Summer Music Course – Violin Lesson 1 – Getting to Know Your Instrument

lesson 1

And it’s live! Violin Lesson 1. Head on over to YouTube or watch the video below.

It is important for you to know the names of the different parts of your violin and bow. As I am teaching, I will often refer to “the nut” or “the frog”. If you don’t know your instrument, you won’t know what I’m talking about! You will ask, “What do nuts and frogs have to do with playing the violin!?” haha! Take some time to memorize the parts of the instrument this week. Reference the video if you need help.


parts of violin and bow

How to Hold Your Violin

My favorite way to teach violin posture is by using a little exercise I learned as “Bird Landing on Shoulder”. It is so easy to develop terrible posture habits in the beginning! We are going to avoid those nasty habits with this exercise. I want you to pretend your violin is a bird, perhaps an eagle, a robin, or a parrot. Different sizes will change how heavy/light your violin feels.

  • Start out with your instrument in rest position, under your right arm. (This is the nest)
  • Grab the shoulder of your violin with your left hand
  • Reach the violin straight out in front of you and imagine your bird is flying
  • Flip your violin upside down at arms length (Be sure you have carpet or another soft surface underneath you in case you drop the instrument!!)
  • Fly up, up, up, then tip the end pin down towards your ear.
  • Slowly glide down to set the violin on your shoulder, tucked under your chin.

Super student: Can you do this exercise in reverse and take your bird/violin back home to his nest in rest position?

This is how I’d like you to bring your violin up and down from playing position for the next few weeks. We want to establish good posture habits!

Naming the Open Strings

Aw, this does sound easy to learn doesn’t it? There are only 4 strings on the violin. From lowest (thickest) to highest (thinnest) their names are G – D – A – E. Try mixing them up and see if you can still get them right. Perhaps a little saying would help you: “Good Dogs, Always Excited”.

Extra Credit: Come up with your own phrase to remember the names of the strings in the comment section below!

Worksheet for Lesson 1

Your homework for this week, in addition to practicing of course, is to fill in this blank diagram of the violin and bow. If you email me your finished work, I will give you some personal feedback before giving out the answer key next week. 🙂

Violin Lesson 1 Worksheet

Thanks for taking Violin, Summer Music Course! See you next week with Lesson 2! Comment with any questions or topics you would like to learn about.


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