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ABRSM Diploma to teach violin/viola - how long? watch

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    hey all

    i play lots of wind instruments, have played in the school orchestra which requires grade 5 music and have sung in several choirs over many years,i can sight read music well but have never taken any lessons and have never played any string instrument

    it is one of my dreams to play violin/viola to grade 8 standard and ultimately teach it. i also would love to play as part of an adult orchestra and maybe play something by myself in front of others.

    i know i could easily reach the right level on a wind instrument fairly fast, since you have to pass ABRSMs to get the diploma to teach but i really want to learn the violin or viola.

    specifically i wanted to learn the violin but i have heard that if you play viola there is more opportunities and good viola players are always in demand more than violin players in orchestras etc. is this true? but i have heard the viola parts are more boring and there are no solos, plus im very petite, can i get one the right size?

    im 23, is this too old to learn to the level i need to be at to perform or teach?

    how long roughly will it take me to reach ABRSM diploma level having no violin knowledge but can read music well?
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    There was someone in my school who was a great flute player and was a member of one of the auditioning regional choirs (who incidentally are also fairly well-known nationally, I think). She picked up a violin and was playing in the school's string ensemble by the end of year concert (though I'm no expert, so how well she was playing I couldn't say!). Sounds like you could give it a shot, but as with any musical instrument I'm guessing persistence over time would be required, regardless of your prior knowledge.
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    (Original post by shinytoy)
    hey all

    i play lots of wind instruments, have played in the school orchestra which requires grade 5 music and have sung in several choirs over many years,i can sight read music well but have never taken any lessons and have never played any string instrument

    it is one of my dreams to play violin/viola to grade 8 standard and ultimately teach it. i also would love to play as part of an adult orchestra and maybe play something by myself in front of others.

    i know i could easily reach the right level on a wind instrument fairly fast, since you have to pass ABRSMs to get the diploma to teach but i really want to learn the violin or viola.

    specifically i wanted to learn the violin but i have heard that if you play viola there is more opportunities and good viola players are always in demand more than violin players in orchestras etc. is this true? but i have heard the viola parts are more boring and there are no solos, plus im very petite, can i get one the right size?

    im 23, is this too old to learn to the level i need to be at to perform or teach?

    how long roughly will it take me to reach ABRSM diploma level having no violin knowledge but can read music well?
    #

    In terms of how long it will take... no idea. I know good string players who have taken up other string instruments (e.g. violin to double bass) and got to grade 8 in a year because of the transferrable skills, but I doubt the same applies to wind players. For a complete novice not-musical-before-hand you're looking at 10 years maybe. As someone with some musical experience you'd be faster, but not that fast.

    You're right in that if you're a viola player you are in demand all the time - which is nice if you're happy playing in lots of good amateur orchestras, but if you're wanting to go professional then I doubt it makes that much of a difference - although I guess you have to pay the bills somehow, and string quartets at weddings are useful for that

    Viola parts are not boring at all - true, you rarely get the tune (although there are plenty of nice examples where you do - the tune in moon river for instance, and some lovely bits in tchaikovsky's romeo and juliet) but that doesn't mean that your part is dull. Have you ever played in an actual symphony orchestra? Nobody's parts are dull! It might be different in beginner orchestras though I guess - I didn't start viola until i was already a post grade 7 violinist so i kinda missed that bit!

    Violas don't really come in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full sizes like violins. They just get measured in inches and they vary a lot, so don't worry about the size.

    I don't know anybody who has taken up a 'real' instrument that late - but i know plenty of singers e.g. my current teacher who didn't start singing until he was in his 20s and now teaches at RAM - if it's possible for singing i don't see why it shouldn't be for strings.
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    i think it would be worth taking a teaching diploma on an instrument you are already good at...a lot of teaching diplomas are more about teaching theory than the instrument itself

    you could therefore achieve pretty much the same diploma and skills all whilst starting the violin and/or viola in your own time

    i say this because i reckon it takes a good few years of instrumental playing before you feel ready to teach it (i recently took my DipRSL with piano as the main instrument which i started lessons on around age 13/14)

    tis well worth doing a diploma regardless of the instrument it concerns


    Good luck
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    I dont think you need a diploma to teach, but it gives you letters after ur name. Im currently 17 with 2x Grade 8's and looking for a diploma in performance/maybe teaching in classical guitar, i think my teacher says i should probably give it about 1/2 a year to a year to prep for. But if you're learning from scratch, it could take you years. It took me 3 years to complete g8 drumkit though.
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    If you haven't had experience of string instruments before, expect to find the learning curve steep.

    The problem with string instruments is that there's a lot to learn, from positions, posture, intonation, vibrato, potentially different cleffs.

    However, if you're already musical it shouldn't take too long for you to get the grasps of the basics. I've been learning viola with no prior musical experience for 2/3 years and I'm around grade 5 standard and playing in a big orchestra and going on tour - and I didn't practice much.
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    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    Viola parts are not boring at all - true, you rarely get the tune (although there are plenty of nice examples where you do - the tune in moon river for instance, and some lovely bits in tchaikovsky's romeo and juliet) but that doesn't mean that your part is dull.
    Not true - the cello part in Pachelbel's canon is EXCEEDINGLY dull!!
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    I agree entirely... but it's not a viola part so it's hardly relevant :p: Besides, it's dull because it was never composed for a quartet!
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    Not true - the cello part in Pachelbel's canon is EXCEEDINGLY dull!!
    Pachelbel's canon is just dull either way :p:
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    being a wind player myself i decided less than 2 years ago to play the cello. i'm around grade 5 already and dont really do any practice :P although my scales are currently under grade 5, i can play the pieces. so i'd say you could be around grade 8 in about 4 years if u really worked at it - i want to be grade 8ish by the time i leave school. yes, there are less viola players but the orchestras i'm in are crying out for more violin players as well so either is good. i suppose the violin is a bit more interesting and there is probably more well-known material for it but if you got up to a really good standard on the viola i think it would be much more impressive as its more unusual! hope this helps a bit.
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    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    I agree entirely... but it's not a viola part so it's hardly relevant :p: Besides, it's dull because it was never composed for a quartet!
    Ah, but you then went on to say that NOBODY'S parts are ever dull :tongue:
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    I said in a symphony orchestra playing symponies nobody's part is dull. It's hard to sustain dullness for that long. If you can find me a full symphony orchestra arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon I will kiss your feet Besides, I stand by my point that the part was never meant for a cello - it's meant to be improvised upon by a continuo!
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    hehe, true
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    If you're wanting to teach then surely you should be wanting to learn an instrument thoroughly, and not just as quickly as possible?
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    hi guys thanks for replies, the reason i want to learn violin and teach violin rather than learn violin and do diploma in something i already play is because i dont have the time to do both sets of learning, and having had no formal lessons, i think my music theory is severely lacking even thought my mechanical abilities are good.

    very interesting the wind player took a couple years to reach grade 5on the strings.

    does anyone here actually play viola? why did you choose it and not the violin? defeats me why anyone would play cello, how on earth do you get it to lessons??

    do you need to do grades 1-8 in practical music AND 1 - 8 in theory or do you just need to do one paper in grade 5 theory to get past grade 5 in the practical?
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    You don't need to do all the grades in either. Grade V Theory was the first theory exam I ever took and if I were to take another I'd probably got straight to Grade VIII. I also have Grade III and Grade V Voice, and again if I were to take another practical exam I'd probably skip straight to Grade VIII.
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    (Original post by shinytoy)
    hi guys thanks for replies, the reason i want to learn violin and teach violin rather than learn violin and do diploma in something i already play is because i dont have the time to do both sets of learning, and having had no formal lessons, i think my music theory is severely lacking even thought my mechanical abilities are good.

    very interesting the wind player took a couple years to reach grade 5on the strings.

    does anyone here actually play viola? why did you choose it and not the violin? defeats me why anyone would play cello, how on earth do you get it to lessons??

    do you need to do grades 1-8 in practical music AND 1 - 8 in theory or do you just need to do one paper in grade 5 theory to get past grade 5 in the practical?
    Yes I play the viola. Like most people I started as a violinist and then was persuaded to try it - in my case because I have big hands and it opened up my technique and sorted out back problems! It has a nicer richer tone, but realistically I think very few people play it for a reason other than it's-more-in-demand. Many of us start playing both and then gradually end up specialising down - I haven't played my violin in public in 4 years because I'm asked to play viola so much more often.

    Much more music written for cello than viola and most people start lessons when they're still at school and can get driven places by their parents!

    You only need your grade 5 theory and there's nothing to stop you from skipping grades - I never did even numbered violin grades! 1, 3, 5, 7 and then switched to viola
 
 
 
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