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Violin Teacher Training Course

ViolinSchool in partnership with RIAM presents:

A Comprehensive 3-Day International Teacher Training Course for Violin Teachers

The ViolinSchool Musicland

The course is violin-centric, but teachers of all string instruments are welcome to attend

Tuesday 25th - Thursday 27th August 2020

Dublin, Ireland & Online (Zoom)

Become The Best Teacher You Can Be

The ViolinSchool Teacher Training Course is designed to give you a solid foundational training, practical tools and strategies for real-life teaching success, and a framework for you to achieve continuous self-development as a professional musician and teacher.

Once you've participated in the course, you'll be able to:

  • Empower and inspire your learners to realise their full potential.
  • Leverage your creativity and virtuosity as a performing musician, to generate transformative, memorable learning experiences.
  • Teach with confidence, knowing that you have the tools and strategies to handle any unexpected teaching scenarios.
  • Increase your learners' enjoyment and achievement, by adapting your teaching style to support different experience levels and ages, and the needs of parents.
  • Improve your results and job satisfaction, by deepening your skills and working to a higher level.
  • Teach more creatively, using clear principles and frameworks for materials, resources, improvisation and harmony, and theory.
  • Increase your professional reputation and work prospects, with a certificate of completion from this internationally recognised course.

Hone Your Teaching Skills To A World-Class Level

The skills that you'll learn during the ViolinSchool Teacher Training Course, outlined in our Curriculum (see below), will give you the knowledge and understanding to create holistic learning experiences for your students. Here's what you'll learn:

Day 1

  • Fundamental Principles and Frameworks for Teaching Music
  • Approaches & Psychologies of Inspirational, Effective Teaching
  • Practical Tips and Strategies for Real-Life Teaching Success

Day 2

  • Detailed Best Practices for Teaching Violin Technique
  • Approaches to Violin Repertoire Across Experience Levels
  • Creative Skills For Personalising Programs To Each Learner
  • How To Teach Essential Practice and Performance Skills

Day 3

  • Technological Tools, Strategies, and Best Practices
  • Practical Tools For Effectively Managing Your Teaching
  • Special Needs Support and Other Specialist Areas
  • Creative Improvisation and Harmony Skills

Curriculum & Schedule

We are delighted to present the comprehensive Curriculum for the 3-day Course. There will be additional breakout options for some activities, depending on the ratio of in-person to online participants. Guest Presenters will be announced soon.

Practical Information

The course is based in Central Dublin, and will take place in an RIAM location (building to be confirmed) near the government district, with easy transport access from all areas.

Dublin International Airport serves destinations around the world, although UK participants may wish to consider a train/ferry journey via Holyhead or Liverpool.

A wide variety of hotel and self-catering accommodation is available in Dublin. If you need assistance with travel or accommodation, we are happy to help - just send us an email or mention what you need in your registration.

Course Fees

Copyright ViolinSchool 2020

Presenters & Guests

The ViolinSchool Musicland team has between them over 50 years of experience, which has been drawn upon extensively in order to create this course. The course will be presented by Simon Hewitt Jones (in Dublin) and Caroline Lumsden (remotely), and feature remote guest presentations from several specialists who are professional performers and educators - and who are brilliant at both!

Registration Form

DAY 1: 'Fundamentals & Principles'
Tuesday 25 August 2020

10.00am Welcome
Tea & Coffee, Registration, Setup

10.30am How To Teach Rhythm, Pitch & Musical Fundamentals
(short break at 11.50am)

A deep dive into the raw materials of music, exploring how to teach rhythm, pitch and other musical fundamentals through the 'key actions' of:

Listen, Move, Clap, Sing, Read, Write & Play

Through a series of practical, hands-on exercises, this session demonstrates how to integrate theoretical musical knowledge into a holistic, creative and FUN teaching approach, that engages learners of all ages.

How To Teach Rhythm
Includes: Teaching note values, rhythm verbalisations, games, rhythm cards

How To Teach Pitch 
Includes: Solfa (Curwen, Kodaly), Singing and Signing, note names

Music & Movement
Dalcroze, physical movement, engagement of mind, body and emotion

1.30pm Lunch (60 minutes)

2.30pm How To Be An Inspirational Teacher Who Gets Results
Guest Speaker: To Be Announced

A practical, nugget-rich introduction to teaching approaches that inspire and empower the learner, introduced by a renowned guest speaker.

What makes a great teacher? How can you bring to your teaching the same virtuosity and insight that you do as a perfomer? How can you become the best teacher you can be, and keep improving?

In this session we'll explore the psychology of good string teaching, the impact of different teaching approaches, and explain how to motivate and inspire your students, so they are empowered to achieve their potential in a happy, balanced and enjoyable way.

(short break at 3.50pm)

4.00pm The Teacher Toolkit

We conclude Day 1 with a practical 'box' of techniques, tips and tactics, that will help you inspire, empower, and handle all sorts of classroom situations creatively and empathetically, to get the best out of your learners. Including:

Age-specific advice and techniques for: Parents & Children, Teens, Adult Learners & Restarters

Experience-specific advice for: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced

Setup - how to guide your learners and parents through the challenges of:

a) How to find the right instrument
b) How to tune the instrument, and get it set up and ready to play

5.30pm End

DAY 2: 'Core Skills & Teaching Materials' 
Wednesday 26 August 2020

Day 2 begins with a short introduction to the VS RIAM Violin Coursebooks and online courses, which will serve as example teaching materials throughout the day.

10.30am Technique & Repertoire
(short break at 11.50am)

A thorough overview of core teaching principles across all main types of technique and repertoire, using examples from the VS RIAM Violin Courses.

We will explore how to teach different types of topic through a series of practical activities, each linked to a piece of musical repertoire and/or a technical exercise.

Participants will learn how and when to use different activity types in order to teach repertoire and technical skills effectively. We will explore how to creatively develop your own activities, tailored specifically to the needs of your own learners.

Topics include:

The Body
Body Posture, Balance, Ease, & Physical Freedom

Violin Technique
The Right Hand/Arm: Bow Hold, Tone Production, Bow Strokes, Pizzicato
The Left Hand/Arm: Left hand form, Intonation, Fingering, Articulation, Vibrato

Remedial approaches for solving technical and posture-related issues

Phrasing and Expression, Stylistic Interpretation, Scales and Arpeggios, Sight-Reading, Repertoire Choices (Solo/Duo)

1.30pm Lunch (60 minutes)

2.30pm Practice & Performance

The session will begin with a brief guide on how to use the ViolinSchool Digital Library to find multilevel materials, backing tracks, and other essential resources.

We'll use these resources and pieces of example repertoire to explore:

How to Teach Practice Skills
Topics include: 

  • How to encourage Learners and Parents to build and maintain effective practice habits. 
  • How to motivate child learners to practice regularly. 
  • What to say to parents to increase engagement and support their child's learning

How to Teach Performance Skills
Topics include:

  • Performance as a learnable skill
  • The levels of competence
  • Performance practice & testing procedures
  • Memorisation
  • Stage skills and performance etiquette

How to Teach Rehearsal (Group Playing) Skills
Topics include:

  • How To Choose Repertoire & multilevel arrangements
  • Interpersonal skills and communication
  • Types of Ensemble - String Quartet, String Ensemble, other combinations
  • Technical and stylistic knowledge
  • Phrasing, expression and interpretation

5pm End

DAY 3: 'Specialisms' 
Thursday 27 August 2020

10.30am How To Use Technology Effectively Whilst Teaching
An essential session for anyone who's ever felt frustrated with using technology whilst teaching!

In this session, we'll look at everything from digital tuners to online Zoom teaching, and understand how to get the technology working for you and your learners, rather than controlling you!

Topics will include: Online teaching, digital classrooms (inc. Zoom), apps and software, backing tracks and interactive notation, basic digital and audio recording for your learners, virtual ensembles, livestreaming, and other best practices for technology.

(11.50am short break)

12pm Practical Teaching Skills

  • How to Teach Learners with Special Needs
  • How to Prepare Learners for Exams
  • How to Prepare a Class Concert
  • How to Deal with Parents!

1.30pm Lunch (60 minutes)

2.30pm Improvisation, Harmony & Styles
3.20pm short break)

A practical introductory session about how to teach to improvisation, harmony and creative skills. (No improvisatory experience required - participants who are not already familiar with basic improvisation will be introduced to key concepts as we learn how teach them).

A short guest presentation will be followed by an overview of how to approach different creative topics from a multilevel perspective, so that you can feel confident and comfortable with engaging learners at any age or level of experience, including mixed-level groups.

  • How to Teach Improvisation
  • How to Teach Styles & Genres
  • Introducing Composition and Creative Skills

3.30pm Group Improvisation / Jam Session
We conclude the day with an fun and uplifting participant-led group collaboration, where we put into practice all the skills we've learnt across the course, and come together to create and perform a piece of music together!

4.00pm End

A bibliography / recommended reading list and supplementary printed materials will also be made available to all participants.

The standard Course fee for all participants is:

GBP £350 / EUR €380 / USD $440

Instalment plans are available (30% deposit required to secure your place), for full-price registration only.

A limited number of single day passes are also available at a reduced rate of €150EUR per day - please enquire for details.

You can register now for the Teacher Training Course!
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Any Questions?

[email protected]+44 (0) 20 3051 0080

Call us anytime

Lead Presenters:

Simon Hewitt Jones

Simon Hewitt Jones is the Director of ViolinSchool. His work on ViolinSchool's Curriculum originated from a research project at the Royal Academy of Music, investigating systems of pedagogical violin methodology.

He founded ViolinSchool in 2012 to fill a perceived gap in high quality, curricular sequenced-based online learning for the violin. It has since grown steadily, encompassing a popular Saturday school and events program in London as well as online coaching programs and publishing.

Simon has performed as a freelance violinist for over 15 years. He has recorded or performed for most of the UK's major labels and venues, and appeared extensively on radio and TV, including a solo recording with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, a BBC award-winning chamber music recording, and session recording for many mainstream artists.


Caroline Lumsden

Caroline Lumsden studied at the Guildhall School of Music with Yfrah Neaman (violin) and Buxton Orr (musicianship), and learnt solfa with Dr Bernarr Rainbow of the Curwen society.

She has spent over three decades building music schools and programs with a special emphasis on children's learning, including Gloucester Academy of Music, Junior ESTA, and the String Time program at Trinity Laban.

In the 1980s, Caroline and her husband Alan established the long-running Beauchamp Music Courses and the Musicland Publications publishing company, which specialised in string music. Caroline is also a widely published author, and has written educational string books for Faber Music and Peters Edition.

Between them, Alan and Caroline trained an entire generation of musicians from the Gloucestershire area of England, and to this day, there are many professional performers and teachers in the UK who began their education at one of Caroline's music camps.

Attend In-Person or Remotely

We have designed the Teacher Training Course for 'Hybrid Delivery' over Zoom, using high quality audio equipment and multiple camera angles.

You are welcome to attend the event either in-person OR online (course fees are the same), and the interactive tasks in each session will involve online and offline participants equally.

All participants will have access to course recordings, teaching materials, and Learning Support for 3 months after the end of the course.

All in-person training will be delivered in accordance with government social distancing restrictions.

Royal Irish Academy of Music & ViolinSchool

This Course doubles as internal training for Teaching Assistants and pedagogy students studying on the Diploma in Music Teaching and Performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. It has been developed to cater directly for the needs of new violin teachers and is part of a broader partnership between ViolinSchool and RIAM.

In Partnership With

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Sarah Sew, Head of Strings, RIAM

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Simon Hewitt Jones, Director, ViolinSchool

Guest Presenters:

Guest Presenters for August 2020

We are thrilled and honoured to welcome some truly outstanding guest presenters, who are experts in their field.

Full biographies to follow soon!

William Bruce - Cellist (ENO), GSMD, Associated Board - Creative String Teaching

Emma Denton - Cellist of the Carducci String Quartet - How to Teach Rehearsal (Group Playing) Skills

Christian Howes - Violinist; Internationally Renowned Jazz Musician & Creativity Educator - How to Teach Improvisation & Creative Skills

Antonia Azoitei - Violinist (BBC CO, RAM) - How to Teach Learners with Special Needs

Fill out my online form.

Attend via Zoom!

All course sessions will use 'hybrid' delivery; you can attend in person or via Zoom from anywhere! All course segments are designed so that interactive tasks can be completed from anywhere - or with other in-person attendees in the room. Zoom recordings of the course will also be available to all participants for 3 months after the end of the course.