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4 Mistakes Parents Make in an Online Violin Lesson

4 Mistakes Parents Make in an Online Violin Lesson

This post will help parents navigate the shifts in their role when their kids transition from an in-person to online violin lesson.

online violin lesson mistake
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This post helps parents navigate the shifts in their role when their kids transition from an in-person to online violin lesson.

This is Part 4 in a series on starting online music lessons.

Read Part 1: The #1 Predictor of Success in Online Music Lessons

Read Part 2: 6 Steps to Faster Internet for Online Music Lessons

Read Part 3: 6 Tips for an Awesome First Online Music Lesson

You (the parent) may have to be more involved with online lessons than you are with in-person lessons.

Here are the biggest mistakes that parents make in their child’s online violin lesson:

Mistake 1: They don’t tune their child’s violin before the online violin lesson.

Since the teacher isn’t physically there to tune your child’s violin, that will be your job. But don’t worry–you can do this! Here is a detailed tutorial walking you through each step of how to tune your child’s violin.

(Even if your child has in-person lessons, it’s worth learning how to tune their instrument so you can check the tuning during the week at home.)

online violin lesson mistake

Mistake 2: They don’t mark their child’s music during the online violin lesson.

With in-person music lessons, the teacher might take the lead in marking your child’s music while you take notes. With online music lessons, however, you’ll be in charge of doing both. If your child is old enough to read music and take responsibility for marking music, transitioning to online lessons is a great catalyst to start shifting the music-marking responsibility onto the violinist.

Teaching kids to mark their own music is also a good way to empower them and help them take ownership.

If your child isn’t old enough to mark music yet, don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for clarification if you get lost. Asking for help like this is not a waste of time!

Mistake 3: They don’t listen for tone quality.

The teacher doesn’t have a perfect idea of the tone the student is producing since they hear the music through the internet. If you hear scratching, squeaking, or something else you know should be improved, you can ask the teacher for tips on how to help the child improve their tone production.

online violin lesson mistake

Mistake 4: They don’t check their child’s technique in hard-to-see places.

For violin students, one crucial thing for the teacher to monitor is the position of the left-hand thumb. Teachers make sure the student isn’t squeezing. (Believe it or not, squeezing the violin neck with the left thumb over the long term can lead to stiff vibrato, poor intonation, and even back pain!)

Another hard-to-see spot for violinists is the right-hand thumb on the bow. It should be gently bent. A tight hitchhiker’s thumb usually means a crooked bow stick. But some students play with a wonky thumb and then compensate in other ways to fix the tilted stick. So just know that a teacher can’t always diagnose hidden bow hold problems just from seeing the bow hair and stick.

The parent needs to diligently keep an eye on these little, hard-to-see things. If you’re not sure what you should be watching out for or if you have another technical concern, ask your teacher–they’d love to tell you!

online violin lesson mistake

Your Turn

Success in online music lessons is not only possible, but it is incredibly likely when parents rise to the challenge of helping the teacher facilitate.

Are you nervous, excited, or scared? How can I help you handle your child’s transition from in-person to online music lessons? Let me know in the comments below!

This post is Part 4 in a series on starting online music lessons.

Read Part 1: The #1 Predictor of Success in Online Music Lessons

Read Part 2: 6 Steps to Faster Internet for Online Music Lessons

Read Part 3: 6 Tips for an Awesome First Online Music Lesson

If you want to learn more about making an online violin lesson successful for your child, Violinist.com has a great blog post called “The Learning Potential of Online Lessons.”

Caitlin Smith

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  • Ann Robertson at

    Thank you for the information and encouragement! A good reminder that parents have the privilege and challenge of setting the tone for our little learners. After a frustrating go at trying to record with recorded accompaniment to send into our teacher, we all had a good laugh (nearly a cry!) when we realized I recorded William’s song in slow-mo. 🙂

  • Caitlin Smith at

    Oh, I’m sure that was so frustrating, but I bet you guys had a really good laugh–I love slow mo. And I think you practice parents are just amazing!

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