Contact Us: [email protected]

Contact Us: [email protected]

in association with ViolinSchool

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Violin Lessons in London

with Simon Hewitt Jones and David Worswick of ViolinSchool

HIGH QUALITY VIOLIN TUITION WITH EXPERIENCED, AWARD-WINNING TUTORS SIMON HEWITT JONES AND DAVID WORSWICK, FOR ALL AGES AND EXPERIENCE LEVELS.

 Disclaimer... we may not look quite this young any more! 

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

We are a London-based violin tuition studio with a high-quality, creative, and accessible approach. We share years of teaching and performing experience, and are constantly developing our practice.

David and Simon work collaboratively to bring our shared experience to bear on the guidance we offer, and work together to create solutions for our learners.

As active professional performers who are also expert teachers, we have cutting-edge, up to date expertise from the real world of music making, and we always adapt our teaching to suit each individual learner.

We are friendly, creative, and have the ability to inspire a wide range of students… at all ages and levels of experience!

A FRIENDLY, CREATIVE APPROACH

We believe passionately that great music making (and violin playing!) comes from an ability to be creative. Our approach is the opposite of the ‘dogmatic violin guru’ (!) — we believe there is no ‘one true way’ of learning the violin. Instead, we guide our learners using fundamental principles, and encourage each learner to develop their own creative approach to realising their individual goals and ideals.

We believe that violin playing should be a joy. It is a great privilege to have access to such a beautiful musical instrument, and at its best, music making is an empowering, deeply human activity. We strive to make the journey of learning as fun and enjoyable as possible, to keep you motivated and focused on the challenges ahead.

TAKE A PEEK INTO OUR CREATIVE STUDIO LOCATED IN WESTMINSTER.

We started writing on the wall of our studio to help explain the concepts that come up most frequently in our lessons. Here’s a sneak peek into some of our ideas…!

MEET THE TEAM

Simon and David have worked together since studying at the Royal Academy of Music, where they met in 2001.

They performed together for several years as the ‘Virtuoso Violin’ duo, a touring show which appeared at many of the UK’s major venues and festivals, and performed extensively for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now organisation.

Since 2013, they have taught together in partnership, and are the driving force behind ViolinSchool.com, a leading provider of eLearning programs for the violin.

SIMON HEWITT JONES
(TUES-THURS)

Simon is a renowned violin soloist, session musician, orchestral concertmaster and chamber music performer. 

He was a researcher at the Royal Academy of Music, and is the founder of ViolinSchool.com online learning.

More about Simon >>

DAVID WORSWICK
(FRI-MON)

David is a violin soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player, and was a long-time member of the London Symphony Orchestra as a 1st violinist. 

He is also a composer and arranger, pianist, and writer, and creates learning materials for ViolinSchool.com 

More about David >> 

SETAREH MOOD (Administrator & Children's Tuition)

Setareh is your first point of contact, and possibly the friendliest person you will ever meet! She is in charge of our scheduling, and is available throughout the week to provide whatever support and assistance our learners need.

She began the violin at the age of 25 in Italy, and now learns with Simon and David, and helps coordinate research at ViolinSchool. In addition to her work as administrator for the studio, Setareh is head of Learner Support at ViolinSchool.com, and teaching children the violin as part of ViolinSchool London's group teaching programs.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I take lessons with one of you or with both of you?

It's up to you. The two of us together develop (and continue to develop) the ViolinSchool Curriculum, so we'll be teaching you the same concepts, regardless of who you learn with. But inevitably, the style and way in which we teach will be slightly different for every person.

If you're at an early stage of learning or you're focused on solving specific technical issues, we believe it's better to learn just with one tutor for a period of time. If you're an advanced learner and/or you're comfortable with your existing practice plans, then you may find it really valuable to play to both of us on a regular basis.

More often than not, availability and scheduling will also dictate the answer to this question!


I'm a Beginner. What's the first step? Do I need a Violin?

Come to our studio at 15 Palace Street. Simon or David will take you through the fundamental topics, and help you get setup. You’ll leave having a clear idea of how to get started with your violin practice.

We have violins in the studio that you can use for your first lesson. If you don’t yet have an instrument, we can advise you on all the options. You don’t need to be able to read music either — we can teach you that as you begin to learn the violin.

You may also wish to consider the popular Beginner Violin Class and 10-week Beginner Violin Courses A, B and C that we run at ViolinSchool. Many people find it's a great, social way to begin learning, before taking a series of One to One lessons.

I used to play and I'd like to start again. Is this right for me?

Yes, a One to One Lesson is a great place to start. If we feel you might benefit from group tuition and/or group performance experience, we will also refer you on to ViolinSchool's programmes, including our popular Saturday Ensembles and twice-annual Violin Orchestra.

WHAT WE OFFER

We say 'Violin Lessons', but really what we do is much broader than that! 

Here's a more detailed look at the different types of coaching and tuition that we provide at our studio:

Regular One to One Lessons (Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly)

If you're really serious about making maximum progress, a regular lesson schedule is a must-have. Depending on the amount of practice time you have available, a weekly or fortnightly lesson may be best for you. If you only travel into London occasionally, then a monthly lesson combined with ViolinSchool's online courses might be best for you.

'Ad Hoc' One to One Lesson Booking

If your schedule is less predictable, then 'ad hoc' lesson booking is the way to go. Once we've got to know you, you'll be added to our priority email list, and you'll get advance notice of all lesson availability at the beginning of each booking period.

We know how busy life in London can be, so we try to be as flexible as possible regarding rescheduling and rebooking should your schedule change. But please try and give us 48 hours notice if you can, so we have time to offer cancelled lessons to other students.

Graduate & Professional Coaching

Coaching is different to teaching. When a teacher teaches a lesson, they're imparting knowledge and expertise, and giving instruction.

But a good Coach is like a mirror - they're there to help an expert to help themselves, by reflecting back to them what they're already doing, and offering feedback which leads to new perspectives.

Check out this great article from the New Yorker, by one of Simon's favourite writers, Atul Gawande, to find out why Itzhak Perlman thinks it's a mistake for concert violinists not to have coaches...

We regularly provide coaching services to other professional violinists, and to recent graduates, either on a one-off or regular basis.

Violin Lessons for Actors

Acting in a play or film is difficult enough even without the need for an ultra-specialist skill such as playing the violin! But whether an actor needs to actually play, or simply look convincing on screen (ready to be dubbed in the edit suite), there are a few simple things you can do to transform the process and create a convincing on-screen result.

Simon has developed a learning and coaching process specific to actors, based on the time-proven performance and practice principles that we teach at ViolinSchool. In 2018, Simon delivered extensive coaching for a lead actor in a major feature film (due for release in 2019), and also served as an on-set music consultant. Where availability allows, we can provide on-location and remote coaching - please enquire for more information.

Lessons for Adults

We often find that Adult Learners can progress extremely quickly with learning the violin. When you take the time to plan and analyse your practice and technical development, the results can be extraordinary. We take a friendly, empowering approach, regardless of your age or experience level; we absolutely believe that with passion, determination and intelligent curiosity, almost anyone can successfully learn to play the violin, at almost any age.

In your first few lessons, we will help you to acquire all the fundamentals of playing, and then develop your knowledge and understanding in accordance with the ViolinSchool curriculum. We'll help you to think ahead and plan your goals, and to develop a practice plan that will give you the clarity and confidence you need to forge ahead successfully and reach your violin-playing goals.

Lessons for Adult 'Restarters'

If you've played the violin before, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how strong your sense of rhythm and pitch remains... once developed, it's never forgotten!

Yes, your technique will be 'rusty', but for most people, it can be reactivated fairly quickly by revising the technical fundamentals.

If you learnt only as a child, you may also find that a lot of your technique was developed instinctively, and you won't know clearly how you're doing what you're doing. 

We'll give you a framework and approach for analysing, understanding and improving your physical technique, so that YOU can start improving and developing your playing through your own practice... from the very first day.

Lessons for Children

We both learnt the violin as children, and understand first hand how important it is to have a positive experience when learning a musical instrument at a young age.

At ViolinSchool, our new Children's Violin Course offers coaching from the age of 3 to the age of 7 years old (and will later be extended up to 13 years old).

For young learners over the age of 7, and for any children with an advanced level of development, we are able to provide specialist tuition to help you make the most of what you can already do.

Although we prefer to prioritise musical, technical and artistic development over pressurised goal-setting, we nonetheless understand the importance and necessity of exams and auditions, and aim to prepare your child for these experiences in a way that is as fun and creative and enjoyable as possible whilst still aspiring to the highest standards.

Exam Preparation & Audition Coaching

Our strategic approach to exam preparation and audition coaching produces consistently excellent results. Let us know as early as possible what your goals are (a month before your exam won't cut it! -- 6 to 12 months is usually a good amount of time for advance planning when working towards a major goal).

Together, we'll map out your desired result, and translate it into Musical, Technical, Performance and Creative requirements. f you're preparing for an exam, we'll use your chosen exam board's marking criteria to agree exactly what we want the end performance to sound like.

Then, we'll plan backwards from the day of the event, right the way back to the current week, and make sure you've got a rock-solid practice plan in place for achieving the result you want.

Then it's time for you to practice! We'll support you all the way a with the accountability that only regular lessons can provide, with updated practice plans where needed, and mock performances as your event approaches.

'Intensive' Lesson Weeks

‘Intensive’ lesson weeks usually take place in holiday periods, and are a unique opportunity for students to take a daily lesson at a fixed daily time for several consecutive days (usually 4, 5 or 6 days in a row).

An Intensive Lesson Week is perfect for troubleshooting specific technical topics, rapidly building new levels technique, exam preparation, concert preparation, practice skills, repertoire development, starting or re-starting the violin after some time away ...and more! 

'Intensives' are like a giant boost of energy to your violin practice... whatever you’re working on, it’ll be dramatically improved by a week of personal coaching!

Chamber Music Coaching

As violinists, we're blessed with some of the most extraordinarily beautiful chamber (ensemble) music in the world... from Duos and Trios to the core String Quartet repertoire and beyond. 

Good violin playing is essential for playing chamber music well, but it's only part of the picture. You also need world-class communication and rehearsal skills, empathy and non-verbal communication skills, a deep and comprehensive understanding of how different 'voices' fit together within the structure of a piece, and so much more.

We love coaching pre-formed groups and helping ensembles to realise their musical interpretations in the most expressive, compelling way.

Tuition via Webcam

For international students, or if you just can't get to London regularly, lessons with Simon are available via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts. David does not currently teach via Webcam. Check out our guide 'How to Prepare for a Webcam Violin Lesson' for more information about how this works! Lesson rates are the same for Webcam lessons as for lessons at Palace Street.

Music Theory & Aural Skills Training

We believe that Music Theory and Aural Skills are quite simply an essential part of learning to play the violin. We integrate these core skills into our teaching, and direct you to the most relevant resources for your own study time. If required, dedicated music theory and aural training sessions can be arranged.

Tuition Fees

Our current rates are £49 per hour (and pro rated accordingly for 30, 90 and 2 hour lessons). We usually book lessons starting on the hour. Payment must always be received in full before tuition takes place.

Consultations & Introductory Lessons

We keep a small number of times available each month for one-off consultations, coaching, and  introductory lessons. Generally, when you join our waiting list, we try and offer you an introductory lesson within a month or two if possible. Once we've met you in person, it's much easier to make a recommendation about the best course of tuition for you!

Availability & Waiting List

We always prioritise our existing students to make sure that wherever possible we are able to get you your preferred tuition times. For regular lessons and 'ad hoc' booking, we release tuition times three or four times per year (usually following the periods January to Easter, Easter to Summer, July & August, then September to December).

Once existing students have reserved their lesson times, we open up the rest of our schedule to people on our waiting list. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

All the boring but important stuff!

Our Location

We have a small studio at 15 Palace Street, London SW1E 5HS. Visits are by appointment only (obviously, because we're teaching)! If you're interested in tuition and would like to meet us, just get in touch and we can arrange an introductory lesson at a convenient time.

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