The violin is known as being one of the more difficult and expensive instruments to learn. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford lessons or has access to a teacher, so we thought why not look and see what resources parents can use at home to try and teach their own kids. There is actually a decent amount of learning resources available to teach beginning violin, mainly in the form of online video lessons. There are also some really good books, an app, and a few free online games that can help kids get started.
Best Websites and Free Online Videos
A number of music teachers have set up websites where they have uploaded video lessons that are a fantastic resource for parents. You have to pay for some of the content but compared to music lessons the cost is minimal.
- Violin Lab is an interactive video-based website that has a HUGE number of video lessons ranging from beginner to advanced. You can watch some of the videos for free and if you want to watch more, you can become a member of the site for $19.99 for a month or $71.88 for a year to have access to all the videos.
- Violin Stars is another site that has very helpful online video lessons for beginners. It is similar to Violin Lab in that it lets you watch the first ten videos for free and you can purchase a DVD if you would like to continue.
- String Lessons has an amazing collection of free violin (and cello) video lessons by Todd Ehle that kids can watch to learn at home.
- String Savvy is another good collection of violin lessons and good tips and advice for beginners starting out who are learning on their own.
There are lots of violin books that are designed for beginners, but not many books that are specifically written for the very young learner or for parents who are trying to teach their own kids. When trying to figure out the best book for teaching violin to kids, we narrowed it down to these books/series:
- The Violin Book by Eden Vaning-Rosen gets mentioned quite a bit by homeschoolers and parents who are teaching young kids at home. This book is set up in a way that parents do not need to have any musical background to be able to teach their kids. The website even says “The pictures and explanations are so simple, a child could actually teach a parent from this book! “If you look through the website you will be able to find a few examples of the writing style and illustrations from the book.
- Early Start on the Violin Book published by Baerenreiter Verlag is a series of books that are helpful for beginner players to learn note reading. There are four books in the series and they are filled with colorful pictures and well-known songs for children. This book would be good for a parent who has some musical background.
- String Explorer: Violin Book by here. is a two-book series where students are guided through the structured lessons by the characters Arco Dakota and Rosalyn Le Bow. The book is laid out in a step by step manner with challenges and trivia included helping keep students interested. The introduction has clear pictures on how to hold the violin and properly care for it. It teaches the use of the fourth finger as well as pizzicato. You can find more info on the book and the method
I couldn’t really find many violin apps for kids with good reviews that seemed worth mentioning. Let me know in the comments below if you have any app recommendations.
Learn Violin is one app that is well-reviewed and is appropriate for kids to use. It shows how you can tune your first notes, helps you learn simple techniques to remember violin fingering, shows you how to string your instrument, etc.
Free Online Games
Kid love online games, so here are a few that are somewhat violin related:
- Violin Student has a few simple online games, puzzles, and word searches.
- Music Theory has a note identification game.
- Good Ear has an ear training game.
Instruments for Beginners
If you are buying a violin for a child, you need to make sure that you get the sizing right. With violins, you do get what you pay for, but obviously not everyone can afford $400+ for an instrument that their kids may or may not stick with. Luckily there are a few options under $100 that are decent enough for a kid who is interested in learning to play to get started with. Mendini has a number of sizing options and student starter packages that are an option for a beginner. Another slightly more expensive choice is Cremona, that also has student and beginner instruments between $100 and $200.
Hopefully, you found something you were looking for if you have any tips or great resources to help kids learn this great instrument, please let us know in the comments below.
photo credit: Niels Linneberg via photopin cc