical foundation with music reading and writing, you also have to teach them to let go of all of that and just play.

This not only encourages new and interesting combinations of music due to the lack of restraints, but it also makes the experience fun because of the excitement of not knowing what will come out of a playing session.

Think about it as fishing, it’s all about being relaxed, patient and not knowing what you are going to get, and when you realize you have something, it’s time to reel in and not let the fish escape.

The waiting part is just playing and improvising, the fish is that surprise chord, and reeling in it’s about finally writing and recording that big idea.

To encourage this “fishing” idea in music makes being a musician very exciting.

Feedback

In order to help your students improve their skills as composers, you need to provide good feedback so that they can feel that sense of progress and learn from their mistakes.

But how do you provide good feedback as a teacher? Well there are a few things to consider when giving feedback to students on their compositions.

First of all, focus on the good things, a sense of accomplishment is very important in order to keep them motivated.

Then as a teacher, you need to show them where they could improve.

And lastly, you need to let them know that there is always room for improvement while also giving them some pointers in order to help them focus on their weak spots.

Remember to use Music Teacher’s Helper to allow you to have a lot more time on your hands to plan your composition lessons instead of using that precious time for tedious but necessary tasks.

 

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Technology has been able to offer teachers tools and apps that make their work a lot easier or even explore new ways to teach.

Some of these tools come in the form of mobile apps, which offer a wide range of possibilities depending on what you are looking for.

There is an app for almost every problem so there are thousands of apps out there.he difficult part is to find which ones are really worth it.

First of all, note that there are great apps for music learning but the focus here is to see which ones could assist music teachers.

On that note, let’s have a look at the best 5 apps for music teachers that are available right now.

apps

Symphony Pro

This one is all about digital sheet music and it allows you to compose with up to 48 instruments.

It offers lead sheets, chords, charts, guitar tabs and so much more such as being able to make annotations and edit notes and bar properties.

forScore

forScore is a bit similar to Symphony Pro in the sense that it allows you to manage your sheet music but it focuses more on managing rather than composing.

You can drag and drop multiple files into the forScore library from Safari or the photos app. You can also import a PDF version of your score via iTunes, email, Google Drive, AirDrop, Dropbox or Bluetooth.

Piano Maestro

If you are looking to make your piano lessons a bit more fun and interactive for your younger students, Piano Maestro is one of the best options out there to do so.

If you are familiar with rhythm games and guitar hero then this will seem quite similar to that, however, its interface and overall presentation is all about bright colors and a clear focus towards learning how to actually play piano.

The way the app works is that it shows you the sheet music so that you play it, but in a way that it also feels like a game, encouraging students to beat high scores and get better at it.

It is definitely a very useful tool to get the hang of reading sheet music while playing piano.

It also features “Home Assignments” which you can use to assign specific songs to your students and make your lessons a lot more fun. 

The Metronome by Soundbrenner

Every music teacher needs to remind their students about keeping an organized mind when it comes to music, and what does that? Well, staying on tempo.

The way to practice this is of course is using a metronome.

You could buy a metronome but there is no doubt that the magic word here is convenience.

The fact that you can just download a metronome app and use it right there is very useful for every musician and it makes it all easier for teachers to show their students that it is indeed an easy tool to have.

However, which metronome is a good option to have?

The Metronome by Soundbrenner is a great choice. First of all, it’s available on android and iOS, secondly it’s free and every music student needs a metronome to learn music properly.

With this app you can go from simple 4/4 to more complex time signatures so your students can practice staying in tempo.

It also allows you to personalize your click sounds and save custom rhythms so you have no trouble finding them quickly.

Music Teacher’s Helper

Every music teacher needs some assistance on schedules, tasks, students and every little thing that comes with the job of education.

With Music Teacher’s Helper you can update student information, plan your schedule, prepare upcoming lessons and keep up to date with billing and invoices.

It’s also very easy to access your account from any of your devices so there won’t be any problems with accessibility.

This will allow you to have a lot more time on your hands to plan your lessons instead of using that precious time for tedious but necessary tasks.

If you want to try it out, you can start your free trial today!

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