There’s no doubt about it: technology is changing the way we live. From connecting with friends to gathering news and information, and even the way we learn, computers have brought us access to knowledge with unprecedented convenience.
If you’re interested in learning how to play the violin, you now have more options for learning than ever before! Today, there are hundreds of video lessons available online and complete websites dedicated to the violin. Other sites offer tips, tricks, free online lessons, games that can teach you music theory and sheet music for any song you can imagine.
One of the most interesting and exciting developments in musical instrument technology is the newest generation of teaching software. Online instruction has grown in recent years, and today it’s possible to study almost any instrument online. A prime example is with violin instruction.
While personalized, one-on-one instruction is always the best way to learn to play an instrument, advances in violin software can offer a quick introduction to your musical journey ahead. Here, let’s look at the basics of the software approach to learning and several packages on the market.
The Benefits of Software Learning
Learning to play the violin using a software-based approach offers many benefits:
Software learning allows you to work at your own pace. If you are a disciplined student, you can work quickly, but you can always go back and review tricky material until it’s mastered.
If you have more than one child in your household interested in playing violin, a software learning system can be used by multiple students. Learning to play with a friend or sibling can make it even more fun!
Most programs are downloadable, so you can begin learning in minutes! The lessons are accessible at any time and some also offer a streaming component.
Online video instruction may also be included, in various formats, like high-quality videos and eBooks. Most lessons are prepared by and feature master players, so you’re learning from the experts.
Violin Software Options
The violin can be one of the most challenging instruments to master. Learning to play any instrument requires focus, enthusiasm, patience, practice, and dedication. Once you have that drive, your next step is selecting among the many violin software programs available.
Here are a few to look into:
1. SmartMusic: $40.00, annual student subscription
SmartMusic is a subscription-based online software product and website. To use SmartMusic, students launch the program, clip on a microphone, and start practicing. You learn through the power of interactive practice. The program allows you to record your practice sessions as you play along. It contains thousands of pieces of music and allows you to see how your part fits in an ensemble setting.
SmartMusic listens as you play and gives instant feedback, including suggesting files and lessons to work on next. It allows you to work at your own pace by controlling the tempo, and the built-in “looper” helps you focus on difficult passages.
2. eMedia My Violin: $49.95, downloadable for Windows and Mac
eMedia offers several versions of the My Violin program. All are geared toward the beginning student and are hosted by Sabina Skalar, who has played with the New York City Ballet. It offers over 160 lessons, illustrating various techniques for the beginning player, such as how to play with proper fingering and bowing technique. It also includes lessons on reading musical notation and introduces the student to various violin songs and etudes.
Using interactive technology, much like SmartMusic, My Violin tracks your progress and helps you recognize and fix errors. The animated fingerboard shows proper fingering and the program includes interactive games for learning musical notation, bowing techniques, and much more. Integrated violin tools include an automatic violin tuner, a metronome, and a recorder.
3. eMedia My Violin Starter Pack: $149.95 (includes violin, bow, and case!)
The turnkey option, eMedia’s My Violin Starter Pack comes complete with the software as described above but is also bundled with a student violin, bow, case, rosin, and a cleaning cloth! The violins are solid wood with a spruce top and maple back and sides. The violins come in a variety of sizes from 1/4th size to full-size, and accommodate all ages of student. This is a good set if you’re unsure of your child’s commitment. Its affordable price and the all-in-one bundle is a cost-effective way to see if the violin is right for your son or daughter.
4. Eric Lewis’s Violin Master Pro: $27.00, downloadable violin teaching system
This software was created and programmed by Jay Dynasty, a Sony recording artist and studio musician. The program contains violin lessons in both audio and video format along with sheet music and information. The program uses musical styles like classical, pop, jazz, and country to teach the various techniques used when playing violin.
It also contains lessons on the techniques of the masters like Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, and Itzhak Perlman. It also includes bonus features – 200 multimedia lessons, 18 video presentations, video lessons in all styles and speeds, audio recordings and jam tracks, and an online beat maker.
Learning Violin with Software Vs. One-on-One Lessons
While it’s possible to learn to play using violin software, it’s always a good idea, especially when you’re first starting out, to study with a qualified teacher. The violin is one of the most challenging instruments to master, so getting a strong foundation is essential!
The software approach offers the flexibility to learn at your own pace and structure lessons around your schedule, but most of the packages out there will work best when combined with one-on-one lessons. It’s easy to get frustrated if you find yourself having difficulty with a technique or musical passage. Having an experienced teacher working with you through those challenges is often the difference between success and failure.
Remember, there are no shortcuts when learning to play an instrument! It takes practice, patience, and perseverance, along with the latest cutting-edge learning tools and a qualified teacher, to stay motivated and inspired. Good luck!
Photo by flay sepulcrast