Starting Violin Lessons

Every music teacher is very different and you will need to choose the right one for you.

I have put lots of articles on this website to help you find out whether you like my approach, so have a good look around (start with the ABOUT ME page). If you are looking at beginning the violin for a young student I use the Suzuki method so have a look at this page, the COMMITMENT TO PRACTISE page and the WHAT IS THE SUZUKI METHOD page.

If you are an older student who has already started learning the violin I do teach using traditional methods too and prepare students for exams and diplomas when they are ready. My approach is individual and depends on age and previous experience.   I teach classical violin and to make progress you will need to commit to weekly individual lessons, regular practise, joining musical groups, listening to music and going to concerts.

If you would like to contact me about lessons, do so here, and we can have a chat. Providing I have space to teach another student (I do run a waiting list) then do come and watch some lessons.  I am more likely to be able to find space for little ones who can come during the afternoon before school finishes.


Every student needs to attend individual, group lessons and the concerts.

Weekly individual lessons


1/2 hr lesson each week

(going up to 3/4hr or 1hr as they become more advanced)

£15 per half hr


Group lessons Approx 5 x 30-45min sessions per term Approx £30 per term
A termly concert


This may be either a group concert, a solo concert, a busking or public event or a ceilidh. Approx £6 per concert per performer
British Suzuki membership I am a fully trained level 2 Suzuki teacher.  This means that I have been trained by the British Suzuki Institute and I continue to gain tremendous support from this Institute.  One of the requirements of my training is that  my students become members. Family membership is £32 per year via direct debit to the BSI


You will obviously need a violin and you can find more details about buying violins here.  I have some violins available to rent for minimal cost (which covers new strings and keeping them in good repair).

You will also need to buy the Suzuki Book and CD (about £15) and any other equipment needed as we go along such as rosin, strings, shoulder rests etc (you will be advised on these later).


I teach from my home in Totnes (28 Plymouth Rd, TQ9 5ND) and group lessons are run from Totnes Progressive School, Victoria Street, TQ9 5EF.

I teach throughout the school term times.  If you need to miss a lesson please give me as much notice as possible or try to arrange a swap (I will give you a timetable and contact details) as I have to charge for lessons with less than 24hrs notice.  If I miss a lesson I will try to rearrange but if that’s not possible you will of course not be charged.  You are welcome to pay in advance, in installments or at at the end of each term.



I follow the Suzuki method and I am happy to teach VERY YOUNG CHILDREN from 4 or even 3 if the child is ready but parents will need to be very committed and supportive (see here).   It is essential to help your child practise daily because otherwise progress is too slow and they lose interest.  This can also make your child feel like they’ve “failed” at the violin or even at music in general when really it is because they weren’t encouraged to practise daily.  All children can develop ability on the violin with the right support and encouragement.

Four steps to learning violin with young children

There are four steps to starting violin lessons with a young beginner:




i) I have a long chat with the parent who will be coming to lessons and helping with the practise.

ii) Then the parent and child would come and watch some lessons. This step is crucial as they pick up so much of what they will be learning just by observing and soaking it up. It is also a great way for parents to see if my approach will work for them as it is a real committment.

iii) Meanwhile at home students and parents will be listening to the Suzuki Book 1 CD every day. This listening is vital.

iv) After they have been observing for a few lessons I will offer the child a lesson. And don’t worry, parents are not expected to know anything about playing the violin before we start. I can support you in finding all you need to know so that you can help your child at home.

I am their teacher for just one day of the week but you are helping them for the rest of the week so we work as a team!

To understand more about the Suzuki method please read Suzuki’s book “Nurtured by Love.”