LONDON –Wednesday 1st March, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Kings Cross
LONDON – Thursday 16th March, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
LONDON – Monday 3rd April, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Kings Cross
LONDON – Thursday 27th April, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
LONDON – Saturday 29th April, 10am to 1pm – Area: Kings Cross
BRIGHTON – Thursday 4th May, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Central Brighton
LONDON – Thursday 11th May, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
LONDON – Saturday 13th May, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
BIRMINGHAM – Wednesday 17th May, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Central Birmingham
LONDON – Wednesday 24th May, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
BRISTOL – Wednesday 31st May, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Central Bristol
CARDIFF – Thursday 1st June, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Central Cardiff
LONDON – Wednesday 7th June, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
OXFORD – Wednesday 14th June, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Central Oxford
CAMBRIDGE – Thursday 15th June, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Central Cambridge
LONDON – Wednesday 21st June, 6.30pm to 9.30pm – Area: Victoria
more dates and times will be available soon!
Hear us on BBC Radio!
Here's what happened when ViolinSchool's Simon Hewitt Jones visited BBC World Service Radio to teach presenter Julian Marshall how to play the violin...
If Julian can do it, so can you! Read on to learn about how the magic happens...
About the Beginner Violin Class
ViolinSchool’s Beginner Violin Class was developed by renowned British violinist Simon Hewitt Jones, as part of his research at the Royal Academy of Music.
We’ve been running the class for a couple of years now, and it never fails to get people really excited about the violin.
You too can leave after just three hours, being able to:
play a tune on the violin
know all the strings
use your fingers to change the notes
make a good sound
play music with other people
know what to do next!
How it works
The class is designed so that you learn intuitively – similar to how a child would learn a language.
During each hour, we’ll cover a small but critical number of tasks (both technical and musical), and we’ll repeat them really efficiently until you have completely internalised them and they feel really natural for you to do.
Sample Class Schedule
10:00am – Welcome: Tea, Coffee, and Biscuits (plenty of biscuits – we like biscuits.) Meet your tutor and your fellow students, get acquainted with each other, and prepare your violin (or viola) for the class.
10:30am – Warm up session: The Body, Breathing, How to Hold the Violin & Bow, Building Checklists
11:30am – The Basic Principles: Rhythm, Notes & Sound. Good Rhythm, correct Notes and beautiful Sound – plus physical freedom and ease – are the core building blocks of good violin playing. Once you get these concepts, you’re on the road to success.
12.30pm – How To Practice: Tragically overlooked by many teachers, the art of How To Practice is an essential skill for violin playing success, and one that you should master from your first day as a violinist. This hour explores the most effective techniques for achieving great results, fast – and forever.
1:00pm – End Time to leave! But if you are at this point completely thrilled about playing violin (and be warned – that’s quite likely!), you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions afterwards!
What you'll learn at the Beginner Violin Class
The Beginner Violin Class will give you clarity about the fundamental principles you need to know in order to play the violin well. You'll learn about:
We’ll help you understand how to apply technical principles to the music itself, by exploring rhythm, pitch and sound on the violin.
We’ll show you how to practice the violin to get better and better. You’ll leave the class knowing exactly what to do next to get the sounds you want.
We’ll teach you the key principles of how to move your body in a way that allows you to make a beautiful sound on the violin.
We’ll talk about the basics of performing on the violin, and you’ll play a piece of music together with the other students before you leave!
You'll also enjoy...
We're almost as serious about biscuits as we are about playing the violin! A delicious selection of biscuits will be waiting for you (Tea & Coffee is also included for daytime classes; mineral water for evening classes).
A trial month of ViolinSchool membership
Everyone who attends the Beginner Violin Class is offered a discounted 1 month trial of ViolinSchool membership, giving you full access to our e-Learning, Video Lessons, Sheet Music, Community, and much much more.
What people say...
“I enjoyed the whole day. Thank you very much! Re-familiarizing myself with my violin, starting at scratch and going over the fundamentals… I just loved soaking it all in and the emphasis on the checklist before you start playing – posture etc. I’ve been trying to stand up straight ever since!”
- Leela, Violin Student
Book your place today - Happiness Guaranteed!
It's time to get started playing the violin!
We offer a 100% money-back guarantee on all ViolinSchool classes.
If for any reason at all you decide that the Beginner Class is not for you, just let us know by the first morning break and we will refund your registration fee in full.
A: No, we’ll bring one for you to use. However, if you already have one that’s properly set up and ready to use, do bring it along!
Q: I’ve got a violin but I’m not sure it’s set up right?
A: Then bring it with you, but be prepared to use one of our violins, just in case there’s a problem that takes too long to solve on the day of the session. Try and get to the class a few minutes early so we have time to set it up properly for you.
Q: How many people are there in each class?
A: Usually between 3 and 9. We limit classes to a maximum of 10 learners, to make sure everyone gets plenty of individual attention. If we have 5 or more learners in a class, then we usually have a second tutor or a teaching assistant present to help tune violins, answer questions, etc.
Q: How can I be sure that the Beginner Violin Class is any good?
A: Our director Simon Hewitt Jones developed the workshop as part of his research at the Royal Academy of Music, refining it over several years to create the quickest possible route to playing the violin in tune and in time with a good basic sound.
It works for everyone because it explains the most important 10 or so core principles of violin playing in a really simple way, without getting into the nitty gritty of complex violin technique. So you really can be playing the violin with a good basic sound in just 3 hours!
Q: I’ve never played the violin in my life / I’m really nervous / I’d love to try this but I’m kind of scared…
A: Don’t worry at all. You’ll have a great time. Our tutors are really nice and they take the approach that ‘no question is too silly’. Everyone else at the class will be feeling nervous too! But after a couple of minutes, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. You don’t need any experience at all for this class!
Q: I’ve played the violin before. Is this for me?
A: If you played the violin only at beginner level (i.e. no higher than ABRSM exam grades 3-4) and have not touched it for several years, you’ll certainly benefit from the class – so please go ahead and book today! If you’ve played quite recently, or if you reached higher than ABRSM grade 4-5, then you’re probably better off having a couple of one to one lessons then joining our main group tuition classes. Best thing to do is send us an enquiry and we’ll recommend the right class for you.
Q: What happens after the class / what do I do next?
A: Your tutor will explain about our eLearning programs and tell you about classes and events in your area. Our Learning Advisory team will follow up with you by email to answer any questions and help guide you to the right learning program. If you're based in London, personal coaching is also available from ViolinSchool's Simon Hewitt Jones and David Worswick at their studio near Victoria Station.
Q: Where do I buy a violin?
A: After the class, our Learning Advisory team will follow up with you by email to help you find the most appropriate instrument to rent or buy. We will usually point you in the direction of a violin / strings shop in your region, or a general music retail shop. You can also find plenty of advice about finding a violin in our online Video Library.