One cannot inherit a talent for the violin, there are no violins in nature. Instead, one must be motivated, able to benefit from practice, and persevering. - Marilyn Vos Savant

Most violinists will agree with Marilyn Vos Savant. The violin takes hours and hours of practice to perfect, but it also takes tremendous dedication and love for music and the instrument. Investing all of that time and effort leads to rewarding results. You will be able to play Mozart's and Vivaldi's most iconic pieces in a couple of years.

Whatever your goals as a violinist, it is important to consider that you will need guidance from music teachers as well as opportunities to show off your talent. Your journey will take you through lessons on music theory, improvisation, and ear training. It will also open doors for you to meet all kinds of people in the music community.

With consistent practice in a few months or a year, you will be ready to show what you have learned and play among other musicians in an orchestra or community music school.

Options for Violin Lessons in Chicago

When looking at where to find violin lessons in the Windy City,  hundreds of options will appear with one Google search. But don't fret! We can show you how to narrow down your choices.

The variety of violin lesson opportunities can be narrowed down to three varieties, those offered at music schools or programs for group classes, private lessons for individuals, and online courses that you can sign up for.

online music classes
Online music classes are a more affordable option if you are looking to take individual lessons. (Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash)

If you are looking for options for a younger child or even a teen, group music lessons are the most affordable option. This is because the price of the class is divided amongst the students that attend. Music lessons or kids can be found in community centers, specialized music schools, or even as programs intertwined in the school routine.

Most music schools will also provide classes for piano lessons, guitar lessons, and even voice lessons.

For example, The Chicago School of Music offers both traditional and Suzuki method violin classes. Group lessons at the Chicago Music School are ideal for preschoolers. All of the students in these classes are beginners, therefore they are all taught at the same pace. The school also organizes performance opportunities in the form of a recital at the end of the program.

If you would like a more personalized music education, private lessons might be perfect for you. Private lessons with violin instructor can give you more say in the way that you learn and at what pace. Private violin instructors are in abundance in the Chicago area, so make sure to ask around to friends and family for recommendations to help you narrow down the search.

Private instruction can easily accommodate to the skill level of a beginner to the more advanced player.

The price of private music classes can range depending on the time of the lesson and the experience of the instructor. The average price for a 60-minute private lesson in Chicago is about $72. Make sure to ask about the qualifications of your potential teacher.

Most teachers have extensive knowledge of one or more musical instruments and experience playing in a conservatory or certifications in music instruction. In addition, ask if they specialize in early childhood music or adult lessons.

There is also the option of going online for your classes. You can sign up for video tutorials or pay a small fee for more interactive programs. You can also take private lessons through video calls from violin tutors.

Superprof has great options for private lesson teachers that can meet with you in person or online. Violin lesson instructors can also be found in Philadelphia and San Diego.

Best Orchestras in Chicago

Joining a community orchestra is the optimal way to advance your technique as a musician. You will be able to challenge yourself by growing the skill set of playing among other musicians. Orchestras are able to blend together the sounds of all of their musicians in order to create multidimensional music.

person playing stringed instrument
Joining a youth orchestra can help young students gain the confidence to play in public and show off their skills. (Photo by Kael Bloom on Unsplash)

One tip given to any musician trying to improve is to play in public as much as possible. Orchestras give violinists the unique opportunity to help string players build friendships with encouraging people who share similar interest and provides many low-pressure performance opportunities, where you get to play for audiences, but in the comfort of being part of a group.

The Windy-City offers a great variety of orchestras for Chicagoans to join. Symphony, chamber and string orchestras hold auditions year-around for those who would like to expand their musical repertoire and meet likeminded artists.

  • The Fox Valley Academy of Music performance offers a variety of programs for beginners and intermediate players. Their Access to Music program gives children the opportunity to play among other students in a fun environment for two days a week.
  • Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra is an affordable opportunity for students in the Chicago Southland area. They hope to “improve student's skills and hone their musicianship through participation in ensembles designed to let them learn, rehearse, and perform with their peers"
  • The Chicago Orchestral Academy provides performance opportunities to both adults and younger generations through their classical orchestra and their Protégé Philharmonic. This orchestra is for those players with higher and more advanced experience with the violin.

You can also find other orchestras to join in cities like New York and San Antonio that provide opportunities to play chamber music or to play with other families of instruments such as woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments.

Price of a Violin

After deciding to take on the violin as a hobby you are going to need to collect the tools to accomplish your goals, up first is purchasing or renting a violin.

Violin prices can range widely due to the multitude of models available by different makers. You can find violins ranging anywhere from $100 to $10,000. The age and the maker of a violin can increase and decrease the price of the instrument. Violins from notable makers and of an older age are typically the most expensive.

violin pegs
In order to correctly use the violin, you will need to purchase a couple of other accessories, so keep an additional budget on hand. (Photo by VanveenJF on Unsplash)

Brands such as Stentor, Cremona, and Mendini are more affordable because they are mass instrument producers. The average price for a new violin from any of these brands is $200.

As your dedication to the instrument grows, the need for a higher grade violin might also increase. However, for the first couple of months or year, a more affordable violin is a good idea.

A more expensive violin might be a good investment further down the line but it is ok to have a lower grade violin for the first couple of months or year.

You may feel an insurmountable desire to buy the best sounding violin, or a coolest looking violin, however, we suggest that for starters, think about how realistic that would be for you, in terms of affordability and frequency of use.

What You Need to Play the Violin

Having only your instrument in hand is not enough to help you become a violinist. Your violin teacher will also recommend that you purchase additional accessories to help you make the most of your musical experience. The following accessories are essential to helping you play the violin correctly and should be considered when budgeting for the instrument:

  • Bow;
  • A case for your violin to protect it;
  • Extra strings in case you wear yours out;
  • Shoulder rest;
  • Rosin for your bow;
  • Violin education books such as the Suzuki Violin Lesson Book;
  • Sheet music by a variety of composers;
  • Tuner;
  • Music stand.

Most beginner violins will include a bow and a case included in the price, but it is worth double checking before purchasing. Other items will be needed as you gain more experience as a music student, but the above are the basic necessities for violinists.

Learning the violin takes a lot of personal investment but it is not an impossible task. Being disciplined enough to practice every day and understanding the investment needed for the violin can take you a long way.

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