Have you ever thought about whether you're getting value for money when paying for music lessons?
Starting violin or other bowed instrument lessons is an exciting time. For school pupils, they’re on the road to learning the essential skills needed to become the virtuoso they’ve always dreamed of being.
Whether they want to be wowing audiences as a soloist or have set their sights on joining a string quartet or orchestra, it’s key that they master the basics first. Those initial music lessons, as well as plenty of personal dedication, are crucial to achieving something brilliant.
So, the new school term has begun, your child has got their new beginner violin outfit, they’ve applied rosin to the bow, and they turn up to their first group lesson raring to go. The lesson is twenty minutes – plenty of time to learn lots of new things.
The teacher shows them some bow and fingering techniques to get them started – nothing too tricky. That sound though… Yuck! Some of the violins are out of tune! Before they can continue, the teacher needs to tune them so that they’re all in pitch.
Having to tune even one or two violins in a group lesson can take up to five minutes – that’s five minutes lost from a twenty-minute lesson! 25% of learning and playing time lost to tuning!
Let’s do some quick mathematics.
Weekly music lesson = 20 minutes
Potential time spent tuning = 5 minutes per lesson
Weeks in a school year = 39 weeks
Total lesson time per school year = 780 minutes
Total time lost to tuning per year = 195 minutes
That’s over 3 hours of valuable learning time spent tuning every school year!
At an average cost of £6 per 20-minute group lesson, this means you could be wasting nearly £60 of the £235 you’re spending on music lessons a year!
We understand that it’s tempting to go for the cheapest beginner violin you can find when starting out while you ‘see how it goes’. Consider this for a moment though. Often, cheap instruments purchased from a mass retailer, rather than a specialist music store, will be by no means the best quality. Badly made instruments sound bad, are uncomfortable to play and slip out of tune easily. They can be the reason for actual learning and playing time in lessons to be cut short.
Hidersine Vivente Academy.
Voted ‘The UK’s Best Bowed Instrument’ by the Music Industries Association, Hidersine Vivente Academy violins benefit from being fitted with Wittner’s Finetune pegs to make tuning a whole lot easier and faster.
The clever, German-engineering employed in Wittner’s Finetune pegs allows the internally geared peg to be turned in a controlled way, without the main shaft of the peg ever losing contact with the pegbox. This means players can make tiny, incremental increases or decreases in pitch - just like tuning a guitar. Getting an instrument in tune, and keeping it there has literally never been easier… So now valuable lesson time can be spent learning and playing – not tuning, and re-tuning.
All Hidersine Vivente Academy instruments are inspected and set-up ‘ready to play’ in our UK service workshops. You can buy with confidence and rest assured that it will be ready to go from the moment you sit down in that all-important first music lesson.
Yes, tuning is a key skill to learn. It’s worth practising. But, it’s not something that should be standing in the way of a student’s playing time or a teacher’s planned teaching time. Teachers care about their pupil’s development, and not being able to keep their lesson plans on track due to the constant interruption of violins that won’t stay in tune is a frustration, and ultimately sees you wasting your money.
For students, time spent tuning can suck the fun out of music lessons. It can ultimately be the reason their initial enthusiasm diminishes and is replaced with interests in other, sometimes non-musical academic pursuits.
Buying a high-quality beginner instrument will go a long way to ensuring the money and effort spent on music lessons isn’t in vain. Hidersine Vivente Academy violins retail at under £300, and it’s always worth speaking to your local music store about their Hidersine rental schemes if this is too much of an initial outlay. You could be taking advantage of the benefits these beginner outfits offer, without the upfront cost.
Don’t let a poor-quality, cheap beginner violin hamper the musical journey.
Want to brush up on what you’ve learned lately? Check out our FREE violin, cello and double bass technique videos in partnership with the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) HERE.