There is always lots of controversy over working out which violin teacher will be right to teach your child. One view is that if the teacher can perform really well, he or she will make a good teacher.However, this view is changing in modern day society.
Every child is different. Every child has different learning needs. So being able to teach and use different teaching strategies is becoming more and more important. Therefore, it is really important to find a teacher who can not only play the violin well, but has learnt how to teach the violin to students of all ages and ability. Not many teachers have this quality, and in fact, only teachers who complete a specialist degree in music such as a Bachelor of Music from a reputable institution or university will have undergone a compulsory unit in pedagogy (the art of teaching) for the instrument.
For example, the University of Sydney offers the Bachelor of Music (Performance) through their specialist faculty, the Sydney Conservatorium ("the Con"). All string players (violin, viola, cello and double bass) undergo a compulsory unit called String Pedagogy 1 (with an additional pedagogy subject for more advanced teaching techniques and concepts). Within the string pedagogy unit, string players learn to teach their instruments. This includes the basic principles of teaching and learning string instruments, teaching and developing posture, psychology, motivation, and different methodologies for different ages, abilities or needs.
Because you want to have the best violin teacher for your child, here a some things to consider when looking for a violin teacher to begin teaching your child or to continue teaching your child:
- Qualifications. Ask them about their qualifications. Does the teacher have a specialist music degree or do they simply have an arts degree with a major in music? This is a very big difference. Majoring in music means that the teacher has only done electives relating to music. It may in relation to performing, writing music, or even critiquing music. A teacher who has a specialist degree in music i.e. a Bachelor of Music, would have received training in performing, aural, harmony, music history, pedagogy as well as electives related to the instrument or major.
- Experience. The experience of a teacher is also important. Ask the teacher how many students they have, how many years they have been teaching, and ask them to show you recent Exam results of students. If they are reluctant to show this to you, then see this as an alarm bell.
- Costs: Violin teachers charge anywhere between $20/hr to $200+/hr. Usually, teachers who charge a little more than the average ($60/hr) tend to either have greater experience, or better qualifications than other teachers. Prices will also depend on whether the teacher travels to your home or whether you go to their studio, as well as where the teacher is based. Again, ask the teacher about the qualifications and experience. If the price doesn't reflect this, then think again.
- Levels they teach. A great teacher should be able to teach students of all ages, abilities, grades and levels. If a teacher tells you they can only teach up to 4th grade, this is a sign that they are not qualified, nor can they perform well.
- Can they play? Ask your violin teacher to play a piece at your first lesson.
- Methodology. Teachers should be able to explain to you the different methodologies available. Most good teachers will combine several of these to give the student a well-rounded music education.
- Inspiration and Motivation. A violin teacher will inspire and motivate students. They will also help students break down difficult problems and help students overcome barriers to playing. This can be determined after several lessons, so our advice to parents is to monitor the progress of the lessons and your child. If your child is still learning the same thing 10 weeks later, it could be because either your child is not interested in learning the violin, or the teacher is not the right one for your child.
- Other important things. In NSW, all music teachers need to have a valid Working With Children's Check. This check cross-references the teacher with the police database to ensure that your teacher is able to work around children.
So I hope this guide helps you in your journey to finding the best violin teacher. If you do have questions about choosing a violin teacher, please feel free to contact us at www.sydneyviolinstudios.com.au/contact
Sydney Violin Studios is one of the premier violin studios across the Sydney metropolitan area. We offer lessons at our studio in the Hills District as well as we have teachers travel to your home at a day that is more convenient to you.
Our music teachers are qualified and receive ongoing training in string pedagogy (the art of how to teach music), teaching methods, examination requirements; and our teachers regularly perform in many orchestras and ensembles across Australia.
We offer a lesson experience like no other school or teacher. All our students pass AMEB exams with 75% or more students attaining A's or A+'s in their exams. We also prepare students for competitions and scholarship into top private and selective schools across Sydney. Our teachers are also highly experienced in preparing students for HSC Music examinations.
For more information please visit our website: www.sydneyviolinstudios.com.au