I mentioned in my previous post If You’re Hankerin’ To Start Fiddlin’…Or Playin’ Any Stringed Instrument that I stumbled upon a gold mine when searching the internet one day…that gold mine is Michael Sanchez and his websites violintutorpro.com and superiorviolins.com. Superior Violins is the store component of these sister sites and was reviewed in my previous post. Today I would like to introduce you to the educational website, Violin Tutor Pro. Michael Sanchez and Loren Alldrin are co-owners of the Violin Tutor Pro. Together with a talented team of musicians they have constructed a site which makes it possible for anyone with internet access to be able to learn to play the violin at little to no cost.
Their slogan is “your playing is our passion.” When someone is passionate about something the natural inclination is to share your passion with others. These guys are so passionate about playing the violin they work tirelessly coming up with new and innovative ways to teach anyone with a desire to learn. There are many video lessons available on YouTube, from the very beginner lessons starting with how to hold the violin and the bow to advanced lessons involving double stops, single finger scales and lots of advice on developing a beautiful vibrato. The videos are of excellent quality.
There is a forum section on the website where members (free) can post questions about different topics and receive answers from fellow violinists and/or the staff. Some current topics in the forum are Accessories (discussions about things like rosin, shoulder rests, etc), Adult Learners, Beginner Violin Playing, Advanced Violin Playing, Fiddle Playing, and one of my favorites, Video Feedback. In the Video Feedback section anyone can post a video of themselves playing the violin. It’s really fun to hear other people play. The staff and other students (some with years of experience playing) will give feedback and tips for improvement.
Just between the YouTube videos and the forum there is a ton of free information that can help you with the violin and fiddle, whether you are just beginning or have been playing for years.
As most of us know private lessons can be very expensive. For the nominal cost of $9 a month Michael is now offering access to structured lessons. Check out the lessons membership page here. You receive organized lessons to help you along each step of the way, guiding you just as a real-life teacher would in what to practice next. You have access to music that can be downloaded for free – this is a huge savings! If you want to take it a step further there are Skype lessons available with teachers from around the world. I took a Skype lesson with Michael a few years back. I’m not very comfortable using Skype, even when talking with my own children when they are out of state or out of the country…I’m just a bit older and have found it takes some getting used to. But it really is a remarkable tool. Michael was able to immediately notice things about my bow hold that needed to be improved. He gave me his full attention for the 30 minutes of my lesson and his feedback was very helpful.
So, just as I highly recommend superiorviolins.com if you are in need of a stringed instrument or accessories, I also highly recommend violintutorpro.com if you or your child are looking to begin or continue to master the violin.