Thursday, November 11, 2010

Online Violin Instruction - Is Learning Violin Online Really As Effective As a Live Teacher?

Is online violin instruction any substitute for having a teacher sat next to you while you learn to play this complex instrument? Traditional music instruction relies heavily on constant feedback and relentless critiquing. The thinking goes that you can't learn how to play violin without having someone commenting on your every draw of the bow.

Personally, I had a problem with this.

I have many bitter memories from my childhood of cold-hearted piano teachers drilling me with scale exercises with nary a mention of playing a song.

There was no FUN in learning to play.

When I decided that I wanted to play the violin, I was determined to find the fun in it so I went looking online for my options.

At first I didn't think of online violin instruction - I was just looking for local teachers. I found a few but they were either way too expensive or weren't accepting new students.

I then turned to books. If there is one thing that seems plainly obvious to me by now, it's that books are the worst possible way to learn how to play the violin (or any musical instrument) for that matter. It is quite plainly an audio/visual endeavour and deserves to be treated as such.

It was with this realization that I decided to take a chance on an online violin program. Despite my skepticism about promises such as being able to play in a matter of hours along with the magic of "playing by ear", I dove headfirst into it with high hopes.

The program I found at turned out to be an absolute gem. It was like having violin master Eric Lewis sat next to me giving me private lessons on how to play the violin.

While I am certainly no virtuoso, I can now pick up the violin and actually play music. Not just a few scales and reels, but actual songs.

So is online violin instruction a viable way to learn how to play this beautiful musical instrument? I wouldn't have it any other way.

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