About Us
Hello, I'm Beth Blackerby, the founder and owner of Violin Lab.(If you want to skip to my official "bio", scan to the bottom of this page). I would like to tell you why I created Violin Lab. Ten years ago I had the pleasure of teaching several adult violin students, all of whom had a unique passion for learning and practicing the violin. You have to understand how unusual this was for me. First of all, I had been playing the violin since age 5, so never came to the instrument of my own volition. Secondly, it became a career path because frankly, there was not anything else I was interested in or could do. Now mind you, I did love the violin. I remember being moved to tears in high school during an All-State orchestra rehearsal of the Barber Adagio for Strings.

As a teacher though, I was used to my young private students, following the whims and dreams of their parents, coming to lessons with little enthusiasm and no thirst to know more about violin playing. The sharp contrast of the enthusiasm in my adult students was such an inspiration that I was struck with the idea to create a hub for adult violin enthusiasts. I figured that their enthusiasm was not unique to them, but unique to adult learners across the globe! I sensed that these students felt disenfranchised from the violin learning scene as they were not young kids.

So it was in the process of developing the video lessons for Violin Lab that I discovered my true passion in life: Finding the best, most effective way to explain the details and science of violin playing so that anyone can learn to play well without a private teacher (if they did not have one).

While there were a only few good video tutorials on Youtube (this was in the year 2007), there was no place with a sequenced curriculum. It was and continues to be my mission to be the best explainer and demonstrator of violin playing on the internet. The feedback (see testimonials) I have received from Violin Labbers has convinced me that I'm doing a good job and is daily inspiration to create more! Violin Lab has been going strong since 2008 and as for me, well, I plan on doing this until the day I die!

Official Bio

Beth Blackerby is the creator of Violin Lab, an online platform for violin learning. After forming a chamber ensemble of enthusiastic violin learners at Austin Community College, Beth launched the site in 2007, inspired by her belief that adults can develop basic skills in a manner used by professional players. Now fifteen years into the project, she has worked with thousands of student violinists and remains passionate about teaching adults how to play the violin.

Beth graduated with a degree in violin performance from the University of Louisville. She earned a Master of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin, studying with Vartan Manoogian, a notable student of Ivan Galamian. At the University of Texas at Austin, she completed postgraduate coursework and was assistant director of UT’s String Project, internationally recognized as “one of the finest programs in teacher training and string instrument instruction”. She has also taught at Texas Lutheran University and most recently served as violin instructor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

For two years, Beth was a member of the orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain. She has served as concertmaster of the Mid-Texas Symphony and the Santa Fe Pro Musica chamber orchestra, and currently performs with many notable ensembles of the Austin area, including the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Opera, Conspirare, Chamber Soloists of Austin, and Barton Strings.

Violin Lab is the second of Beth’s business ventures, the first being Blackerby Violin Shop. Co-founded in 1995, it is Austin’s first full-service shop run by professional string players, with the mission to provide top quality, affordable string instruments to local students and teachers. Al Marabella, Beth’s husband, joined operations in 1998 and grew the business to become the most trusted string shop in Austin. During their 20 years of collaboration, Beth and Al raised two wonderful daughters.