Violin Classes for Kids: What Parents Need to Know, Free Trial Lessons & More
Did you know that the violin is a great first instrument to introduce to your child? Here's what else you need to consider before formally introducing violin to your kids.
Exposing children to music at an early age has been widely known to bring about a host of benefits such as teaching patience, improving memory, instilling discipline and more. It is no wonder why introducing children to musical instruments appear to be a popular enrichment choice to hone their creative talents.
With a variety of instruments to choose from, it can be a challenge to choose an instrument that is best suited for your child. However, fret not, because in the rest of the article, we explore why the violin can be a great first instrument to introduce to your child and how he/she can get started.
Is it easy to learn violin? Things to know before signing your kids up for a course
When to start?
While some parents might think it is better to introduce children to musical instruments as early as possible (as early as 3 years old), that might not be necessarily more beneficial for the child.
When it comes to starting violin lessons early—especially if not ready to do so—kids can adopt inappropriate body or hand positions and get used to inconsistencies. This could hamper their development during the later stages.
Parents should typically wait until their kids are at least four years old before introducing them to any formal music training. For violin, it is recommended to start kids when they are aged from 5 to 6. As with learning any musical instrument, the child has to be able to display a certain level of readiness in order to start, such as being able to follow simple instructions and show that they can pay attention (even if it is for a short while).
Benefits and suitability of violin for kids
Younger children, due to their size, could be limited in the kinds of instruments they can physically handle.
As such for kids younger than six, violins are a great first instrument to begin with. One being, they can be made in small sizes for very young children. It also helps them in learning how to tune an instrument, which is important for developing musical skills.
Due to its small size, the violin is also practical and ideal to bring about and fit into any home—unlike pianos or drums. It allows the child to get in the adequate amount of practice regularly to keep up with developments. A daily practice of 20 to 30 minutes is essential.
You might have heard that it can be uncomfortable to play the violin and that it can lead to physical strains such as tired arms, shoulders, and back. However, with appropriate stretches and techniques, violin-playing over time can bring about various benefits in your child, including:
- Improvement in strength and flexibility in upper body
- Development in skills and muscle memory needed for playing—arms and fingers get stronger
- Improvement in posture
- Improvement in motor skills and coordination in fingers
- Acquiring and improvement in reading skills (learning of music theory and sight-reading of scores)
- Development of self-discipline
Types of Violins for Beginners
There are two types of violins to choose from: acoustic and electric violins. Depending on your child’s preferred look and feel of the violin, both can be great options and does not involve too much difficulty in transitioning from one to the other.
However, acoustic violins are said to be the better choice for beginners and has a much richer and deeper sound.
Tips to Choosing Violin Strings for Beginners
Choosing the right violin strings will transform the quality of tone, responsiveness, and projection you can produce on your violin.
However, finding the best violin strings for your specific instrument may require some form of trial and error, so don’t beat yourself up for not finding the right one.
There are three major types of violin strings namely gut, steel and synthetic.
Gut strings provide a warm, rich tone quality. It produces a complex and colouful sound with the plentiful overtones produced when played. However one thing to note is that due to its organic composition, they are very susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity, and may require frequent tuning.
While the tension levels from these strings generate full volume, they are less durable and more expensive that others.
Here’s another alternative that provides a greater stability of pitch and is less likely to be affected by the atmospheric changes—easier to tune and require less frequency in tuning. If you’re looking into country, jazz, rock, alternative and bluegrass genres, this is a popular string to consider.
Just note that steel strings have a brighter tone compared to the gut string, and the sounds created are less complex. They are also thinner in diameter than gut and synthetic strings.
Synthetic core strings combine the warmth of gut with the stability of steel.
As compared to steel-core strings, the synthetic strings are more likely to produce a richer, fuller and warmer tone quality. They also offer greater complexity and a wider spectrum of tone colours.
They are said to be the most popular type of string for bowed string players. Great for beginner players with its affordable price, excellent responsiveness, and splendid projection.
Violin Size Chart (Approximate arm length)
Violins are available in various sizes, with sizes expressed in fractions. For a full size violin, the measurement is 4/4 and smaller violins tend to have smaller fractions. Violins for beginners usually come in small sizes (3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16 and 1/32). They are usually in use for about a year, before the student outgrows each of them.
Important: Remember that it is not advisable to choose a violin that is too big for your child now, hoping that he/she will grow into it. It may result in physical injuries which you definitely want to avoid.
The following chart will help you determine what size instrument your child needs, based on the measurement you have chosen.
MEASURE: With the student’s left arm fully extended away from his or her body, measure from the base of the neck to either the wrist or the centre of the palm.
|Measurement Length (in inches)|
|4/4 (full size)||
The neck-to-wrist measurement will suggest the most comfortable size for the student. The neck-to-palm measurement will imply the largest instrument a child should play.
It is not advisable to invest in an overly expensive violin for very young kids since it will only be in use for a year before your child outgrows his/her current violin size. That said, do not resort to buying the cheapest you can find either.
Student violins are usually in the $100 to $800 price range.
Always choose one that will give you the actual value of your money. It ensures that your child will have the best violin playing experience and while allowing you to stick to your budget. Renting is also a possible alternative, although do expect that their quality could be affected.
The best time to buy a violin is often after a year or two of playing once your child has proven his/her dedication.
Is it easy to learn violin?
Whether it is the violin, piano, drums, guitar or other instruments, each comes with its own set of challenges. For violin learners, one of the main challenges is being able to hold the bow comfortably without awkward hand placements.
Unlike the melodious sounds produced by violins, beginner players could first experience lots of screeching and buzzing from days to weeks. But not to worry as with the hand positions, it will take some time to get used to and master with practice.
Violin Classes for Kids in Singapore (Bonus: Free Trial Lessons)
Now that we have explored some of the basics and considerations to learning the violin, here are some places you can consider to further advance your child’s interest in violin and/or other musical instruments.
To get a better feel of the lessons, why not sign your kids up for the trial classes offered in some of these violin classes for kids in Singapore?
Juzmusic Academy — For those residing in the East, here’s a music school in Parkway you can consider. In operation since 2006, it is one of the few music schools in Singapore to offer Suzuki Piano and Suzuki Violin lessons.
The academy offer violin lessons for beginners, where they start students on the Suzuki method, and move on towards Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) certification. Suitable for kids aged five and above, students can choose between weekly group or one-to-one violin lessons. Sign up for their free trial class here.
Cristofori Music School — Cristofori’s beginner-friendly violin course structure will allow your little one to settle down in no time. As part of its fundamental violin class, students aged 8 and below will start with the standard curriculum of Fiddle Time Starter and Jogger. It will take an average of 9 to 18 months for course completion, depending on learning capability and practice. Graded violin classes are also available. You can enquire more here.
Stradivari Strings — They provide violin and viola classes for beginners, customised to the needs of each student. Violin teachers here focus on technique, sound, and understanding emotions when playing the violin.
Private violin lessons can also be planned at your home, at their music centre at Sultan Plaza, or at the teacher’s location. You can call +65-98137769 to arrange for a lesson.
Aureus Academy — Get access to a high standard of 1-to-1 music lessons with professional teachers from Aureus Academy. See your little one join in on recitals and even have a studio recording of their performance! Online lessons are also available. 13 locations are available in Singapore, book your free home trial lesson here.
STACCATO! — If you’re considering to send your little one for individual violin, piano or drum lessons, look no further. Their curriculum is ideal for kids 4 years and above, equipping them with the musical know-how. The class runs for a period of 12 weeks and can range from 30 min, 45 min or 1 hour lessons per week. They have two centres located in Bukit Timah Plaza.
Ossia Music School — In the individual violin lessons run by Ossia Music School professionals, explore different genres including classical, pop, jazz and even rock! Emphasising on playing techniques and note reading, students can also expect performance opportunities to showcase their talents. ABRSM graded examinations are available. Book your free trial lesson here.
edvox Music School — Apart from violin lessons for children (catering to early childhood kids and those 5 and up), the music school also offers beginner, intermediate and advanced individual violin lessons for a variety of ages, including adults.
With over 42 full-time teachers, students will learn music fundamentals like rhythmic awareness, note-reading, aural training and accurate bowing/playing postures during violin lessons. You can reach them via +65 6100 3380.
Lowrey Music School — Is it easy to learn violin? Rest assured that even without any musical background, your child will be in good hands. Students are required to have their own violin before starting class, in which they can purchase entry-level violins for just slightly above $100 in their shop. Theory is not included in lessons and can be included upon request.
The school offers 5 terms of 9 lessons in a year with the final term comprising of 1 free lesson for students who have enrolled with them since the start of the year.
Mandeville Conservatory of Music — Whether it is the violin, piano, ukulele to saxophone among other instruments, their holistic curriculum will help hone students’ ability to perform on stage with confidence. They also provide out-of-classroom experiences such as overseas exchange programmes and masterclasses by renowned musicians, to name a few. Sign up for a complimentary trial lesson here.
Websites for Free Online Violin Lessons
Whether or not you are a brand new player or an old timer looking to brush up on existing skills, there are many options to consider if you don’t wish to spend money on violin or music lessons.
Check these websites out:
- Fiddlerman — The website provides a variety of education resource for those looking to get started on violin playing.
- Violinonline — Another great website to learn the basics, including violin fingering. Get access to music scores such as the popular Canon in D by Pachelbel)
- Pro-am Strings
- Violinspiration — Great for beginner learners. You can also view her resources on YouTube here.
- ViolinSchool — Free courses are available on how to get started with the violin. They also have a free Parent & Child Beginner Quick Start 1 course. Simply log in here to enroll.
At the heart of learning any musical instrument, practising is always key. Is it easy to learn violin? It will depend on the consistency with practising that will allow your little one to gradually develop the required competency while reaping its benefits.
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