Learning how to play the violin or fiddle, whether you do it in a music school or private lessons, can take some time and cost some money! Regardless of whether you take in-home private tutorials, group classes, etc. While the violin has become a financially-accessible instrument, you can’t ignore the additional costs for accessories and learning materials.
While some think learning music is too expensive, there are certain organisations who ensure prices stay fair so that people remain interested in learning to play instruments.
So how much do violin lessons cost?
Can you earn money with violin tutoring jobs?
In this article, we're looking at what dictates the price of a violin tutorial.
What's the Cost of Violin Lessons?
The first question you should ask before starting your music tutorials and learning how to play the violin is how much money you’re going to have to put aside in order to pay for them. And above all, why you’re going to invest that much money.
So why should you decide to take violin lessons?
Teaching yourself is more than possible, though you should know that it’s still not free. There are many advantages to learning to play the violin with the help of a private tutors or violin teachers.
Taking tutorials with a music teacher will allow you to benefit from a personalised approach.
But is this all really necessary?
That depends on your personality.
While some people will drop their violin lessons as quickly as they started them, others will get into the swing of things and stick with them. If you’re one of the former, the help of violin teachers is arguably the only way you should look at learning the violin.
Taking tutorials will allow you to get into a routine, which is especially useful if you lack the motivation to start playing violin on your own. A tutor or instructor will also be there to help you fix any mistakes you might make. It’s very common for those teaching themselves to pick up some pretty bad habits in terms of your technique.
From not warming up properly and putting your hands in the wrong positions to using the bow incorrectly and poor fingering, there are so many important details you have to be aware of when it comes to playing the violin.
Regularly attending violin classes will make sure that you follow a structured course. With arpeggios, fingering, music theory, practical lessons, you’ll have everything you need to start getting to grips with the violin.
Music tutorials will also help you learn more about the history and culture of music (from Mozart, Lully, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, Paganini, Menuhin, etc.) and instrument training.
Spending money on this is therefore not a waste. By having this assistance, you’ll be able to make better use of your time for learning how to play.
Violin Lessons Prices by City
Life is unfair. Whether you’re learning about music or violins, the price you pay will depend on where you live.
As those living there will know, London isn’t cheap. If you’re wanting to take private violin tutorials, checking the rates of Superprof will show you just how much this can change.
The average price for a violin lesson in London is around £32 per hour while you’ll pay around £23 in Manchester and £20 in Edinburgh, for example.
The difference in prices is similar when you look at lessons in a music school, too. Whether you’re learning about music theory, playing in an orchestra, or just practising the violin, you can expect to pay more for tuition in the UK’s most expensive city.
Of course, the rates generally reflect the cost of living, the cities that cost more to live in will generally have more expensive tutorials. The tutors have to fix their rates in accordance with the going rates as well as covering their own costs.
You should also know a lot of tutors offer prices cheaper than music schools in order to lure in potential students. Tutoring jobs for ex teachers are becoming more common and you’re more likely to get a better price for music lessons by going with a private tutor.
Discover also the many ways you can put your violin expertise to use!
The Cost of Violin Lessons at a School of Music
Music schools generally refer to themselves as conservatoires (conservatory in the US). There are a good number of them up and down the country. For example:
- Royal Academy of Music (London)
- Leeds College of Music
- Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow)
When it comes to the fees for studying in these places, you can generally expect to pay around £9,000 per year for tuition. Of course, this doesn’t include the costs for certain materials and textbooks, either. On top of that, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to work full-time in addition to these studies. It’s recommended that students in London, for example, have over £1,000 per month just for living expenses.
While this amount is lower in other cities, it still adds up when you can’t work full-time. These are costs which a lot of people can’t afford. However, there are certain ways to bring these costs down or attain funding for study. If you’re set on going down this route, you should carefully research any funding opportunities that may be available to you.
After all, these conservatoires offer an interesting array of studies for violinists:
- Contemporary music
- Chamber music
- Music theory
- Singing lessons
- Individual lessons
How Much Are Private Violin Tutor Rates?
As we explained before, the cost of violin tutorials can vary depending on where you live. The bigger cities tend to have the highest rates.
While the average prices somewhere between £25 and £35 per hour on Superprof in the bigger cities, there are places where they can be as low as £20, like in Edinburgh, for example. Which is certainly not a bad place to be, either.
The Incorporated Society of Musicians is an organisation that provides support for professional musicians. They have surveyed 1400 private music teachers about their fees and found that:
- In Central London, music teachers tended to charge between £30-£50/hour. Private music teacher fees in Greater London were a little less, ranging from £30-£40. In the regions of the UK, fees were generally between £25-£35.
- 43% of music teachers expected to increase their tuition rate over the next 12 months, and 35% had raised their fees the previous year, generally by between £1-£4 (though inner London teachers raised their rates by £5).
- The ISM’s results are similar to results published by The Tutor Pages which indicated that the average fee charged by music teachers was almost £32/hour.
Of course, you should be aware that the rates for private violin lessons will vary depending on the tutor’s age, experience, and level, too. Where were they trained? Are they self-taught?
An intermediate violinist is unlikely to charge the same rates as an expert violin tutor. If you’re a complete beginner, the good thing is that you probably won’t need a virtuoso in order to get to grips with the musical instrument, you just need to find a teacher that can show you a few beginner violin techniques and get you performing music for yourself.
The same goes for a tutor’s age. Experienced older tutors tend to charge more per tutorial than a young tutor who’s maybe still studying themselves. You need to work out what your priorities are.
On Superprof, a lot of tutors offer free tutoring for the first hour so you can see if you like the lessons. Don’t hesitate to get the most out of this when it comes to working out who you’re going to work with. These trial or taster tutorials can be really beneficial.
You’ll also see whether or not the violin is for you or whether you should maybe opt for another instrument (ukelele, bass, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, flute, violoncello, etc.).
It’s also during this taster tutorial that you’ll be able to see the types of subjects they’ll cover (music theory, reading sheet music, improvising, etc.) and how they’ll adapt to your level.
Online Violin Lesson Prices
The internet is a great tool for learning new things. And learning to play the violin is no exception. With blogs, websites, etc., there are plenty of resources for learning basic violin techniques for a few quid each month.
Are they worth it?
There are plenty of useful websites for learning more about music. Beginners can learn how to play the piano, guitar, violin, cello, etc.
There are courses and tutorials for all levels, video tutorials given by professional musicians, and explanations for a variety of different topics:
- Positioning the bow
- Positioning your left hand
- Positioning your right hand
- Tuning your violin strings
- Violin playing for beginners
Some resources are free while others you have to pay a monthly subscription. These subscriptions generally cost between £10 and £20 per month.
You can also buy learning resources like videos, eBooks or .pdfs covering a range of different levels for students of all ages. However, this type of learning isn’t for everyone. The student needs to be sure that they'll stick at it and not give up. There’s also nobody to correct you when you do something wrong.
With that in mind, is it really worth it?
The Questions You Should Ask about the Cost of Violin Lessons
Before you decide upon anything, it’s important to know which questions you’re going to ask your potential tutor to ensure that you make the right decision.
Here’s a few of the important things you should check with your tutor before you start taking lessons with them:
- Their level as a violin teacher. As we explained before, this can influence their rates. Furthermore, you need to know whether or not your tutor is capable of simplifying pieces to your level.
- The style of music they teach. There isn’t much point in hiring a tutor who teaches classical music trying to teach you if you want to play folk music. This would be both a waste of money and time.
- Where they live. The distance a tutor has to travel can often affect the rates they charge. Similarly, if you travel to them, you don’t want to pay too much on transport. Don’t forget to consider the cost of petrol or public transport when working out their rate per hour.
- The materials. Do you need to buy books and resources or will they provide them?
There are so many factors that can affect the final price.
You need to take them all into account in order to work out what you’re really paying.
Don’t forget that there are several places you can learn to play the violin!