What can we do? The expertise of violin teachers worldwide is worth a LOT. Especially to me, as a violin teacher and student for 20 years. That's 20 years of lessons, partially sponsored by my parents, partially paid for by babysitting/waitressing/getting scholarships/getting lucky/having my teacher discount for me. But here's the questions you have to ask as to why you should have a professional teacher or whether you can learn online.
The first question is what are your goals with the violin?
The fact is, most people who are coming over to the site, and most people who are learning violin are NOT expecting to become professionals. You might play in your school orchestra, or want to pick it up-but you're not expecting to be in the Queen Elizabeth violin competition, and not even dreaming about that.
Fact is, many professionals aren't either. I don't think I EVER really dreamed about being in competitions, although of course that is a fantastic life goal. However, my goals in violin playing were always to make my instrument and me come together and for me to really be able to express myself with my violin. If your goals are either to be a competitive violin player, to play solo with orchestras, or to become a teacher or a real professional, then learning on the internet is not for you.
The thing is though, you get what you give. Both in terms of practicing and in terms of hiring a teacher. Usually the best teachers will cost more, and usually the less trained teachers will charge less. Sometimes you get lucky and you get an amazing teacher who is willing to come down from the list price because they see something special in you, but I know that I've only done that twice in ten years of teaching-and I would say I'm a pretty good teacher.
The second question you need to ask is whether it is important to you to spend a lot of time with the violin. The reason that that is important is because the violin is NOT a comfortable instrument. It is incredibly difficult to get to the point where you can play the violin really comfortably and well. If you are willing to put in the time, then I suggest also investing in a good teacher, at least for the first few months to get you off to a good start. The fact is, that the violin is a tricky instrument to teach. I can explain the concepts in terms of aerodynamics, but you might not understand them unless you are next to me. I really do my best with the videos to explain how to move and how to hold the bow, however I don't really focus on the really beginners and the first lessons. It isn't the demographic that I'm aiming for here, because there are SO many people who are already doing that. Maybe if there are enough requests, I'll do a few beginner classes-but I don't really think that with the vastness of the internet, that you need me for that.
The point is also, that because the violin is NOT naturally a comfortable instrument to play, that if you plan on spending a lot of time with your violin, investing in a teacher will save you many aches and pains along the way. However, if you plan on spending an hour or less with your violin every day, then learning online can be the way to go.
The third question is whether you have a lot of self motivation. If you find that when you have free time you are more likely to be channel surfing than learning something or creating something, then I suggest learning with a teacher. I'm going to say about myself is that I get into ruts-I've been in the violinlikethat rut now for what, 3 months now? It's like a bug that I caught, and I've been working like crazy on it. But generally in my career I've needed a big gig, or a really strict Russian teacher to keep me in the game. So I'll be honest, is that for me it has always depended on where I was at - I think back and think "well, at this age I would have been able to learn without a teacher but at this age I would have needed a teacher". You know yourself best!
The thing is, that I've been stunned by the amount of different people from different places who have made their way over to the website and bought the videos. Teachers, students, beginners, people who are coming back to the instrument after a long hiatus- So yeah, I have some expertise to share, and I am THRILLED to be able to give it to you, but I'm learning new things from you all every day as well.