I want to thank you so very much for all the guidance and help that you so kindly have been providing me via your vioilinlab.com website. Your website is fresh and very innovative and you are doing an outstanding job in helping us, adults, learn to play the violin. I have learned more from you and from your videos than I have learned from a former private teacher. Since I have become a member, I have learned so much and feel so much more inspired to learn to play the violin that I find myself counting the hours to my next practice time.
Your video lessons are concise, engaging and provides us with the exact information we need to progress. I also love your videos with other professional violinist and how they offer different insight and techniques to help us learn. Violinlab has certainly been a blessing and I am grateful for all the hard work that you and your crew has been able to share with us beginners. Your site has been a truly invaluable resource for me.
Once again, thank you for your guidance and for lighting the way.
I too was looking for some more in depth teaching and was so thrilled to find this site as well. Beth is Great ! I love it that I can show her what I'm doing via a video instead of trying to explain it all in words. And the other way around...she can SHOW me an answer to an issue instead of me trying to visualize what she's saying. I've had some direction in starting up on violin (started at 39) but lately I'm pretty much on my own as far as technique goes...until I found Beth here.
I think you have rescued me from a 'slough of despond'!
A rudimentary beginning, now over fifty years ago, got me started on
the violin and for my 60th birthday I bought myself a really good
instrument and began again with enthusiasm.
I am most fortunate to live in a truly tranquil paradise in isolated
wooded hills to the south of Pisa in Italy's Tuscany, where I have the
leisure and solitude to play for as many hours as I care to.
But a month ago a professional violinist visited me and I woefully
realized what a meager beginner I am still. I watched my pride and
confidence evaporate and I began to doubt that I would ever make the
kind of music my soul yearns for.
A teacher is not for me for many reasons and I wonder if you can
imagine the joy I feel this night (just one week after I have
successfully tethered my iPhone to my computer and, of a fashion, am
'online') to have discovered Violinlab.com and your vivacious
virtuosity! It takes an hour, at least, to down load 4 minutes of
video, but what a resource you bring me.
I LOVE these videos! I'm a beginner violin player and am an engineer by trade and your "to the point" "step by step" teaching process impresses me so much. Violin playing has always been a mystery to me but you are a master at revealing the mystery and making it look easy.
Thank you for your VERY methodical approach to learning the violin.
I can't wait to watch and learn more.
I am so 'into' the violin I come online to look for companions to my journey and also to listen to other people's views/experiences in learning this wonderful instrument. I thought Beth is a good teacher and her site would be a good complement to the million of things my teacher is helping me with, it's a bit like having my main teacher then violin lab during the week to help me 'keep things going' ;)
My First Impressions: I was immediately struck by the quality, depth and breadth of material not to mention the quantity of videos on your site. Naturally I wanted to write you an effervescent testimonial STAT but then I thought it would sound way too exuberant for having only been on the site for 24 hours. I was confident that given a few months I would craft a simple letter expressing my sincere appreciation for your work. LOL.
Lasting Impressions: Well, 9 months later I can say with absolute certainty -- nothing has changed -- Beth, you are incredible!...I cannot contain my excitement for your work on VLAB. From my perspective, ViolinLab is the most extraordinary compilation of learning materials and on this planet: I am truly gobsmacked at the your whole approach from the microscopic attention to detail, your thoughtful insight and analysis of videos posted by the members, the multiple perspectives offered by your colleagues, to the solid foundations from which you add all the layers so logically and lovingly. You have conceived, developed and delivered a master piece ...a quintessential application of andragogical (and pedigogical) theory. And I'll wager that long after we have passed on to fiddle heaven, your collection of videos will be regarded as one of the most important works in the history of violin educational resources.
Thank you for providing us with such a rich, thoughtful, sensitively presented curriculum. I am 53 years old and have been working through Suzuki book 1 this past year while taking a lesson once per month. Although I am making wonderful progress, I know my lengthy practice time needs better focus and clear intent for the best understanding and progress. Your lessons give me the perfect amount of understanding and insight into what I am trying to learn. With a clear mind set and insight into the subject, I am able to begin to master the huge amount of information and knowledge required to play the violin well. I am enjoying the process of learning, and feel no need to rush. (Although who would not want to play like Hilary Hahn?!!:) I thought it was too late for me to learn to play music....but here I am beginning to produce beautiful tone which is actually pleasing to hear. That lovely sound is reward enough to keep me practicing diligently.
You have probably been told by many a grateful student that you are truly an amazing teacher, but please allow me to echo those words and add that you have a real gift for sharing what you know in a way which is very easy to understand. Thank you so much!
I do have some teachers but I can't really find a good one for my needs, and so I came online and found violin lab! Very very helpful, and my technique is slowly returning to me again thanks to this website! Is everyone on this website self taught? I find violin lab very motivational - I come back after uni classes quite tired and all I want to do is sit down with a coffee and watch telly, but I watch a couple of videos from here instead and do some exercises on the violin and have a very self aware, body aware practice session. Thank you so much for the creation of this site!
I really enjoy getting your helpful hints and I just LOVE your website. I am a beginner adult from Sydney Australia. I was getting formal lessons for about 6months. But was getting very frustrated. My teacher kept saying its very hard for adults to learn the violin, but I had always wanted to play. - so was on the verge of giving up when I discovered your website and my playing has improved so much! Ive learned things from you my teacher never even covered.. so I have ditched her and focusing on the website for the time being.
I want to let you know how happy I am to have found the Violin Lab. I am 31, stay at home mother of a 1 year old and 2 year old. I live near the Texas Renaissance Festival and a couple years ago saw a group play there with an amazing violin/fiddle player. Ever since then I have wanted to learn to play. Only a couple of months ago, I got a violin and registered with the Violin Lab. Being a young family and me trying to stay at home with my little ones, we are on a tight budget. So my violin is not the best and I can not afford a private teacher. So your website means so much to me. For some reason I have this huge desire to learn how to play and play well. I practice at night and the time practicing is like therapy. I love it (even though I think I am torturing my dog :) ). Anyway, just wanted to let you know. The violin lab helps me pursue my passion and lets me have this little piece of myself to myself.
You have already helped me so much, but when I went to the ViolinLab web site, I was blown away at how much you have done for us closet violin learners. I just wanted to become a member in order to support you as you support us.
There is an ease in learning from the web- it leaves the embarrassment out and allows us to work as hard as we can or are able. I‚Äôve already seen the vibrato video a half dozen times. It has relaxed my frantic haste to learn. Thank you,
You have helped so many of us with learning to play the violin. I have been searching for something like Violin Lab for a long, long time. It is truly a dream come true for me, and many others, I am sure! My only regret is that I didn't find it sooner. I know that others are struggling too, to learn, to play the violin. It would be so much easier to have chosen another instrument, but that's not where the heart is.Thank goodness we have YOU! Anyway, I want to thank you for all your hard work. Teachers are getting paid mega bucks, for what you are offering us for next to nothing. I will hang in there with you as long as I continue to play the violin.
I enjoy my time with you each day. You enspire me in many ways. Thank you Beth!!
Beth!, summer vacations is coming to a close for me and i will be forced to return to my tedious school work habit once again. and of course that means returning to my orchestra!, i want to let you know how much your online violinLab has helped me. Some may think online musical instrumental classes may not be helpful but let me assure you, that is not true. This was one of those rare times in my Viola playing that i have noticed a vast amount of growing in just one month. I owe it all to you and your marvelous way of teaching. I'm sure my schools orchestra teacher will notice a difference in my playing once i return. The following are some of the things i have greatly improved on: Shifting, Spiccato, intonation, left hand articulation, and sense of personal touch in music. i'm sure theres more but i just cant think of it right now. furthermore, i would like to Thank you SO MUCH for the free one month subscription. something great came out of this, my parents noticed my large amount of hours spent on viewing your videos and practicing. they have become more involved in my musical learning and i have discussed with them my intentions of majoring in musical performance and greatly enough, they fully support my decision. so thank you :] Lastly, as a 16 year old that absolutely loves to play his instrument, i want to let you know i am now absolutely certain on a musical career for sure. I never got a chance to post a video demonstrating my growth but i will soon enough because my parents have agreed to let me subscribe again to the website as soon as i get situated with my new year at school. Thanks so much once again and i cant wait to come back VERY SOON!
HAVE A GREAT REST OF THIS SUMMER!
I have learned so much more from watching your videos than I ever did from my violin instructor. After 18 lessons with my instructor, I could play simple songs from Suzuki Book One in first position on the violin, but I wasn't bowing or fingering properly and the sound was not the heavenly tone that emanates from your violin. As an older student I expect more of myself and the lessons as well as the hourly cost were leaving me so frustrated and discouraged that I took a hiatus from taking lessons. Finding your website has been a godsend. You have an uncanny ability to anticipate the problems of the beginning violinist and you are able to articulate and demonstrate in a concise manner the precision and flow of the bow arm and fingers and why it is done that way. I particularly like the way you explain and break down the motion of the bow arm in an almost robotic movement using the stops. It has also been very helpful to place tape on the fingerboard and bow, as I was having a problem with distribution.
You have given me hope again. There are so many things I like about the way you teach it would take me all day to list them and I have only watched the first 20 videos (some of them several times) in the Beginner's section. And I feel so much more comfortable and less stressed learning to play the violin at home. And you are there for us at our convenience all day every day.
....let me say that I find your site in general, and your presentation of each lesson in particular, to be of remarkable quality and usefulness. What you have already accomplished is a one-of-a-kind work, or more accurately I suspect, a one-of-a-kind labor of love that is readily apparent on everyone's computer screen.
Claude O Ramer III
I am a new subscriber to your amazing site. This is by far the best resource I have found. I have played the violin off and on all my life beginning at age four. I am now 73 years old and enjoying it more than ever. I work very hard trying to correct some life-long bad habits and it is slow going but I feel I'm making progress and now ,with your help, things are improving more rapidly.
Just a quick note to tell you how awesome your site is. Your presentations are excellent, calm, up close,
with detailed valuable violin knowledge.
I being a fiddler for 30 years have always loved the power of the Instrument. I celebrated the cosmic nature, sacred geometry and dynamic physics of the instrument that have been discovered since it was invented.
Although I don't intend to become a violinist I do want to learn how to get the most from my instrument and continue my journey to becoming the best player I can be, fiddler or not. Your video's have totally
captivated my interest in the techniques used by master players.
Keep up the GOOD WORK!
My best regards,
My name is Teddy Dan-Tackie I am nineteen years of age and a Ghanaian presently studying in China, since i was a child i always dreamed of playing the violin but i never really had the opportunity because of the kind of environment i come from. I was only able to learn Guitar ,piano and drums i really have a passion for music. I tried learning through the internet and came across so many lessons which are okay but i find yours to be the best and most informing i have come across because of its systematic nature.
Thank you for your wonderful web site. It is complete and very easy to use. I bought a violin a few weeks ago and due to time restraints and travel distance,
I have not been able to find a violin instructor as of yet. I need to locate one close to where I am located. I can't locate anyone that even knows someone that
plays one, until I stumbled across your web site! You are truly an amazing lady! With all your talent and knowledge, yet you still take time to instruct the
very basics of the instrument. You remind me of my nephew that is in the Marines (F/A-18 Hornet pilot) and he is still approachable and takes the time to answer
all the questions I have. It never made his head swell up. Your teaching methods are perfect for me. I couldn't hold my violin without slipping off my shoulder.
With your video that problem was corrected in a matter of minutes. I made it up to lesson 19 and still amazed at how easy you make things to understand. I love
the Irish fiddle and hope that some day I may be able to play some reels. I am 60 and with work (up at 3:00AM), volunteering and a brother with cancer, time is
so precious. Thank you for bringing a little sunshine into my life and thank you for sharing your passion of music and the violin.
Thank you for your excellent work on your website. Itís the best. Several years ago, when I came across ProfessorVís YouTube videos, I thought he knew a lot. Your video lessons surpassed everyoneís on the Web. You do not dumb down any topic while you give very detailed explanations. It is a pleasant experience to be a member of your website. Iíve learned a lot.
Also I would like to thank you for all your wonderful videos at violin lab. After playing for only three weeks I found a local teacher and had my first lesson. She was most impressed with my technique and had many questions on how I learned proper bow hold, bowing and left hand technique. She watched me play simple gifts without looking at the music and told me to take the tapes off and we will skip the new student basics. I'm sure it helps that I play guitar and mandolin but I know I have progressed much faster having had your instruction videos to work with every day. I love this website. I travel, and It's great to be able to take your violin teacher anywhere. Thanks again.
I saw your Vibrato basics video today and it was the first video of yours that I've ever seen; I am so amazed and moved that there is such deep understanding out there. I've had a horrible experience with teachers growing up, and being a performer, I've learned to develop a immense distrust and dislikes for teachers other than some Russian teachers I've personally worked under. I teach my students with all their knowledge and my knowledge from over the years. Your Vibrato Basics video was so carefully communicated and very much like the way I teach my students, it really meant something special to me to see a public video with the special information that I had to travel to acquire away from my earlier teachers.
I just want to tell you that I literally browsed hundreds of sites for violin instructions. I don't have the words to describe how wonderful yours is. It's actually the best out there. You have an amazing gift, not only in violin, but teaching. The way you convey elaborate concepts in such simple ways gives a lot of courage to people like me.
I am so Happy I found this Website.Finally after much frustration trying to teach myself to play Violin because I couldn't afford to continue Lessons. And much wasted time and effort. I have finally found a Great Teacher who explains every detail about violin playing,and provides the best videos I have ever seen anywhere.
I saw your tutorials, Beth , on a reference strip on you tube.I was impressed.
Your style and understanding of the basic questions that are encountered by
most beginners..is encouraging!
I watched your "stage right" free videos on home page..reviewed the list of
available lessons..and signed up ! Thanks.
I have 5-6-lessons from a BA-violin, teacher.,.accomplished, but I came to understand
more of what I need to know - practice, from your free tutorials..in an hour last night.
Your violin tutorials on Facebook and YouTube really inspire people to learn how to play violin. In my own personal view it's one of the most glorious instruments ever made. And they don't have to be ashamed or maybe even afraid of other students who may look down on them. Your videos are very informative and you speak in a calming, steady tone of voice, which is rare these days in this world. I truly want to support your work.
Hi Beth, I wish you happiness and success in all your projects this new year.
I write just to say: Thanks a lot for violin lab, every day i repeat to myself: this is an extraordinary discovery, in three months i have a huge progress just look at your videos.
Hope to continue enjoying this beautiful project.
Cheers from MedellŪn- Colombia
This isn't a question, but I felt that, after several months of using Violin Lab, I simply had to express my gratitude. This is an amazing resource. It has helped me overcome many bad habits which crept into my first three years of playing the viola. It is also helping to keep me on track, now that I have moved away from my teacher, until I find a new one. And then, it will be a solid reference to go to anytime.
Beth's presentations in the videos are outstanding, and very clear. My handling of the instrument, my tone, and and overall playing are improving month by month.
Thanks for creating this wonderful website!
I have just renewed my membership to your marvellous site and will continue to do so. I am actually studying the viola, but so much of your valuable work and teaching videos for the violin easily translates to the viola and has been a great help. Ever thought of running a second school for viola? You would have my support for life.
Hi Beth! And everybody! First off -- the Video Lesson Library is amazing! I have had 8 violin teachers -- some of who were/are very well known -- and none of them gave me the tools that have been captured on this website.
You are just amazing..i was searching for a violin teacher like you for years...i am personally a flutist(bamboo) ...your pin point descriptions and thoughful tutorials will help many like me..
thanks for the initiative..
kind regards from a very happy soul
This is an amazing resource! Your website is so simple, intuitive and elegant. Your video tutorials are exceptionally well produced, thorough, to the point, and cover such an astounding range of relevant subjects that it's, like I said, amazing!!! Add to that, in addition to being an obviously great violinist and teacher, Beth has such a great on-camera presence it's just... what's the word...
I'm just writing to tell you how much I appreciate your web site and all of the violin education you have made available to the public. I recently became a member after I broke my right wrist hiking (a tragedy for a violinist) and thanks to you, I can at least keep my mind involved with learning about the violin on many levels and keep that information on the back burner until I can use my bow arm again. In the meantime, my 11 year old grandson, whose practice I oversee, sits down at the computer with me before his practice and we watch one or more tutorials that are relevant to his practice. What you make available, for a reasonable price, is invaluable to us and I thank you so much.
First of all your site is just amazing, and has been a Godsend for me. I have been playing unsuccessfully for 3 years. None of my teachers have given me the information that I received in just a few minutes on your site. I now have hope of being a descent violin player now due to your site. It has given me much hope and allowed me to see what I have been missing out on. Why is it that none of my teacher's have offered me this information ?
Thanks a million for your dedication and motivation.
I guess it is never too late to let you know that Violinlab has been a very important event in my life of now 73 years! I have played classical Piano since I retired a few years ago and last Christmas I received a violin from my wife as a new musical toy!
I was fortunate enough to accidentally discover your website on the internet and started my violin training with Violinlab thinking I should get a teacher once I learnt the ABC of it from your site.
I can now play all sorts of things on the violin after 7 months and my only teacher has been Violinlab!! In fact my piano teacher, who is a school musical director in Spain, also joined when I gave her a tour of ViolinLab!!
This could not have been possible without help from your well prepared and most informative library of videos and above all, your expertise and personal dedication that comes through every one of your lessons. If one day I can just do the scales on my violin as beautifully and expressively as you do, I shall be so happy!!
Many thanks for a job well done.
Words can't express my respect and appreciation for you. I am really thankful for the huge efforts that you put in teaching others. I and all your students are the luckiest people in the world to have you as a teacher. I owned a violin for along time and I couldn't learn how to play it until I found your website, two weeks ago.
I want to thank you so much for the violin tutorial site, violinlab.com.
Today I failed again to find the right teacher (I'm 47) - then, within hours, I found your site, through a YouTube video.
Thank God for the modern age, showing us through technology what is possible for learners nowadays!
Violin lessons have been too expensive for me for many years - 14 precisely, since I fell in love with it.
I have had the score of the Mendelssohn Concerto in e Minor printed out since then.
Now I can learn it - without being told I can't - and that it's only for people who have been at an academy for 2 years.
I just became a member of ViolinLab, and I'm excited to learn more so I can pass the information along to my students! I'm a new high school/ middle school orchestra director. As a trained percussionist, I have little experience with string orchestra, other than playing timpani in college and as a fill in percussionist for the local symphony. The videos on your site are really great for people like me, who need to know how to communicate the ideas behind fundamental and intermediate techniques, without having a string background.
I was wathing your videos with my violinist friends and they were amazed! :) You've such a soothing, comforting and nice voice and you really know much about violins! I'm studying in university to be a psychiatric nurse and me and my classmates LOVE YOU! Beth, you are awesome! Please do your videos more!
At your website Iím like a kid in a candy store. I jump all over the place because everything is so dang interesting. Itís overwhelming, and Iím not sure how profitable it is to jump around to different categories of lessons, but Iím doing the best I can. It takes a lot of discipline to follow the steps. For instance . . . I canít resist playing Christmas carols with you right now!
Thank you so much. I appreciate you and your lessons, and the fact that I can revisit them as many times as I want. It also helps so much that you play the violin so often in your lessons. When I can hear how the music is supposed to sound, there is a much greater chance that I can achieve something similar.
ďSomething similarĒ is what Iím going for at this stage. Something remotely recognizable to what you sound like. J
I've watched many instructional violin videos, and Violin Lab is clearly the most comprehensive and well-organized program. I like your in-depth discussion of topics, and your philosophy that there's no "one size fits all" best way for many techniques. I also enjoy your having other master teachers present their own points of view, tips, and practice suggestions.
I'm attracted too by your focus on adult students. I think a lot of teachers are uncomfortable with adult students because we often ask a lot of questions, and aren't satisfied to just do whatever the teacher says. I've learned a lot from Violin Master Class, but get annoyed that the students shown are all quite young. The implicit message is that you have to start when you're a kid. And I really don't need constant reminders that there are kids who are much more skilled than me!
I applaud the professionalism of your lessons. They're extremely well organized and presented. You're very relaxed before the camera, and know just what you want to say. I'd watched other video teachers fumble around, correct themselves, or apologize for some goof or technical production problem. I wish they'd just do another take and get it right, showing the same care that they would for a performance CD.
I'm a very visual learner, and I like your videos' sharp image quality and plain backgrounds, which let me focus totally on the lesson. In some other teachers' videos, I've gotten irritated at poor camera angles or lighting, or distracted by interesting personal objects in the background of their living rooms or studios.
Perhaps your most impressive single feature is the lesson with vibrato in slow-motion. I've seen this nowhere else, and it's so helpful to see exactly what the motions are in real performance-level vibrato.
You have the most detailed and well cataloged video violin lesson encyclopedia on the Internet.
I am studying under Gwendolyn Taylor, the Associate Concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. She has seen your work and considers it an excellent resource in addition to my weekly lessons. I am getting towards the end of Suzuki book 1 after about 10 months and your videos have prepped me on each new piece I work through in my lessons. That maximizes my learning in each weekly 1 hour session with Gwen. Your work has contributed significantly to my progress as a 61 year-old adult starter.
You also keep updating your site and that really enhances its value. I especially like the recent slow motion bowing grip techniques you added. Brilliant and very helpful as I continue to improve my bow hold.
Your videos on slurs are excellent with simple explanations and simple, efficient exercises.
Short of a personal financial calamity, I could not see myself not renewing considering all that you and your Violin Lab resources contribute to my learning.
I'm so pleased with your effective teaching! Many, many thanks. You are patient, sooo explicit, & passionate about your students gaining skill to play violin. I'm glad I signed on with you. Thank God for that.
I appreciate you. What an enjoyable way you teach! I'm learning to play violin.
Let ne take this opportunity, Beth, to tell you my violin playing has improved immensely since I began using your videos. I am now just a few months away from age 90 and I realize there are very clear limits to what I can expect to achieve. However, for the first time, thanks to your instruction, I am now able to go (most of the time) at right angles to the strings and near the midpoint between the finger board and the bridge. I agree completely with you that the most fundamental concern in learning to play the violin should be to produce a good sound. I am sure that you are helping a great number of people. Keep up the good work.
With every good wish,