In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: January 13, 2021
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Interested in learning how to play the violin but have no idea where to begin? We’re here to guide you. It’s true that there are countless violin classes online and choosing the right one can be a headache. With guidance, however, finding the best online violin classes becomes easy. That’s what we’re here to help you achieve, and we’ve done all the tough assessment work so you don’t have to.
We’ve reviewed 25 products so far, and have singled out My Violin Starter Pack as the best violin guide for beginners of all ages. The lessons are well structured, with an interactive design that makes it easy for students to receive real-time feedback on their technique. This course stands out for its user-friendliness, comprehensive curriculum, and diverse range of built-in support features. Read more about the course and see how it compares to other online violin courses in our Product Reviews section.
We considered different important factors and looked at how they compare between the courses; this is what informed our conclusions and grading. In the Buying Guide, we explain how all these factors – like course length, content, sound quality, student’s skill level, and refund policy – impact the quality of the course. We’ve packed quite a bit of useful information in this review, but we’ve laid it out in a simple, easy-to-follow format that includes a comparison table, in-detail reviews of each course, an extensive buying guide, and answers to the most common FAQs about violins. At the end of it all, you’ll know how to evaluate and choose violin lessons that work for you.
The brainchild of New York City Ballet violinist Sabina Skalar, My Violin Starter Pack is designed to make playing the violin easy for learners ages 5 and up. It includes 160 lessons that cover basics like correct hand and finger positioning, how to tune the violin, how to hold and use the bow, and in-depth lessons covering notes and rhythm. Lessons are facilitated by an animated teacher who will guide you through each step. The beauty of it all is that you can retake lessons as many times as you like, and you do it all at your pace. The program uses large-format, full-motion videos with close-ups to guide students through playing technique, and this allows the student to clearly see and mimic each technique. A finger tracker follows along as you play and shows whether you’ve correctly placed your fingers on the fingerboard. In addition, there are interactive games to help students master notes and songs, and review the lessons learned. There’s a built-in tuner to help you tune your violin with ease, and a metronome allows you to set your own tempo and provides you with cues to help you stay in tune.
What we liked:
Metronome and tuner
What could be better:
It's a 32-bit app that's not compatible with newer macOS versions
If you’re wondering if there’s a violin course that will accommodate your style of playing, Classical Violin with Richard Amoroso is for you. The tutor does not try to push you towards a particular playing style. Rather, they help you fine-tune your individual style and perfect your unique technique. It’s a course for players of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. As a beginner, you’ll learn the basics of violin playing, from posture while standing, walking, and sitting, to bowing, tones, practicing for speed, and how to play basic pieces. Intermediate lessons delve into ear training, dynamics and color, dexterity exercises, and more. At the advanced level, you dive deeper into harmonics, how to pick notes in the air in a range of positions, and how to play under pressure, among others. You can submit up to 5 videos to the tutor for critique. Plus, you get access to the Video Exchange Library and interact with other students. Lessons begin at $105 for 3 months, $179 for 6 months, and $279 for 12 months. The only downside to this arrangement is that you won’t get a refund if, for whatever reason, you don’t wish to go forth with the lessons.
Udemy’s Beginner Violin Course – VIOLIN MASTERY FROM THE BEGINNING, developed by award-winning performers, is an answer to violin enthusiasts who are not only keen to master the violin but also walk away with an in-depth understanding of music theory. One of the most outstanding things about this course is how the lessons are broken down into palatable bits, with the concepts explained in simple, easy-to-grasp steps, which makes this course perfect for even that student who’s holding a violin for the first time. Moreover, it’s designed for learners of all ages and is useful for both those who want to play the violin for fun and those who wish to perform and/or venture into music in future. Included are metronome and drum backing tracks that you can play along to, and these are designed to improve your violin skills. It’s a course that will take you from introduction to the violin to playing on your own. The course content includes 12-and-a-half hours of on-demand video instruction and 6 downloadable resources, to which you get lifetime access.
What we liked:
12½ hours of video content
6 downloadable resources
30-day money-back guarantee
What could be better:
We didn't see anything drastic enough to be a deal-breaker
Lessonface offers you the chance to meet and choose from hundreds of multilingual violin tutors for one-on-one and group lessons. Lessons are conducted via Zoom, which makes it possible for anyone to access lessons regardless of their location. Simply create an account and search through the list of teachers registered on the platform to find your perfect match. You can search for a teacher based on availability, your skill level, price, and whether they teach kids if you want your child to learn. Read the teacher’s bio to learn more about them and their experience teaching and playing the violin. You can choose your preferred lesson duration from the listed options. These range from 15 to 30, 45, 60, and 90 minutes, with 30, 40, and 60 minutes being the most popular options. Charges for each session range from $9 to $145 or more for a 30-minute session. You can request your tutor to record each lesson for you so you can come back to it over and over as need be. To cancel your lesson, contact Lessonface 24 hours prior to the lesson, whereupon you’ll be eligible for a refund.
Preply is a learning platform that makes it possible for violin teachers and students to connect. Simply sign up on the platform and browse through the available teachers to find a suitable match for your skill level. You can filter tutors by availability, price range, and native language. Click on the tutor’s bio to read more about them and their qualifications. Since there is no way to tell if the tutor is a good match for you beforehand, your first lesson is more or less considered a trial lesson. If at the end of the lesson you feel the tutor doesn’t match your needs, then you’ll be eligible for a refund. The good news is there are tons of teachers to choose from, and you can change tutors a maximum of 2 times without paying extra. Lessons are offered as 5, 10, 15, and 20-hour packages, with prices ranging from $1-$40 per hour. You can cancel or reschedule your lesson at least 4 hours prior to the class. The biggest advantage in learning through Preply is that your lessons are fully personalized for your skill level and learning pace.
Fiverr is a readily accessible platform where you can discover violin tutors. There are hundreds of teachers to choose from, with the greatest advantage in using the platform being that you can set and reschedule your lessons with plenty of ease. The lessons are as personalized as can be, and you can agree on your preferred learning medium, with most tutors being flexible enough to conduct lessons on a range of platforms. Most tutors indicate what skill level their lessons are suitable for, and what ages they are targeting with their lessons. Also indicated is what you can expect to learn, including the intended outcome, whether that’s to help you learn from scratch, improve your violin skills, or learn to play a specific song. If you would like more details on the lessons or clarification on a specific issue, you can message the tutor before signing up with them. For example, you can write to inquire what specific concepts and topics they cover in the lessons. Some tutors offer a single package while others have options with varying lesson durations, for instance 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 1 hour, etc.
What we liked:
Wide range of tutors
Wide price range
What could be better:
Things to Consider
Now, we’ll look at what goes into making an online violin course great. What can you expect to get out of the course? Some lessons are designed to help you learn violin skills from scratch. Others are designed to build up on your existing violin skills. Whatever your goal, this next section shows you how to evaluate each course for usefulness and choose lessons based on your skill level and your desired outcome.
What you need to start playing violin
The only thing you need to get started with playing a violin is the violin itself, and when you’re taking online lessons, a computer, tablet, or smartphone and an Internet connection through which to access your lessons. There are different types of violin:
The electric violin – Doesn’t have a sound box and relies on an amplifier to magnify the sound. This type is most popularly used in bands.
Silent violin – Similar to the electric violin, but designed for use with either head/earphones or an amplifier. A good choice for practicing without disturbing the peace for everyone else in the house or neighborhood.
Viola – A replica of the violin but larger and produces a sound that’s deeper, warmer, and slightly lower than a violin.
5-String Violin – This comes with an extra string, a low C, in addition to the G, D, A, E strings typically found on violins.
Choose the right violin size with respect to the length of your arm, hand, and fingers. Sizes are 1/16, ⅛, ¼, ½, ¾, ⅞, and 4/4, with the smallest size, 1/16, being suitable for kids ages 3-4, and the biggest size, the 4/4, being suitable for adults and children 10 years and up.
Violin lessons are generally offered on beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. This is how to identify where you fall:
Beginner – You have zero knowledge about playing the violin. Your lessons begin with an introduction to the violin as an instrument, correct posture while playing, how and where to place your hand and fingers, how to hold the bow, and introduction to tones.
Intermediate – You play most pieces in tune and can play complex pieces well. You’re beginning to learn the more difficult concepts and techniques.
Advanced – You’ve mastered tone to a fairly good level and have excellent intonation. You can play any music and you’ve learned how to play by ear.
If you intend to sign up for violin lessons online, look for these features:
Lessons’ logic and course length
The course should be well structured and should naturally progress from easy concepts and techniques to more difficult ones. Additionally, the instructions should be clear and easy to follow. The instructor should break complex topics into smaller, simplified units that the student can grasp. Shorter videos are also preferable, especially when the student is a child. Short videos hold your attention better compared to long and windy videos, and it’s easier to remember things when the video is only a few minutes long.
Quality of the sound
In addition to the picture quality, the videos should have excellent sound quality. After all, this is what the student relies on for instruction. If the audio quality is poor in any way, whether distorted, too low, or there’s too much echo, it’s nearly impossible for the student to decipher what the instructor is saying, which defeats the whole purpose of making the video in the first place.
It’s important for beginners to get the basics right since this is the foundation on which they build more advanced violin skills. Ensure that the course basics cover things like how to hold the violin and the bow, finger placement, correct posture, how to tune the violin, how to take care of the instrument, and how to read sheet music. The more complex techniques at intermediate and advanced levels become easier when you’ve mastered the foundational skills.
Prices and trial period
Course prices can vary greatly, but you can be sure there’s a course for your budget. The best deals involve courses that give you lifetime access for a one-off fee. Some like Beginner Violin Course – VIOLIN MASTERY FROM THE BEGINNING, giving you full access for only $9.99, are a real steal. Those that charge an hourly rate like Lessonface and Preply are more expensive, given that rates can be as high as $50-100 an hour, which translates to hundreds of dollars for as little as 10 hours of training, yet gives more personal approach for a trained teacher. Check whether the course has a trial period which you can use to get a feel of the lessons and decide whether it’s what you’re looking for before committing your money.
Opt for a course with a refund policy so you can get your money back if the lessons turn out to be different than what you expected. A refund policy can make a big difference when you’re paying a lot of money for the course. My Violin Starter Pack, with a 30-day refund policy, offers one of the more accommodating money-back guarantees. Courses like Lessonface and Preply require you to make the refund request at least 24 hours before your lesson. Few, like Fiverr and Classical Violin with Richard Amoroso, do not issue refunds so it helps if you’re sure about the course before buying.
You need some form of feedback to know how well you’re doing and whether you’re making progress. Lessons that involve a one-on-one interaction with the instructor, like Lessonface, Preply, and Fiverr teachers are the best for feedback since the tutor sees your actions and guides and corrects you in real time. Courses like My Violin Starter Pack rely on AI to give instant feedback so you know when you get the notes wrong. Those that use a video exchange program provide limited access to the instructor for feedback and critique.
Right from the outset, the instructor should tell you what you can expect to achieve through the lessons. Some instructors focus on taking you through the whole nine yards, from the basics to advanced level. Some teach you how to play specific songs. And others help you grow your basic or intermediary skills to an advanced level. When you know what you want to achieve, it becomes easy to find lessons that are designed precisely for that.
Yes. Most online violin lessons are straightforward enough for a child to follow along. A lot of course creators design their lessons with kids in mind, so they simplify each lesson to make it appealing for all ages. Moreover, some lessons are designed exclusively for kids. You may want to consider these if you’re looking for a course that’s child specific.
The violin is one of the hardest stringed instruments to learn and takes a lot of hard work and practice to master, but it is doable. Part of the reason is because you have to learn how to hold two instruments at a go, the violin and the bow. You must also learn the correct posture when playing while seated, standing, or walking. Again, unlike the guitar, the violin doesn’t have frets to guide you on where to place your fingers while playing. Rather, you have to learn correct finger placement. Altogether, these factors call for deliberate intent to learn.
You can learn how to play the violin at any age, young or old. As long as you have interest, you can take up violin lessons. The earliest age one can start is 3-4 years, which is the age at which children can copy what others do, follow simple commands, and be focused enough to sit through short lessons.
My Violin Starter Pack earns the top spot for its simple, easy-to-use format and interactivity. We like the many exhaustive lessons, the large number of built-in features that add convenience to the learning process, and the games that make the lessons fun and enjoyable.
Our second choice is Classical Violin with Richard Amoroso, a comprehensive course designed for players of all levels. What we like best about this course is the use of slow motion and video looping to match the pace of the student. We also appreciate the Video Exchange Library and the fact that students can submit up to 5 videos for assessment.
Third in our list of best online violin lessons is Beginner Violin Course – VIOLIN MASTERY FROM THE BEGINNING. There’s plenty to like about this course, from its highly structured format, simplified manner of presentation, the detailed content, and downloadable resources to its pocket-friendly price and full lifetime access.