"Lawrence is very passionate and professional violin teacher. His teaching method enables me to learn violin in a short time as an adult student. He is very encouraging. I enjoy his lessons, and am so lucky to be his student." - Angel Wijaya.


Choosing the right Instrument for you

Choosing an Instrument

“Lawrence is an extraordinary violin and piano tutor, with genius qualities. He teaches my daughter both instruments, with patience passion and sympathetic understanding. His infectious energy and enthusiasm level, never drops; encouraging even grumpy pupils, who may be exhausted after a long school day, to give of their best. He inspires excitement and desire in his students, to achieve challenging goals. Good instrumental teachers are difficult to find in Thailand. My daughter had a number of teachers prior to Lawrence. None possessed his unique qualities. He teaches Pippa to think for herself – she is no longer scared of sight reading! My daughter obtained a distinction in her last exam – just as he had predicted – Superb teacher!” P Phisuthikul

Violin playing is a challenging proposition, so it goes without saying, that a violin student, does not want to be battling with a poorly “set up” instrument, or faulty violin bow, that would even present challenges, for a professional with a lifetime of playing experience behind them; to play. Violin students need all the help they can get!

Musical cognoscenti will confirm, that playing a stringed instrument is significantly more challenging than one of its wind brethren.

Having taught and retailed violins in the United Kingdom, for many years, I am very fastidious with my instructions and advice to parents who are purchasing or renting, an instrument for their children. That is the main reason why I became a violin dealer for 20 years when I lived in England, before I relocated to my wife’s homeland; as I was sick of my students attending my lessons with substandard instruments, which were virtually unplayable.

Set up

It is of paramount importance, that a student’s violin is as “user friendly” as possible. - Lawrence.

Tuning pegs must fit properly, move freely with good adhesion, and be a flush fit with the side of the violin peg box.

The Top nut must be the correct elevation and curvature.

The fingerboard should be smooth and even, with no irregularities.

The Violin bridge should be flush with the table of the instrument, having the correct curvature, height and string elevation to facilitate comfortable playing.

Precise sound post placement is vital, as this heavily influences the sound that the instrument will produce.

A good quality set of strings will also enhance the resultant tone.

Don’t spoil the ship for a ha'pworth (halfpenny's worth) of tar.

If someone spoils the ship for a ha'pworth (halfpenny's worth) of tar; they spoil something completely, by trying to make a small economy.

For beginners, metal strings are preferred; as they maintain their pitch well, readily accommodate string adjusters, and thus facilitate easy tuning, without recourse to continual peg adjustment/ potential string breakage.

Perlon wound strings such as “Dominant” or “Tonica" used in conjunction with a tailpiece unit that has integral adjusters, are recommended.

Promising young Japanese student who has played violin in Bangkok for 3 years

Promising young Japanese student who has played violin in Bangkok for 3 years

Good posture

“If you want to sound good, you need to look good.” - Lawrence.

Good posture is of paramount importance when playing the violin. Incorrect instrument positioning will totally compromise violin technique, and resultant performance.

As mentioned above, the violin should rest comfortably on the left collar bone, with the aid of a good shoulder rest, enabling easy support by the weight of the head alone.

I always insist that my students invest in a Willy Wolfe “Forte Secondo” violin shoulder rest. It is available in all sizes, and is the most important essential accessory requirement of all. Without good violin placement, playing is detrimentally compromised.

I also personally recommend, that students use a “Tikka” chin rest - a very comfortable flat dish type rest, which comfortably fits the side of the face, in the playing position, – complimented with a Willy Wolf “Forte Secondo” shoulder rest. (See “Videos” page). This allows the head to incline leftwards in a relaxed manner, and in so doing, easily support the violin.

NB: All these items are available from Franke Violin, which is the only violin shop in Bangkok that adheres to European standards of excellence. It carries my hearty recommendation.

Very young students, (Pre 5 years) can successfully use a soft shoulder pad to achieve similar results.}

Our head is one tenth of our body weight - certainly sufficient to support a flyweight violin.

The Violin bow should be straight, when viewed along its length, with good strength, balance, and spring in the stick.

It is customary and cost effective for parents to initially rent violins for their children, changing sizes as and when advised by their teacher. - Lawrence