Learn the Violin & Play in Your Local Community Orchestra

copyright 2008 by Janice Tucker Rhoda

continued from Learn the Violin, page one

Finding a Violin Teacher
One of the first steps in learning or relearning to play the violin is finding an appropriate teacher. When searching for a teacher, you will want to take these qualities into consideration. The best violin teacher for you:

  • will enjoy teaching adult beginners, and express his/her enthusiasm
  • will have a patient and positive attitude
  • will be organized and goal-oriented
  • will support your goal to play in a small chamber group ensemble or community orchestra
  • will use excellent teaching materials that provide a solid foundation.

Your Violin Curriculum
What is an excellent adult violin student's curriculum? Here are the materials I most recommend and use with my adult violin students:

  • The ABCs of Violin Books 1 through 5 include solo pieces, exercises, etudes, scales, double-stops, trills, shifting exercises, duets, 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions. There are many fiddle tunes throughout the ABCs of Violin series students enjoy playing!
  • The ABCs of Violin for the Absolute Beginner DVD and CD is used by students of all ages, parents of students and new teachers as their very first step in violin training.
  • Complete Technique for Violin contains studies and exercises for the advanced beginner to upper level student.
  • The ABCs of Violin for the Intermediate Player DVD and CD is used by students of all ages, parents of students and new teachers as their intermediate step in violin training. There are performances of all pieces from ABCs of Violin Books 1 and 2 on this DVD.
  • The ABCs of Duets for Violin book has 29 excellent duets for your first ensemble experience although it covers beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. A great practice CD is available!
  • The ABCs of String Orchestra includes 1st and 2nd violin parts to 21 pieces. (as well as cello, double bass, and piano)
  • Suzuki Books 4 and 5 include solo pieces and CDs.
  • Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies with Violinist Rachel Barton Pine (Book & DVD).
  • Wohlfahrt Etude Books 1 and 2, Op. 45 include 1st and 3rd positions.
  • Whistler "Introducing the Positions," Volumes 1 and 2 include 3rd through 7th positions. Begin with ABCs of Violin Book 3 to learn 3rd position, then ABCs of Violin Book 4 to learn 2nd position. Move on to Whistler books after that. The ABCs of Violin books have an easier introduction of these positions!
  • Hofmann Double-stops, Op. 96.

I continue with more advanced violin concertos, solo pieces, etude books, advanced duet books, 3 octave scales, and easier movements from Bach Unaccompanied Partitas and Sonatas. Students who play in their local community orchestras bring their orchestra music for review at lessons.

The ABCs of Violin books will provide a solid foundation for technique and reading capabilities that will last for years to come. Students easily branch out to other materials after completing all five violin books.

In my 30 years of teaching experience I have found that adults learn to read music quickly and readily assume the correct posture in a matter of weeks. Read my popular Article: Why Do Adults Learn to Play Violin Quicker than Children?

At the very first group violin class of each semester at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, I ask the students if anyone tried to discourage them from pursuing the violin because they were an adult; almost everyone says "YES!" After 3 group classes, I ask if violin is easier than they ever thought it would be, and everyone gives a resounding "YES!!"

Janice Tucker Rhoda taught Violin for the Absolute Beginner courses at the Cambridge Center of Adult Education in Massachusetts, USA. She is the Author of the ABCs of Strings and Complete Technique instruction series for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass published by Carl Fischer Music.

The ABCs of Strings is published by
Carl Fischer Music