An Introduction to your first Violin Lesson

Your first Violin lesson
- or first lesson with your new teacher.

"Mr. Lawrence is a very nice teacher. He teaches violin skills and techniques that many other teachers don’t teach. He has lots of pieces of music that students can try out, master, and play with him, as a duet or a solo. He sometimes lets his students take music exams such as ABRSM or Trinity. Most of his pupils pass with great marks. Mr. Lawrence himself is a very professional violinist, and he always teaches his students to be one like him, in the future. So I recommend this teacher to all looking at this website. Thank you Mr. Lawrence!" Andy Song – Violin Student.

Congratulations - Today your new adventure begins!

Learning to play the violin will be fun and an exciting challenge for you. I want you to enjoy it.

Playing the violin is a special skill which very few people possess. So you can be a proud of yourself, that you are one of a select band receiving violin tuition.

Your first trial violin lesson (Which is free of charge) will be a relaxed informal affair, where I will talk with you and your parents, so we can get to know each other a little; and I will give you some initial violin tuition on your instrument. If you are an absolute beginner, it will be getting to know the violin and bow – (See videos page) and each other!

If you can already play the violin, you will have brought with you, the music materials that you have used with your previous teacher over the preceding 12 months. I will ask you to play something that you enjoy playing, and the last piece that you played with the other teacher.

I may give you a little sight reading, and ask you to play a few scales that you know. By the end of the interview/appraisal, I will have a fairly clear picture of your present level, strengths and weaknesses.

Next week the fun begins!

 Promising young Chinese student, who has been learning the violin in Bangkok  for 10 months.

Promising young Chinese student, who has been learning the violin in Bangkok for 10 months.

I like to make my violin lessons as enjoyable interesting as possible, by providing plenty of variety in approach and materials, so that whilst the violin tuition is a pleasant experience, it is still challenging enough to take my students just a little out their comfort zone, into some unchartered territory – that is how they will grow.

(Analogy) - It is just the same as pushing for that extra rep on the bench press or squat in the gymnasium, or that one centimeter more in the high jump, which promotes growth, and with it; a real sense of inspiration and achievement.

Every week I will try to show you something new. When you go home, try to spend 30 minutes (or more for more experienced players) every day, practicing what you were shown in the lesson, so that next week we can monitor and build on these new skills, by adding more.

Practicing a little every day is much better, than a lot on one or 2 days per week. It is like maintaining premium fitness. A little often is the key.

 Duet with a late beginner student from Australia, who has had violin lessons in Bangkok for 5 months.

Duet with a late beginner student from Australia, who has had violin lessons in Bangkok for 5 months.

Remember - like everything else in life - the more you put into it, the more you get out. Please do not think that you can just go home, keep your violin case closed all week, come to your next lesson, and by some miracle, be a better player. It does not work like that. It is what you do between your lessons, that is the most important thing.

Remember; your teacher is a musician; not a magician! I cannot wave a magic wand like Micky Mouse, and suddenly make you a better player- but I can guide you towards a magical experience, if you follow my advice. Practicing at home every day (with purpose) between your lessons, WILL work your magic.

Like a gardener, I can only sow the seeds of knowledge that have to germinate and grow, when you do your practice. In the same way that a gardener will water, feed and tend to his plants so they bear fruit; you have to attend to your violin practice, so that your playing blossoms, flourishes, gives you pleasure, and inspires you to want to learn more.

The more you learn, the more enjoyment you will have, and the more you will want to learn new things.

I want you to look forward to every violin lesson. Music should be fun. I will make you laugh sometimes; but I will still be serious about you doing well, and I will expect you to make me happy, by working hard and following my instructions.

I am not a fool; and I can always tell straight away, if my student has not done their practice! - Lawrence

I want us to have fun together. So you do your bit, and I'll do mine - that way you WILL go far - pleasing me, pleasing your mother and father, and most importantly - pleasing yourself!


Time Management
- for more advanced students

Plan your practice

Warm up on a few scales before commencing sectional practice on the pieces and studies that you have been instructed to work on by your teacher in preparation for next week’s lesson.

Isolate difficulties

Place a “Post-it” note at the beginning and end of the passage you’re practicing, so you won’t be tempted to waste time by reading beyond the end.

Remember the floor cleaning analogy – you need to spend time cleaning the dirty parts of the floor, and not waste time on the parts that are already clean!

Be sure to start with the correct bowing and position, and don’t go on until you’ve performed the section accurately several times - but don’t use that technique for every single passage you practice.

Ring the changes.

In the midst of one section, stop playing and perform a different, difficult section once only, then return to your regular practicing. That keeps you from getting bogged down in repetition.

Always end your practice with some of your favorite music – don’t be tempted to waste practice time in self-indulgence, by starting with that material!


Improve your bow stroke - easy bowing exercises

Fun bowing exercises to keep your bow stroke on the straight and narrow!