Testimonials
I love your videos! I've been teaching learning disabled students for 21 years now, and as part of my job I have to take skills and break them down/microunit them so my students can gain a better understanding of how to learn how to learn (does that make sense?). You do an excellent job breaking down skills into manageable steps to learn, and your explanations allow for a better understanding of the skills you teach. My previous violin teacher didn't teach this way and thus made things very challenging. Your method is still challenging, but much more doable. Thanks :)
Colleen Schuster
I want to thank you so very much for all the guidance and help that you so kindly have been providing me via your vioilinlab.com website. Your website is fresh and very innovative and you are doing an outstanding job in helping us, adults, learn to play the violin. I have learned more from you and from your videos than I have learned from a former private teacher. Since I have become a member, I have learned so much and feel so much more inspired to learn to play the violin that I find myself counting the hours to my next practice time.

Your video lessons are concise, engaging and provides us with the exact information we need to progress. I also love your videos with other professional violinist and how they offer different insight and techniques to help us learn. Violinlab has certainly been a blessing and I am grateful for all the hard work that you and your crew has been able to share with us beginners. Your site has been a truly invaluable resource for me.

Once again, thank you for your guidance and for lighting the way.

Jack
I too was looking for some more in depth teaching and was so thrilled to find this site as well. Beth is Great ! I love it that I can show her what I'm doing via a video instead of trying to explain it all in words. And the other way around...she can SHOW me an answer to an issue instead of me trying to visualize what she's saying. I've had some direction in starting up on violin (started at 39) but lately I'm pretty much on my own as far as technique goes...until I found Beth here.


Eileen Geriak

Dear Beth,

I think you have rescued me from a 'slough of despond'!



A rudimentary beginning, now over fifty years ago, got me started on
the violin and for my 60th birthday I bought myself a really good
instrument and began again with enthusiasm.



I am most fortunate to live in a truly tranquil paradise in isolated
wooded hills to the south of Pisa in Italy's Tuscany, where I have the
leisure and solitude to play for as many hours as I care to.



But a month ago a professional violinist visited me and I woefully
realized what a meager beginner I am still. I watched my pride and
confidence evaporate and I began to doubt that I would ever make the
kind of music my soul yearns for.



A teacher is not for me for many reasons and I wonder if you can
imagine the joy I feel this night (just one week after I have
successfully tethered my iPhone to my computer and, of a fashion, am
'online') to have discovered Violinlab.com and your vivacious
virtuosity! It takes an hour, at least, to down load 4 minutes of
video, but what a resource you bring me.

Stephen Briggs
I LOVE these videos! I'm a beginner violin player and am an engineer by trade and your "to the point" "step by step" teaching process impresses me so much. Violin playing has always been a mystery to me but you are a master at revealing the mystery and making it look easy.
Thank you for your VERY methodical approach to learning the violin.
I can't wait to watch and learn more.
Craig Staresinich
I am so 'into' the violin I come online to look for companions to my journey and also to listen to other people's views/experiences in learning this wonderful instrument. I thought Beth is a good teacher and her site would be a good complement to the million of things my teacher is helping me with, it's a bit like having my main teacher then violin lab during the week to help me 'keep things going' ;)


Jo Parker
My First Impressions: I was immediately struck by the quality, depth and breadth of material not to mention the quantity of videos on your site. Naturally I wanted to write you an effervescent testimonial STAT but then I thought it would sound way too exuberant for having only been on the site for 24 hours. I was confident that given a few months I would craft a simple letter expressing my sincere appreciation for your work. LOL.

Lasting Impressions: Well, 9 months later I can say with absolute certainty -- nothing has changed -- Beth, you are incredible!...I cannot contain my excitement for your work on VLAB. From my perspective, ViolinLab is the most extraordinary compilation of learning materials and on this planet: I am truly gobsmacked at the your whole approach from the microscopic attention to detail, your thoughtful insight and analysis of videos posted by the members, the multiple perspectives offered by your colleagues, to the solid foundations from which you add all the layers so logically and lovingly. You have conceived, developed and delivered a master piece ...a quintessential application of andragogical (and pedigogical) theory. And I'll wager that long after we have passed on to fiddle heaven, your collection of videos will be regarded as one of the most important works in the history of violin educational resources.
Robyn Call
Beth,

Thank you for providing us with such a rich, thoughtful, sensitively presented curriculum. I am 53 years old and have been working through Suzuki book 1 this past year while taking a lesson once per month. Although I am making wonderful progress, I know my lengthy practice time needs better focus and clear intent for the best understanding and progress. Your lessons give me the perfect amount of understanding and insight into what I am trying to learn. With a clear mind set and insight into the subject, I am able to begin to master the huge amount of information and knowledge required to play the violin well. I am enjoying the process of learning, and feel no need to rush. (Although who would not want to play like Hilary Hahn?!!:) I thought it was too late for me to learn to play music....but here I am beginning to produce beautiful tone which is actually pleasing to hear. That lovely sound is reward enough to keep me practicing diligently.

You have probably been told by many a grateful student that you are truly an amazing teacher, but please allow me to echo those words and add that you have a real gift for sharing what you know in a way which is very easy to understand. Thank you so much!
Jan Mariolle
I do have some teachers but I can't really find a good one for my needs, and so I came online and found violin lab! Very very helpful, and my technique is slowly returning to me again thanks to this website! Is everyone on this website self taught? I find violin lab very motivational - I come back after uni classes quite tired and all I want to do is sit down with a coffee and watch telly, but I watch a couple of videos from here instead and do some exercises on the violin and have a very self aware, body aware practice session. Thank you so much for the creation of this site!


Nami
I really enjoy getting your helpful hints and I just LOVE your website. I am a beginner adult from Sydney Australia. I was getting formal lessons for about 6months. But was getting very frustrated. My teacher kept saying its very hard for adults to learn the violin, but I had always wanted to play. - so was on the verge of giving up when I discovered your website and my playing has improved so much! Ive learned things from you my teacher never even covered.. so I have ditched her and focusing on the website for the time being.



Lisa Hacking
I want to let you know how happy I am to have found the Violin Lab. I am 31, stay at home mother of a 1 year old and 2 year old. I live near the Texas Renaissance Festival and a couple years ago saw a group play there with an amazing violin/fiddle player. Ever since then I have wanted to learn to play. Only a couple of months ago, I got a violin and registered with the Violin Lab. Being a young family and me trying to stay at home with my little ones, we are on a tight budget. So my violin is not the best and I can not afford a private teacher. So your website means so much to me. For some reason I have this huge desire to learn how to play and play well. I practice at night and the time practicing is like therapy. I love it (even though I think I am torturing my dog :) ). Anyway, just wanted to let you know. The violin lab helps me pursue my passion and lets me have this little piece of myself to myself.


Julie Lunsford
You have already helped me so much, but when I went to the ViolinLab web site, I was blown away at how much you have done for us closet violin learners. I just wanted to become a member in order to support you as you support us.

There is an ease in learning from the web- it leaves the embarrassment out and allows us to work as hard as we can or are able. I’ve already seen the vibrato video a half dozen times. It has relaxed my frantic haste to learn. Thank you,

ultramurray
Dear Beth,

You have helped so many of us with learning to play the violin. I have been searching for something like Violin Lab for a long, long time. It is truly a dream come true for me, and many others, I am sure! My only regret is that I didn't find it sooner. I know that others are struggling too, to learn, to play the violin. It would be so much easier to have chosen another instrument, but that's not where the heart is.Thank goodness we have YOU! Anyway, I want to thank you for all your hard work. Teachers are getting paid mega bucks, for what you are offering us for next to nothing. I will hang in there with you as long as I continue to play the violin.

I enjoy my time with you each day. You enspire me in many ways. Thank you Beth!!



Dyan Raymond
Beth!, summer vacations is coming to a close for me and i will be forced to return to my tedious school work habit once again. and of course that means returning to my orchestra!, i want to let you know how much your online violinLab has helped me. Some may think online musical instrumental classes may not be helpful but let me assure you, that is not true. This was one of those rare times in my Viola playing that i have noticed a vast amount of growing in just one month. I owe it all to you and your marvelous way of teaching. I'm sure my schools orchestra teacher will notice a difference in my playing once i return. The following are some of the things i have greatly improved on: Shifting, Spiccato, intonation, left hand articulation, and sense of personal touch in music. i'm sure theres more but i just cant think of it right now. furthermore, i would like to Thank you SO MUCH for the free one month subscription. something great came out of this, my parents noticed my large amount of hours spent on viewing your videos and practicing. they have become more involved in my musical learning and i have discussed with them my intentions of majoring in musical performance and greatly enough, they fully support my decision. so thank you :] Lastly, as a 16 year old that absolutely loves to play his instrument, i want to let you know i am now absolutely certain on a musical career for sure. I never got a chance to post a video demonstrating my growth but i will soon enough because my parents have agreed to let me subscribe again to the website as soon as i get situated with my new year at school. Thanks so much once again and i cant wait to come back VERY SOON!
HAVE A GREAT REST OF THIS SUMMER!


Giovanni Almanza
I have learned so much more from watching your videos than I ever did from my violin instructor. After 18 lessons with my instructor, I could play simple songs from Suzuki Book One in first position on the violin, but I wasn't bowing or fingering properly and the sound was not the heavenly tone that emanates from your violin. As an older student I expect more of myself and the lessons as well as the hourly cost were leaving me so frustrated and discouraged that I took a hiatus from taking lessons. Finding your website has been a godsend. You have an uncanny ability to anticipate the problems of the beginning violinist and you are able to articulate and demonstrate in a concise manner the precision and flow of the bow arm and fingers and why it is done that way. I particularly like the way you explain and break down the motion of the bow arm in an almost robotic movement using the stops. It has also been very helpful to place tape on the fingerboard and bow, as I was having a problem with distribution.

You have given me hope again. There are so many things I like about the way you teach it would take me all day to list them and I have only watched the first 20 videos (some of them several times) in the Beginner's section. And I feel so much more comfortable and less stressed learning to play the violin at home. And you are there for us at our convenience all day every day.




Elizabeth Fuerst
....let me say that I find your site in general, and your presentation of each lesson in particular, to be of remarkable quality and usefulness. What you have already accomplished is a one-of-a-kind work, or more accurately I suspect, a one-of-a-kind labor of love that is readily apparent on everyone's computer screen.

Claude O Ramer III
Claude O Ramer III

I am a new subscriber to your amazing site. This is by far the best resource I have found. I have played the violin off and on all my life beginning at age four. I am now 73 years old and enjoying it more than ever. I work very hard trying to correct some life-long bad habits and it is slow going but I feel I'm making progress and now ,with your help, things are improving more rapidly.

Murray Booth
Redmond, Washington
Murray Booth
Just a quick note to tell you how awesome your site is. Your presentations are excellent, calm, up close,
with detailed valuable violin knowledge.

I being a fiddler for 30 years have always loved the power of the Instrument. I celebrated the cosmic nature, sacred geometry and dynamic physics of the instrument that have been discovered since it was invented.

Although I don't intend to become a violinist I do want to learn how to get the most from my instrument and continue my journey to becoming the best player I can be, fiddler or not. Your video's have totally
captivated my interest in the techniques used by master players.

Keep up the GOOD WORK!

My best regards,
Roland White

Roland White
My name is Teddy Dan-Tackie I am nineteen years of age and a Ghanaian presently studying in China, since i was a child i always dreamed of playing the violin but i never really had the opportunity because of the kind of environment i come from. I was only able to learn Guitar ,piano and drums i really have a passion for music. I tried learning through the internet and came across so many lessons which are okay but i find yours to be the best and most informing i have come across because of its systematic nature.
Teddy Dan-Tackie

Thank you for your wonderful web site. It is complete and very easy to use. I bought a violin a few weeks ago and due to time restraints and travel distance,
I have not been able to find a violin instructor as of yet. I need to locate one close to where I am located. I can't locate anyone that even knows someone that
plays one, until I stumbled across your web site! You are truly an amazing lady! With all your talent and knowledge, yet you still take time to instruct the
very basics of the instrument. You remind me of my nephew that is in the Marines (F/A-18 Hornet pilot) and he is still approachable and takes the time to answer
all the questions I have. It never made his head swell up. Your teaching methods are perfect for me. I couldn't hold my violin without slipping off my shoulder.
With your video that problem was corrected in a matter of minutes. I made it up to lesson 19 and still amazed at how easy you make things to understand. I love
the Irish fiddle and hope that some day I may be able to play some reels. I am 60 and with work (up at 3:00AM), volunteering and a brother with cancer, time is
so precious. Thank you for bringing a little sunshine into my life and thank you for sharing your passion of music and the violin.
Jon Bruce
Thank you for your excellent work on your website. Itís the best. Several years ago, when I came across ProfessorVís YouTube videos, I thought he knew a lot. Your video lessons surpassed everyoneís on the Web. You do not dumb down any topic while you give very detailed explanations. It is a pleasant experience to be a member of your website. Iíve learned a lot.



Yue Xin
Also I would like to thank you for all your wonderful videos at violin lab. After playing for only three weeks I found a local teacher and had my first lesson. She was most impressed with my technique and had many questions on how I learned proper bow hold, bowing and left hand technique. She watched me play simple gifts without looking at the music and told me to take the tapes off and we will skip the new student basics. I'm sure it helps that I play guitar and mandolin but I know I have progressed much faster having had your instruction videos to work with every day. I love this website. I travel, and It's great to be able to take your violin teacher anywhere. Thanks again.
Ron Davison
Dear Beth,

I saw your Vibrato basics video today and it was the first video of yours that I've ever seen; I am so amazed and moved that there is such deep understanding out there. I've had a horrible experience with teachers growing up, and being a performer, I've learned to develop a immense distrust and dislikes for teachers other than some Russian teachers I've personally worked under. I teach my students with all their knowledge and my knowledge from over the years. Your Vibrato Basics video was so carefully communicated and very much like the way I teach my students, it really meant something special to me to see a public video with the special information that I had to travel to acquire away from my earlier teachers.
Li-Ping Mai
I just want to tell you that I literally browsed hundreds of sites for violin instructions. I don't have the words to describe how wonderful yours is. It's actually the best out there. You have an amazing gift, not only in violin, but teaching. The way you convey elaborate concepts in such simple ways gives a lot of courage to people like me.
Chaim (Meshulam Zishe) Hanstater
I am so Happy I found this Website.Finally after much frustration trying to teach myself to play Violin because I couldn't afford to continue Lessons. And much wasted time and effort. I have finally found a Great Teacher who explains every detail about violin playing,and provides the best videos I have ever seen anywhere.
Michael Logiudice

I saw your tutorials, Beth , on a reference strip on you tube.I was impressed.
Your style and understanding of the basic questions that are encountered by
most beginners..is encouraging!
I watched your "stage right" free videos on home page..reviewed the list of
available lessons..and signed up ! Thanks.

I have 5-6-lessons from a BA-violin, teacher.,.accomplished, but I came to understand
more of what I need to know - practice, from your free tutorials..in an hour last night.
George Sharp
Your violin tutorials on Facebook and YouTube really inspire people to learn how to play violin. In my own personal view it's one of the most glorious instruments ever made. And they don't have to be ashamed or maybe even afraid of other students who may look down on them. Your videos are very informative and you speak in a calming, steady tone of voice, which is rare these days in this world. I truly want to support your work.
Reko Brandt
Hi Beth, I wish you happiness and success in all your projects this new year.

I write just to say: Thanks a lot for violin lab, every day i repeat to myself: this is an extraordinary discovery, in three months i have a huge progress just look at your videos.

Hope to continue enjoying this beautiful project.

Cheers from MedellŪn- Colombia
Karen Crespo
This isn't a question, but I felt that, after several months of using Violin Lab, I simply had to express my gratitude. This is an amazing resource. It has helped me overcome many bad habits which crept into my first three years of playing the viola. It is also helping to keep me on track, now that I have moved away from my teacher, until I find a new one. And then, it will be a solid reference to go to anytime.

Beth's presentations in the videos are outstanding, and very clear. My handling of the instrument, my tone, and and overall playing are improving month by month.
Thanks for creating this wonderful website!
Richard Bonn
I have just renewed my membership to your marvellous site and will continue to do so. I am actually studying the viola, but so much of your valuable work and teaching videos for the violin easily translates to the viola and has been a great help. Ever thought of running a second school for viola? You would have my support for life.
Peter Clark
Hi Beth! And everybody! First off -- the Video Lesson Library is amazing! I have had 8 violin teachers -- some of who were/are very well known -- and none of them gave me the tools that have been captured on this website.
Lynn de Velazquez
You are just amazing..i was searching for a violin teacher like you for years...i am personally a flutist(bamboo) ...your pin point descriptions and thoughful tutorials will help many like me..
thanks for the initiative..

kind regards from a very happy soul
Nilotpal Munshi
This is an amazing resource! Your website is so simple, intuitive and elegant. Your video tutorials are exceptionally well produced, thorough, to the point, and cover such an astounding range of relevant subjects that it's, like I said, amazing!!! Add to that, in addition to being an obviously great violinist and teacher, Beth has such a great on-camera presence it's just... what's the word...
Joe Percival
I'm just writing to tell you how much I appreciate your web site and all of the violin education you have made available to the public. I recently became a member after I broke my right wrist hiking (a tragedy for a violinist) and thanks to you, I can at least keep my mind involved with learning about the violin on many levels and keep that information on the back burner until I can use my bow arm again. In the meantime, my 11 year old grandson, whose practice I oversee, sits down at the computer with me before his practice and we watch one or more tutorials that are relevant to his practice. What you make available, for a reasonable price, is invaluable to us and I thank you so much.
Sue Hamblin
First of all your site is just amazing, and has been a Godsend for me. I have been playing unsuccessfully for 3 years. None of my teachers have given me the information that I received in just a few minutes on your site. I now have hope of being a descent violin player now due to your site. It has given me much hope and allowed me to see what I have been missing out on. Why is it that none of my teacher's have offered me this information ?

Thanks a million for your dedication and motivation.
n/a
I guess it is never too late to let you know that Violinlab has been a very important event in my life of now 73 years! I have played classical Piano since I retired a few years ago and last Christmas I received a violin from my wife as a new musical toy!
I was fortunate enough to accidentally discover your website on the internet and started my violin training with Violinlab thinking I should get a teacher once I learnt the ABC of it from your site.
I can now play all sorts of things on the violin after 7 months and my only teacher has been Violinlab!! In fact my piano teacher, who is a school musical director in Spain, also joined when I gave her a tour of ViolinLab!!
This could not have been possible without help from your well prepared and most informative library of videos and above all, your expertise and personal dedication that comes through every one of your lessons. If one day I can just do the scales on my violin as beautifully and expressively as you do, I shall be so happy!!
Many thanks for a job well done.
Kurosh Parsai
Words can't express my respect and appreciation for you. I am really thankful for the huge efforts that you put in teaching others. I and all your students are the luckiest people in the world to have you as a teacher. I owned a violin for along time and I couldn't learn how to play it until I found your website, two weeks ago.
Tarek Taha
I want to thank you so much for the violin tutorial site, violinlab.com.

Today I failed again to find the right teacher (I'm 47) - then, within hours, I found your site, through a YouTube video.

Thank God for the modern age, showing us through technology what is possible for learners nowadays!

Violin lessons have been too expensive for me for many years - 14 precisely, since I fell in love with it.

I have had the score of the Mendelssohn Concerto in e Minor printed out since then.

Now I can learn it - without being told I can't - and that it's only for people who have been at an academy for 2 years.

Christian Passy
Hi Beth!

I just became a member of ViolinLab, and I'm excited to learn more so I can pass the information along to my students! I'm a new high school/ middle school orchestra director. As a trained percussionist, I have little experience with string orchestra, other than playing timpani in college and as a fill in percussionist for the local symphony. The videos on your site are really great for people like me, who need to know how to communicate the ideas behind fundamental and intermediate techniques, without having a string background.
John Pirkey
Louisiana
I was wathing your videos with my violinist friends and they were amazed! :) You've such a soothing, comforting and nice voice and you really know much about violins! I'm studying in university to be a psychiatric nurse and me and my classmates LOVE YOU! Beth, you are awesome! Please do your videos more!


Reko Brandt
Finland


At your website Iím like a kid in a candy store. I jump all over the place because everything is so dang interesting. Itís overwhelming, and Iím not sure how profitable it is to jump around to different categories of lessons, but Iím doing the best I can. It takes a lot of discipline to follow the steps. For instance . . . I canít resist playing Christmas carols with you right now!

Thank you so much. I appreciate you and your lessons, and the fact that I can revisit them as many times as I want. It also helps so much that you play the violin so often in your lessons. When I can hear how the music is supposed to sound, there is a much greater chance that I can achieve something similar.

ďSomething similarĒ is what Iím going for at this stage. Something remotely recognizable to what you sound like. J
Kathleen Boyer
I've watched many instructional violin videos, and Violin Lab is clearly the most comprehensive and well-organized program. I like your in-depth discussion of topics, and your philosophy that there's no "one size fits all" best way for many techniques. I also enjoy your having other master teachers present their own points of view, tips, and practice suggestions.

I'm attracted too by your focus on adult students. I think a lot of teachers are uncomfortable with adult students because we often ask a lot of questions, and aren't satisfied to just do whatever the teacher says. I've learned a lot from Violin Master Class, but get annoyed that the students shown are all quite young. The implicit message is that you have to start when you're a kid. And I really don't need constant reminders that there are kids who are much more skilled than me!

I applaud the professionalism of your lessons. They're extremely well organized and presented. You're very relaxed before the camera, and know just what you want to say. I'd watched other video teachers fumble around, correct themselves, or apologize for some goof or technical production problem. I wish they'd just do another take and get it right, showing the same care that they would for a performance CD.

I'm a very visual learner, and I like your videos' sharp image quality and plain backgrounds, which let me focus totally on the lesson. In some other teachers' videos, I've gotten irritated at poor camera angles or lighting, or distracted by interesting personal objects in the background of their living rooms or studios.

Perhaps your most impressive single feature is the lesson with vibrato in slow-motion. I've seen this nowhere else, and it's so helpful to see exactly what the motions are in real performance-level vibrato.
Christine Robins
Dear Beth:

You have the most detailed and well cataloged video violin lesson encyclopedia on the Internet.

I am studying under Gwendolyn Taylor, the Associate Concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. She has seen your work and considers it an excellent resource in addition to my weekly lessons. I am getting towards the end of Suzuki book 1 after about 10 months and your videos have prepped me on each new piece I work through in my lessons. That maximizes my learning in each weekly 1 hour session with Gwen. Your work has contributed significantly to my progress as a 61 year-old adult starter.

You also keep updating your site and that really enhances its value. I especially like the recent slow motion bowing grip techniques you added. Brilliant and very helpful as I continue to improve my bow hold.

Your videos on slurs are excellent with simple explanations and simple, efficient exercises.

Short of a personal financial calamity, I could not see myself not renewing considering all that you and your Violin Lab resources contribute to my learning.
John Shuster
Hi Beth-
I'm so pleased with your effective teaching! Many, many thanks. You are patient, sooo explicit, & passionate about your students gaining skill to play violin. I'm glad I signed on with you. Thank God for that.

I appreciate you. What an enjoyable way you teach! I'm learning to play violin.
Diane McKoy
Let ne take this opportunity, Beth, to tell you my violin playing has improved immensely since I began using your videos. I am now just a few months away from age 90 and I realize there are very clear limits to what I can expect to achieve. However, for the first time, thanks to your instruction, I am now able to go (most of the time) at right angles to the strings and near the midpoint between the finger board and the bridge. I agree completely with you that the most fundamental concern in learning to play the violin should be to produce a good sound. I am sure that you are helping a great number of people. Keep up the good work.

With every good wish,

Alvin Harms
Alvin Harms
I just joined your websight and I'm hopeful that it will make a big difference in my progress. I got my performance degree in clarinet from Indiana University. I went to school there the same years that Joshua Bell was a student of Joseph Gingold. I fell in love with the violin as a child but of course, it was impossible to conceive of learning to play the violin with such a demanding curriculum as the music school at Indiana. The last few years of my life I have been more intentional about following my hearts calling and so I started to play violin about 3 years ago. I now play it almost every week in church and on gigs I play here in Nashville. I love the violin very much. I think you are a very good teacher. Your explanations are clear, well thought out and articulate. Thanks for offering this websight. I do take lessons but your clear and informative videos help me to remember what I'm learning and add a welcome dimension to my learning.
Ken Ozimek
May I first start by thanking you for all the work you've put into ViolinLab. I became a member last year and have been teaching myself to play through your videos. They have been such an enormous help to me as I am not able to take lessons from a private teacher at this time. My skills have improved so much over the last year, that even I can't believe I started only one year ago. I am truly grateful for your online tutelage, I wouldn't be able to play like I do now without ViolinLab. In fact, I was recently complemented by a professional violinist for my vibrato technique- of which I owe to your videos.

-Joe Quinn
Joseph Quinn
I wanted to write to say I'm really enjoying your video tutorials.

I am an absolute beginner who has had only a handful of lessons many many years ago. I live in Tokyo, and I haven't found an english speaking teacher yet who doesn't charge the earth, so for now, its just you and I, and A Tune a Day, Essential Elements 2000 and the Australian music exam board preliminary grade book. Its kinda fun! (but noisy haha)

Your video tutorials and your insights into violin make it really enjoyable, and and I look forward to my 'lessons' with you.


Even though I'm really struggling getting my left hand to relax, your special tutorials on the left hand issues are giving me hope haha! (but gosh its hard!)
Jason Baldwin Cole
I think you're phenomenal, and I've watched a lot of your videos and you prove that you're a great teacher again and again. I also really like that you have an inquisitive mind. You're always on the lookout for new ways and new approaches. Honestly, if I was younger, I'd move to Austin just so I could be your student. But, as I think on it, I am your student. Thank you for that.
Rev. Bill Sladek
Dear Beth,
I'm a relative newcomer to Violin Lab, but I must say your videos have helped me make more progress on tone production in the last two months than 2 years of private lessons. Your video on how to play staccato and right hand relaxation have been incredibly helpful. Many of your suggestions speak clearly to my engineer's mind and the slo-mo hand cam is incredibly helpful.
By the way, I am turning 54 next month. Two years ago, in a moment of insanity, I picked up the violin as a means to rehabilitate my right hand after a carpal tunnel and a trigger thumb surgery. I never really expected to play anything complicated, but it actually sounds acceptable sometimes and I have surprised myself by getting nearly all the way through 2 Suzuki books. My dream is still to play the second movement of Eine kleine nachtmusik.


Thanks again for your truly fantastic video lessons.

Michele Delatte
Beth,

I just wanted to send you an email to tell you that I just found your site today via some of your YouTube videos on learning violin. I'm an adult who started taking Bluegrass Fiddle lessons about 5 months ago and I am loving it! I played the piano for years and always wanted to learn the violin so it has been a lifelong dream of mine come true. However, I have had shoulder and neck problems over the years and was afraid that playing the violin would exacerbate those problems. And it did seem to really be adding to them, but even worse I was having extreme left forearm pain - almost like tennis elbow but on both sides of my forearm. My instructor couldn't understand how my arm hurt and said it should be pain-free. He plays a number of stringed instruments in addition to the fiddle; banjo, bass, guitar and mandolin and has had years of holding up his left arm playing so thought maybe he had more strength in his arm. I thought that it was my grip on the neck so I started searching YouTube for solutions to my pain problem.

After watching a number of 'how to hold the violin properly' videos I finally chanced upon your "Left Hand Squeezing: How to Stop" video and you have solved my problem!!!! I was unconsciously gripping with my thumb and your explanation of how to place your thumb and the proper pressure has dramatically improved my hold! Thank you so much for sharing your years of experience and knowledge. I just wish I lived near Austin so I could stop in your shop sometime. The next time I make it there I will.

Thank you so much, Beth!

All the best,

Deb Roberge
Debra Roberge
Hello, I recently joined your online lessons and wanted to offer some feedback. I am near the end of Suzuki book 2, and I find your short lessons so helpful and so well taught. Beth has a talent for communicating and her insight into playing and teaching the violin combines for a wealth of info, in small enough doses to be very effective. She addresses many of the questions/problems I never seem to have time enough to ask my teacher. And the cost is such that I feel I will be able to advance at a much faster rate than what I can afford for personal instruction. I started watching the lessons from the beginning and I believe I now have the tool I need to become a better player. Thank you Beth, now back to the lessons, Sincerely, Dan Smith
Dan Smith
You can't imagine what a blessing your teaching videos in such a situation are! I have the computer and a big mirror right next to each other, so I can watch myself and try to match what you teach. It is a challenge, that is true! But I really, really like it, and I just wanted to say a big thank you to you for starting this website. There is so much in it I really appreciate: for one, sure enough, your teaching, breaking movements down to little parts, shaping awareness of those individual elements. Then the fact that I can go back as often as I want to be reminded again of all these details. I don't know how someone does it who sees a teacher maybe once a week and then needs to remember everything the teacher said. There is just so much detail! And I really like the accompaniment. It helps incredibly in getting good intonation - although it makes progress a lot slower, when you have to try over and over again, until the finger gets it just right. After all, you said not to SLIDE along the string until the tone is right but to make sure to HIT it at the right point :). It is such fun when all of a sudden during some practice for a few beats I have the feeling: Now it is MUSIC, not just scratchy practice! Sure enough, that does not happen too often yet, but the few times it happened, it just gave me a wonderful perspective what to expect in the future :).

So again: a very big thank you to you!
I wish you a wonderful and blessed week.
Greetings from Germany,
Elke

Elke Meier
Hello Beth. I recently joined your website and community. Wow is all I can say! I am so thrilled to have found you! Your instructional videos are incredible! I have learned so much in just the last three days and have put it immediately into my practice sessions and it is making a HUGE difference in my playing! Just by adjusting my chin rest and making other minute position corrections as suggested in your video's I was able to eliminated the pain in my left shoulder, arm, wrist, hand and fingers immediately!

The community is great because I don't feel so alone and can see how others are doing with their practice and all the help they get through other members responses and yours. Thank-you for putting this incredible website together. You are a fantastic teacher! I love the minute details in all of the video's!

I can't thank-you enough.
Morgance Ellis
I feel Iíve found a gold mine! Playing the violin has been a life long dream but with raising a family and working full time, there was never time and it always remained the top item in my Ďdream listí for retirement. A long time ago, I bought the cheapest violin I could find and I spent years looking at it, touching it, loving it and waiting (while listening to David Garrettís Czardas Gypsy Dance and dreaming, against all common sense, that maybe one dayÖ)

At 63 I decided to get a head start, I invested in a better violin and bow and started taking lessons. I was still working full time so I didnít have much time or energy to practice. Two weeks ago, the big retirement day finally arrived! The following Monday morning I was ready with my violin and determined to practice, practice and practice. But I had a problem with my bow grip. So I started to look up websites for help. Several sites later I found Violin Lab! I thought Iíd died and gone straight to heaven!

Now, I must point out that I have a fantastic violin teacher. Sheís very competent, patient and she can tailor lessons to her individual studentsí needs. But, she canít be with me 24/7 and I canít afford more than 2 lessons a month so often, in between, I canít remember in detail what she showed me or what she said. Your videos are like having an extremely competent and patient private tutor at home, a tutor who explains very clearly and teaches techniques in minute details and whoís with me whenever I need. I can replay the videos over and over (love the slow motion and close ups!) or freeze a frame to study it carefully and get the benefits of a workshop even if I wasnít there. Despite being a very accomplished violinist (I watched About Us) you are never condescending and you address challenges that sometimes I donít even know I have, even if these challenges may seem silly to a professional violinist.

The website is very well put together, easy to navigate and it took me no time at all to feel at home. I am amazed at the extent of the material covered and the number of videos available to me for a very reasonable cost, actually the cost is very low which I appreciate very much given that Iím now on a retirement income.

And thereís another thing my teacher canít give meÖ a sense of community, reading fellow membersí testimonials and stories, their issues on the Community page (I seem to have them all!) the answers, the workshops, but especially knowing that Iím not the only very Ďmatureí beginner out there. I used to think I was a freak (getting the condescending smiles and Ďíhow sweetíí) but now I find that Iím a member of a very thriving community and I canít begin to tell you how happy I am. As a 65 year old beginner violinist, you make me feel that I belong.

My bow hold is now under control (pencil in my pocket to pick up and practice throughout the day!) I just watched Laurie in the workshop (kneel the pinkie down and pray for good soundÖ priceless!) and I must admit that Iíve already watched your videos on techniques that are much too advanced for me at this point but I enjoy knowing where Iíll be soon if I keep up the good work.

My big dream is to become good enough one day to join a quartet or an ensemble, nothing professional of course but to be able to make beautiful music with other musicians, for our own enjoyment. In the meantime, while I dream, Iím going to keep practicing and enjoying this fantastic website and new friends. Thank you Beth!

HťlŤne
HťlŤne Mathers
Thank you very much Mrs. Blackerby, for providing such an excellent in-depth instructional program. I am gaining much from the videos and recommending your superior resource to very many people! The videos have been very helpful for me as a beginner in developing technique and tone qualities. I am understanding more and more that as I focus on the technical fundamentals that you explain so carefully, playing violin feels more comfortable and even natural, though this is a new instrument for me. Good technique feels right, and this program is so important to me in building solid technique. I wouldn't be without violin lab or some of the resources that you suggest, like the Bon Musica Shoulder rest and the Strad Pad, without which I was never comfortable with my violin. These products have made quite a difference, and your videos have been so essential. The detail is so great that the videos usually answer all the questions I might have. I love the care and quality of explanation given. Thank you!
I also found a nice sounding, attractive violin through USA Music Supply with a one piece back. It received a great review from an excellent strings teacher who also does extensive repair and rebuilding; she was very happy with the quality of this violin and thought the price was too low.
Lisa Abrew

Your videos are smart and simple, perfect for people who likes learning extremely useful stuff in the nick of time. Also, did you bewitched your videos? For I was completely engaged in it! ;) As a teenage orchestra player for several years, I learnt important tips that I wish I knew since I started violin. It means so much to me, getting to know these smart tips, and I feel so grateful for the time you spent on figuring out best ways to convey violin knowledge to every violin enthusiast out there, without asking for anything. <3

I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. For, with your videos, I am able to improve my violin playing skills just by watching probably 9000 miles away.

Thank you so much!

Best regards,
Xin Ning
Xin Ning
Greetings Beth,
My name Shahe Deirmendjian and I just wanted to share my gratitude for violinlab. I've been wanting to learn the violin since I was a child and though music was large part of my upbringing, my brother took the one slot in our family for a musician while mine was the more traditional academic route.

Well after a degree in philosophy and grad school in anthropology and having just enrolled in school for yet another degree in nanoelectronics with military service somewhere in between, the desire to learn the violin hasn't diminished. Of course I wait till my mid 30's with a full time job and now full time school to start learning a difficult instrument but that's why I'm so grateful for violinlab. It lets me practice while on a hectic schedule.

I finally decided to pick up a rental instrument from violins etc. little over a week ago but my plan is to start lessons with one of the instructors from Blackerby's. In the meantime, I've been working through the lesson videos several hours a day and I'm thoroughly enjoying them. I purchased a one year membership and it's been worth every cent so again, thank you very much for saving me from a sea of mix and match you tube videos and for providing such a wonderful service.

Soon as possible, I'll be calling up to schedule an actual lesson with an instructor, hopefully before I develop too many bad habits.

With deepest thanks,
Shahe
Shahe Deirmendjian
I have loved your website. It is so in depth and so well organized to start from beginning to end in a systematic order. The guided practices are the icing on the cake. I am just about to purchase the 9-14 series. Your way of teaching is so easy to understand and your videos are so well made. One of the things that drew me to your site was the Suzuki Method for the violin. In the past I have completed volume one and two on piano and am currently almost done with volume one for alto recorder.
Christa Woodall

I signed up for a membership to your Violin Lab website. I really like your teaching style on violin. I'm 60yrs old and play guitar, and piano. I've taken Guitar lesson for about 5yrs total, and I can read music. I always wanted to learn to play the violin and decided on my 60th birthday to buy one. After attempting to play it for a couple of weeks I broke down and signed up for private lessons. My teacher told me my sight-reading skills were excellent, but I just need to learn the technic of playing the violin. I never heard her play the violin for me!! She told me she had neck surgery and was unable to pick up the violin. But, talking with her she new music, and she showed me some mistakes on my bowing and posture which helped. I came across your website and after learning more in 1hr than I did in two months of expensive lessons, I decided to have you teach me violin. I just wanted to say thank you!
David Inman
Hello Beth. I just wanted to send you a quick message complementing you on this site - I have been playing for 6 months, and have learned far more on this site than I have with the two teachers I have tried.
You realize adults need to learn HOW to play - the mechanics - rather than just stumbling through a song a week.
I have taught golf to children and adults - the two groups are VERY different!
Thanks again
David Waterman
Dear Beth: I just wanted you to know how happy I am that I found your website!!! i am a 63-year-old piano teacher by profession. For the last year plus I have been helping my five-year-old grandson who lives with me to learn violin through the Suzuki method. I had him start partly out of my own curiosity for the method. Because I practice with him every day ( and I suppose it does not hurt that I am also a musician !!) I found that everything he can play, I can also play! I am at his level!!!
I had been thinking recently I might take lessons myself, having now developed an interest in learning the instrument. Then, i found your website a couple days ago, and, while I won't rule out in-person lessons in the future to make sure I am acquiring correct technique, your instructions are so detailed, broken down so carefully and so systematically, I think that for the time being, this fits my current needs more than private lessons. I confess to having jumped ahead, just to see how certain things I had had curiosity about (like vibrato) were explained. But now, I am committed to moving through using your sequence.
What a big but tremendously useful project you have undertaken. i would describe it as the Khan Academy of violin!!!
So, while I am waiting for my shoulder rest to arrive and am no farther than that, I wanted to thank you in advance for what I can tell will be very useful. I am so happy I found you!!!!
Martha Yazhari
Apart from that may I express my appreciation to you. I have benefitted immensely and immeasurably from your lessons. They are so clear and lucid. Your warm and affable approach, teaching methodology and practical demonstrations are so excellent that my own playing has advanced considerably and made me more and more enthusiastic. I have become a violin teacher due to requests from the mainly low-income community who see me playing. Guess what? I try to emulate your teaching approach and achieving success. At the same time I am making my own progress as a musician. I look forward to coming over and meeting you someday, or even attending your workshop once that becomes affordable. Thank you very much. May you have a prosperous and blessed New Year.
Pastor John Ramasamy
Hello Beth. I recently joined your website and community. Wow is all I can say! I am so thrilled to have found you! Your instructional videos are incredible! I have learned so much in just the last three days and have put it immediately into my practice sessions and it is making a HUGE difference in my playing! Just by adjusting my chin rest and making other minute position corrections as suggested in your video's I was able to eliminated the pain in my left shoulder, arm, wrist, hand and fingers immediately!

The community is great because I don't feel so alone and can see how others are doing with their practice and all the help they get through other members responses and yours. Thank-you for putting this incredible website together. You are a fantastic teacher! I love the minute details in all of the video's!

I can't thank-you enough.

Morgance Ellis
I just had to tell you how much your wonderful videos mean to me. I am currently a student in nurse anesthesia and am busy constantly studying anesthetic techniques, but I have been CRAVING craving something more artistic to do. I have played clarinet for years but have secretly wished I had learned violin instead.

Your website has totally changed my outlook on my life. I now consider myself someone interesting with challenging hobbies that are respectable. I feel like playing violin has given me so much confidence -- and I've only been playing for a month! But I am positively loving every second I get to practice. I have made time almost every single day, and my excitement is growing all the time. I have started listening to concerto pieces while I drive to and from work and I have a growing list of pieces I hope to play someday.

I can tell that you care about students and that you enjoy teaching. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making violin lab. It has been the source of much joy for me. My wife is delighted that I am finding such a fun way to spend my free time, and my children are all determined to learn an instrument now that daddy is learning :)

Every day I look forward to the time you and I will spend together, even though we've never met :)

Bless you!!!
Adam Kynaston
Dear Beth,
I picked up the violin after many years and am so delighted with my progress after becoming a member/ student of Violin Lab three months ago. I took lessons for a year as a child and decided to start playing again when I retired! Your teaching method and wonderful manner has been so helpful and has inspired me to practice daily for the sheer pleasure of playing the violin. I even took my violin to Costa Rica for two and a half months to miss some of our Canadian winter😎! I have just renewed my subscription for another 6 months and hope one day to find a community orchestra to play in.
Kim Burnside
Dear Beth

I just wanted to share with you (my second teacher) as I feel you have definitely played a part in my journey.. I have just got my abrsm grade 5 result and I passed with distinction!!! I wasn't at all sure what to expect and it just feels so good! I love that you believe in us adult learners. This is proof that although it often doesn't feel like it, there is progress. I haven't finished yet... LOADS to do...! I LOVE my violin!
Janice Blakiston
Dear Beth. I have been a member of your site for just over a year. It never ceases to amaze me what a wonderful job you do with this site. Each day I am grateful that I found this site. The low cost to be a member is certainly a bonus but that is not the reason I am a member. You do a great job of making it useful and enjoyable. Over the past eight years I have tried to learn how to play the fiddle. I have invested in many learning DVDís, all of which are interesting and have something to offer but none of them really helped me learn to play. By following your videos and the Suzuki books and trying some of the suggested resources I am finally learning to play the violin. For quite awhile I felt guilty for having bought fiddles that sat unused. After signing up for Violinlab.com I actually invested in a very good 7/8 size violin and I donít feel guilty because it gets playedÖ and by me! I hope to attend one of the workshops in the next two years and so I hope you will have one in your facility within that time frame.
Thank you for doing such a wonderful job sharing your gift and your time. It is obvious that you are a true and dedicated teacher who cares that people really learn. Thanks for inspiring older people like myself.

Judith Pringle
A dedicated lifetime member, to be, of Violinlab.com
Judith Pringle
Dear Beth,
Each time I go on this site, I am more impressed with the professionalism, warmth and encouragement you give us as students.

- MCM
MCM
I found out about Violinlab by accident while looking at videos on u-tube. I am very impressed with your teaching style and how clearly you explain things and then demonstrate them. I feel like every time I watch one of your videos I am having an Epiphany!!!!
Sandra de Azagra
My son had a violin in the basement storage area. I, never having held a violin until that day a month ago when even I could see what a sorry state she was in [her name is Venus] and she in great need of hospitalization. She came back looking like, well, a goddess. I am so excited each day, anticipating my violin lessons. I have had many, many teachers and I say with no hesitation you are the best - I feel I'm your only pupil, and I do everything you tell me [-don't think it; not teacher's pet].
I'm only seventy seven and go to work and anticipation of violin class enriches my day.
Thank you so much.
Bryan Glen
Dear Ms. Blackerby,

I recently became a member of your website and I am writing to thank you for creating such an incredible resource for violin students. I am an adult beginner and decided to start learning the violin because I write music. I have learned so much from you in just over a week and I very much enjoy going through the guided practice videos on a daily basis. Your lessons are extremely engaging and your explanations of the various concepts and techniques have made the whole process seem a lot more manageable. The quality of the videos is outstanding too.

Even at this early stage, the techniques I've learned have given me a new perspective on writing for strings, which is very exciting. I have just started the lessons on tone production and ring tones have made practising such fun! The violin seems to come alive when you manage to produce them! I very much look forward to progressing through the rest of your online learning programme.

Once again, thank you for creating such a wonderful resource for students. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to learn from you and will certainly recommend your website to others who want to learn the violin.

With very best wishes,
Soolin
Soolin Cottle
Dear Mrs. Blackerby

I hope you are doing well so far. As soon as I had the chance to get access to Violin Lab's materials freely because of your generosity, I decided to give the feedback weekly about how I improve my skills through the help of Violin Lab .

To tell the truth, Before my acquaintance with you and Violin lab, I had the feeling that "I never improve more than this anymore", and I had stopped my daily exercise for a couple of years. But, after I started watching your instructive and useful videos form the beginning lessons, my mind was changed simply because you know how to teach playing the violin. I have never seen someone like you so far. Honestly saying, you have a strong common sense in teaching violin, that is, you know almost all the gaps that students may have. In brief, you understand what is wrong with students. Since last week, my skill in bowing has been improved remarkably. To demonstrate, yesterday, a friend of mine said that "you produce a better sound, and it is not like before."

Mrs. Blackerby, thank you a ZILLION times for all you have done for me so far.❤
Raboon Ghafari
Beth:
I have been a member of your interactive website for two years, Just after buying my violin.

After viewing and studying hundreds of your videos it is obvious that you are a charming personality capable of creating great energy in a student.
You are a natural teacher with a humble approach with great feeling. I appreciate your keen sense of humor. Most importantly you project confidence.

My musical background is none existent. Two years ago, after carefully shopping, I fulfilled a long time ambition and bought a violin. Unsure if I would play it or set it up in the TV room for decoration. When I picked it up at the Violin store in Pleasanton, I immediately felt an unexplained sense of community. I took it home and tuned it with my newly discovered tuning app. The minute I heard the self-generated ring tone it was like someone had flicked a switch. My wife of 42 years has described my passion for the violin as an example of cold fusion energy.

Thank You for providing such a well-designed and carefully managed media outlet.
Carl Asbury
I just want to pass on my heartfelt thanks for your absolutely fabulous website.

Courtesy of your wonderful teaching style and the brilliant content of the site, my playing has progressed more in the last four weeks than in the last three years. In addition, my confidence has increased greatly and my enthusiasm for the instrument has been restored.

I cannot thank you enough.

Please keep up the good work!
Wendy Burdess
Dear Beth,

I just wanted to send an email to say thanks for providing such a great service. I started playing the violin when I was around 15 but had to give it up after only 1.5 years because I had too much going on at the time with final school exams and other things (plus I also play piano which is my main instrument). Violin has always been a dream of mine. Now I'm 35 at home with 3 kids and although I have some time the cost for lessons is prohibitive as my husband is the only income earner and there's those 3 mouths to feed.

I stumbled across your website googling "how not to squeeze with your left hand", signed up for one month to try it out and ever since then I've been hooked. You explain things so well and are so detailed orientated I think I've gotten more out of this week with you then with my entire time with my lessons in school.

I'm only working through beginner level 1 but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your lessons (you probably get it all the time!) and I definitely will be renewing at the end of my membership term. You have given me a means to "do something for myself" while I take some time off from my career to bring up the kids.

With kind regards,

Jane
Jane Teh
Beth
I recently singed up for your Violin Lab and Note reading program. I had decided to start learning to play the Violin and read music a few months ago I'll be 62 in August. Any way I did a bit of online rearsearch and you have the best program I could find and I looked at quite few. I have been watching your videos and studying your lesson plan I am very impressed with the detail. I haven't rented a Violin yet but I found a Violin Shop not to far away I'm going to talk to soon.

Thank you for you hard work and effort.


Edward Kelkuski
My name is janmejay jadeja and i am a student in India. First of all i want to say this, you are a wonderful-wonderful teacher. I checked out all the stuffs found online about violin learning, but i found no match to your tutorials. I found your tutorials on youtube. So thank you very much for deciding to teach, what you know very well.
Janmejay Jadeja