Check out my best tips and insights about adult violin lessons!
Learning the violin as an adult can be a lot of fun! There are so many benefits to learning the violin at any age, but as an adult violin student, you have full control over what your journey looks like. I love working with adult students because they’re so excited to learn. Teaching violin lessons to adults inspires me every day.
Whether you’re already learning, or are considering starting violin lessons, these 15 tips will help you feel empowered to play the violin and learn at your own pace, no matter your financial status or time commitment.
1. Just Get Started!
I hear so many adults say “I wish I had learned to play violin.” If this is you… just try it! It’s never too late to try learning an instrument. If it’s a regret of yours and you have the money and resources, just give it a try! Learning to play the violin is fun at any age, and you’ll never know what it’s like if you don’t try.
If you don’t have much expendable income or time, search secondhand shops or ask around friends and family to see if anyone has a violin you could borrow or buy for cheap. Then, check out my free resources! It’s entirely possible to learn violin as an adult through my free lessons.
2. Take Private Violin Lessons
One of the best ways to learn violin at any age is to take private lessons, as long as you’re able to afford it. Taking violin lessons from a teacher will help you learn faster, with clear goals. A good violin teacher will teach you new skills in a progression that makes sense, so you won’t need to research what to learn next.
Taking one-on-one adult violin lessons is the best way to receive personalized feedback and learn quickly. There’s a reason why violin teachers teach individual students: it works the best! Everything in the violin lesson is tailored to you, and you’ll make more streamlined progress with a mentor teaching you music.
Starting adult violin lessons may seem daunting, but most music teachers are understanding, and their job is to help you learn. I know that it can be scary to ask for help and show a vulnerable side when you start to learn something new, but teachers are not there to judge; just to help you learn and master new skills.
How to find adult violin lessons
For in-person lessons, use your favorite browser and search “violin lessons” + where you live. This should show you local results.
You can also find information about online adult violin lessons this way. When you search for violin lessons, many options pop up, including online teaching platforms. Many teachers now also offer online lessons anyway, so if you find someone online who seems like a great fit, you can always contact them to ask what options they offer.
I also have my own program, Julia’s Violin Academy. If you’re looking for online adult violin lessons, personalized feedback, and an online community of eager adult beginners going down the same path, my Academy has it all!
I also offer free violin lessons, song tutorials, and sheet music here on the Violinspiration website. I hope that these free resources can help adult violin students succeed, even if they can’t afford a teacher. These resources are also great supplements to standard teaching methods, especially if there are any particular techniques or songs you’re interested in learning.
3. Develop a Practice Routine
Practicing often is the best way to make progress on the violin. As an adult, it can be difficult to fit in practice time regularly.
If you can find a common time of day when you have even a few extra minutes to yourself, try using that free time to practice. Finding a regular time to practice can help you work it into your schedule and dedicate more time to your craft.
4. Experiment with Different Musical Styles
If you love the sound of the violin but don’t enjoy classical music, avoid traditional violin methods, and learn music that you like! As an adult learning violin as a hobby, you’ll find the most enjoyment if you focus on learning music that you truly like and want to listen to. After all, you’re the one who always has to listen to your playing!
5. Create Musical Goals
If you take private lessons, talk through goals with your teacher and create a plan based on:
- What kind of techniques do you want to learn, and what should come next?
- What pieces would you like to work on?
- Are you hoping to perform sometime soon?
As you learn violin, having a list of doable goals will help you reach achievements faster. This is one reason why taking violin lessons with a teacher is so helpful: they know a consecutive order of the techniques and songs you should learn, so you’ll never be left wondering what to work on next.
When choosing goals, I like to create SMART goals. Read more about them here.
6. Check in with a Teacher
If you don’t take violin lessons with a teacher, try scheduling a check-in lesson once in a while. As you learn to play the violin, you’ll find that you don’t know what you don’t know. There are aspects of playing and even holding the violin that you might not even think about by yourself. This is why it’s so helpful to seek outside support as you learn the violin: everything is very nuanced.
- If you’re an adult student learning from free resources, checking in with a teacher even once or twice a year can jumpstart your progress.
- If you’re a member of Julia’s Violin Academy, you can ask for direct feedback during a live online lesson or by submitting your video – no extra charges apply!
7. Get a Good Instrument
Once you’ve decided that learning violin is something you want to stick with, it’s a good idea to invest in a nice instrument. Cheap violins don’t hold up well and can make a lot of bad noises. Sometimes it’s not you, but the cheap violin that sounds bad!
If you have a violin and decide to go to a teacher, they can easily tell you at your first violin lesson if your instrument is of good quality, or if you should consider upgrading at some point down the road.
Need help to know what to look for in a new violin? Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Violin and download your free copy of my Buying Checklist.
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Violin Buying Checklist [PDF]
8. Learn Some Music Theory
One thing I’ve noticed adult students prefer is knowing the “why” behind what we do. Learning even a little music theory will help you better understand how music works, and why it’s written the way it is.
For example, key signatures are very important in music; they let you know where to place your fingers on the fingerboard to play the correct notes. Without any knowledge of how key signatures work, you’ll find that you have a lot of questions about where your fingers go. Learning even just this little bit of music theory will go a long way in simplifying how you learn and play music.
9. Make Music with Others
I think making music is more fun with other people, and finding other students or friends to make music with will enhance your musical experience so much! Some of my fondest memories involve creating music with loved ones, and on the flip side, I’ve made so many friends through musical opportunities.
In addition to just enjoying yourself, seeing others play the violin can help you learn and discover things you might never have thought of before. Maybe someone holds their violin a little differently than you do or plays with different bow strokes.
Not everyone has friends or people nearby that they can make music with. If that’s your situation, maybe try playing with my accompaniment app (Julia’s Violin Academy members only). It’s not the same as playing with others, but it’s still a lot of fun!
Seeing others playing the violin is a great way to learn. So many adult students tell me they feel the most inspired after hearing a professional musician play. Any kind of concert can be inspiring, but the ones featuring the violin are the most helpful for a beginner!
Types of concerts you might want to try to see are orchestra concerts, chamber music events, and even solo recitals.
11. Document Your Musical Journey
Have you ever looked back at old pictures and seen just how much you or a loved one has grown? Imagine going back, years from now, and watching videos of how you played at a beginner level. It’s so nice to reminisce, and if you’re ever feeling down in a practice rut, looking back and seeing how much you’ve grown can really lift your spirits.
Try recording yourself playing something you’re working on once a week, or even once a month. It’s okay if it’s not perfect! At the moment, it’s so helpful to watch the video back and see if you notice any good or bad playing habits that you’d never thought of before. Then, save the video to watch back later!
12. Find Opportunities to Perform
Children who learn the violin (or any instrument) are often required to perform in recitals and concerts at school. As an adult beginner, you might not have many violin performance opportunities.
Create your own: invite friends over (even have a jam session), play for friends via an app, or at get-togethers. If you have a teacher and they hold recitals, try to participate in them! If you’re a JVA student, make sure to show up at our monthly student recitals!
13. Find a Community
Once you start learning violin, you might feel lonely if you have no one to talk to about your new passion. It’s so nice to be in a community of like-minded individuals who understand what you’re going through and who can celebrate your wins and give you ideas or inspiration when you need it.
Violinspiration is a great place to talk with others who are on the same path as you! Many readers comment regularly – try replying to comments that you see, or write your own. You may make some new friends!
14. Learn to Be Okay with Imperfections
Many of us, especially as adults, are perfectionists. This is great when you’re trying to learn a piece of music or violin skills thoroughly, but can become a hindrance over time.
No matter how much you practice or how hard you focus, it’s very difficult to always play something perfectly. Understanding this fact and letting go of wanting absolutely every aspect of a performance to be perfect will help you enjoy making music and playing a bit more.
While we want to learn music well enough that we can perform it reliably, we can’t expect every performance or every play-through to be perfect. Focusing on being perfect every time you practice or perform takes a lot of energy and can become very frustrating. Letting go just a little can help you enjoy the music and make steady progress without quite as much pressure.
It’s okay to make mistakes, and all of us have made many mistakes learning to play violin, even in our violin lessons! It’s okay, and it’s part of the learning process. Enjoy it!
If you want to hear more about getting comfortable with imperfection, listen to my full pep talk!
15. It Might Take Longer than You Expect
Learning how to play the violin, and even getting a simple song to sound good might take longer than you expect, and that’s okay.
Playing the violin well requires very intricate technique, muscle memory, and background knowledge. It can take a long time to learn all of these factors and put them into play.
Be patient with yourself. Everyone learns how to play violin on a slightly different timeline, and that’s normal. Learning any musical instrument is a journey full of ups and downs, and twists and turns. Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s just part of the learning process.
When I started violin, I had no idea what the process was going to look like, or how long it would take. Try to enjoy the journey step by step, and focus on getting a better understanding of techniques. You’re going to get better, even if it takes some time!
Below are a few questions I always receive from adults who want to take violin lessons:
Is it possible to learn violin as an adult?
Yes, it’s entirely possible to learn violin as an adult! As long as you can hold the violin and bow and keep an open mind, you’re never too old to learn the violin or any new instrument. Many adults even pick up the concepts faster than children. And, it’s possible to take adult violin lessons online!
Just be sure to set aside time to practice, and you’ll be able to learn and grow. 👍
How easy is it for adults to learn violin?
A very common myth about learning violin is that children learn faster than adults. This is untrue! Since I started teaching adult students, I’ve found that they tend to pick up concepts a lot faster than children.
Since adults have more developed minds and muscles than kids, it can be easier to understand and execute new concepts on the violin. The big difference, however, is responsibility level: adult students tend to be a lot busier and more stressed out than children, so fitting in and practicing can feel more difficult for adults.
How long does it take to learn the violin for adults?
On average, it takes 10 years for an adult violinist to reach an intermediate level of violin playing. Depending on how much or little you practice, and if you have a rigorous private instructor, you might learn either a bit faster or slower than the average.
I completely understand if this timeline sounds daunting. My best advice is to practice often and enjoy the journey.
Is 30 too old to learn violin?
Not at all! 30 or any other age is not too old to learn violin. As long as you can make time to practice, you can learn violin and get very good at it.
I’ve met adult beginner violinists here on the site who are 60 and older, and they’re doing great! Keep an open mind, set aside time for practice sessions, and you’ll do great!
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Adult students have so much potential to learn the violin well. Whether you’re considering getting started or if you’re already taking adult violin lessons, I hope these tips today have helped and inspired you to make music and have fun through the process.
Anyone can learn an instrument with practice, inspiration, and an open mind! It’s never too late to learn.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
- It’s Never Too Late to Pick Up the Violin.
- How to Play the Violin: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide
- How to feel JOY when practicing the violin