If you are looking for a violin school as an adult learner, the criteria you need to look at will be quite different compared to one which caters primarily for young children. In one of my previous articles, I have covered the factors one should look out for when deciding on a violin school for young children. Here, I will cover five areas an adult learner should look out for in choosing a violin school in Singapore.
Before I go into this, check out this inspiring YouTube video of an adult learner’s progress over three years:
Video Source By: ArcherOCD
The school should have violin teachers who enjoy coaching adult learners
Many adult learners share with me that they decided to start lessons at Stradivari Strings because they feel right at home when they step into our premises and studio for lessons. Some have told me that they feel out of place in a violin school full of toddlers and young children learning the violin in group class scenario.
Some violin teachers specialize in coaching young children as they feel more comfortable interacting with young minds who may be able to pick up violin techniques well. Or they have gone through pedagogy teaching course which arms them with the techniques and methodology required to successfully interact with young kids.
There are other violin teachers who prefer to coach only adult learners as they perceive that young kids are difficult to coach and so need to be more patient.
Regardless, as an adult learner, one should try to look for a violin school which has violin teachers who enjoy coaching adult learners. It will be a bonus if the school actively arranges ensemble practice for their adult students to practice together. This will help you to improve faster.
My advice to any adult learner is to make a trip to the music school you have targeted during peak teaching hours. Observe the age group of students who have lessons there. If a significant number of students are adults then it is a music school that one can consider enrolling with.
The Violin School in Singapore should accommodate adult learner’s schedule
Adults typically have work schedule to adhere to. Some adults also have to take care of their young children or parents, so have very little time left as availability for violin lessons.
If the adult learner has a job which allows flexibility then he or she can have lessons during off peak hours. Off peak teaching hours are defined as weekdays in the morning or afternoon. Conversely, if the adult works a nine to six job from Mondays to Fridays, then he or she can only have lessons after work timing on weekdays, or on weekends.
These are defined as peak teaching time period. These students can also opt to have violin lessons for adults during their lunch break, provided that the music school and the work place location is near to each other.
As such, violin school for adults need to open till quite late in the evening so as to accommodate working adult’s schedule. Some schools open till ten in the evening — which allow adults to start violin lessons by nine in the evening.
Of course the violin school also must open on weekends to accommodate students who can only have violin lessons on weekends. It is a bonus of the violin school in Singapore opens on public holidays, however we find that this is a rarity versus the norm here.
Adult learners also may have sudden changes to work schedule, be it a last minute requirement to attend work matters in the evening or weekends, or business travel. So it will be ideal if you speak to the music school before you start beginner violin lessons so as to manage the expectations of your violin teacher. It is good to be upfront about any conflict based on your work schedule so the music school can plan schedule accordingly.
The Violin School Supports Your Musical Objectives
Students starting violin lessons for adults may have different musical objectives. Based on my many years of interaction with adult students, adult violin learners are mostly very motivated students as most did not have the chance to learn a music instrument as a child. The other group of adult learners may have music background in another music instrument and seeking to learn the violin as a second or third music instrument. In any case, all the cases point to adults who are highly motivated to learn the violin and also will progress fast as a result of this motivation.
Adult learners typically have a few key musical objectives when starting violin lessons for adults. Most working adults lead a stressful life, stress coming from areas such as work and family. So one musical objective of starting violin lessons is to reduce stress level. Many people have sworn that playing on a music instrument like the violin, viola or cello, relaxes one’s mind and takes one’s mind away from daily routine.
Another musical objective an adult has when starting violin lessons could be to take the Associated Board of Royal School of Music (ABRSM) examinations or the Trinity examination board and progress to a minimum grade eight or diploma level.
Some adult students aim to perform informally or even formally on stage. I also have a few students aiming to get into a professional level world class orchestra.
So one should check with the violin school to see if it supports adult learners these various musical objectives.
Understanding And Providing Emotional Support
There is one saying that in life, three things are certain – birth, taxes and death. I actually would like to add a fourth aspect – stress. As one progresses through life, stress in invariably something we cannot avoid. As such, a great violin school in Singapore should also understand that adults starting beginner violin lessons have more difficulty in many areas compare to young children.
An adult starting beginner violin lessons in his twenties may face pressure from just starting full time work and adjusting into work life. Those in their twenties and thirties may also face relationship crisis. As children come along, more stress is added. Then there are those in their forties and fifties — I refer to as the “sandwiched generation”. These adults face the stress of looking after aged parents as well as raising kids.
No doubt learning to play the violin and starting violin lessons for adults is a very effective way for many students to relief stress and let the mind float to another world which is filled with music. However the school an adult chooses also should provide emotional support to adult students as needed.
I hope this article gives you a good idea of what factors to look out for in choosing a violin school in Singapore. If you are ready to start violin lessons for adults, we have wonderful violin teachers who can coach at your home location or at our music centre. Call or whattsapp +65-98137769 for a friendly discussion.