R. Todd Ehle, Violin Teacher
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Am I too old to start playing the violin?

You are never too old to learn the violin.  Becoming a professional classical violinist takes a lifetime of learning, and even then there are no guarantees one will make a living, the field is too competitive.  However, that has nothing to do with learning the instrument.  I have seen amazing things from adult (and late teen) learners who became good enough to join a community orchestra.  I've also seen several adults learn to play old-time fiddle.  Never, ever let anyone tell you you can't!  Find a teacher who is good with older students and go for it.

Do I need a teacher?

Since I am a teacher, I tend to think it's a good idea.  I understand that some people do learn to play an instrument by themselves, and even consider it a a badge of honor, but I believe that nothing happens is a vacuum.  These self-taught musicians have probably picked up many ideas by socializing with other musicians, watching videos, reading method books, etc.  I realize this is not the same thing as formal lessons, but it is a transfer of knowledge.  If you can find a motivational teacher that helps you, who is organized and can plot a course of studies for you, you will have a better chance of attaining your goals.  When choosing a teacher remember this:  You are buying a product.  If the relationship isn't right for you, move on.

Do you teach live on-line lessons? 

On occasion, but when I do they are not cheap.  I have a large studio at the college and am not looking for more students. 

I'm having trouble with a specific technique.  Can you help? 

I usually do not answer help requests unless I think the answer would apply to the majority of viewers.  I had to shut down my Youtube personal messages after checking them one day to find 66 messages.  I would love to be able to help everyone, but it isn't possible.

What type of chinrest do you use?

I use a modified Flesch model with the hump.  I have added wood to the base of the rest, making it much higher.

Why didn't you make videos of all of the Wohlfahrt Op. 45 Etudes?   

My goal was to introduce a new technique with each video, using  works that were accessible to a wide variety of students.  Since many of the the Wohlfahrt etudes are redundant, I found it unnecessary to video-record all of them.  I also found the variations to be too time-consuming to include, but I do use them in my teaching.