Praise

Violin students praise violinist and violin teacher Zlata Brouwer and her online violin lessons…

Had my second class with Zlata and she is the best. She is great as an artist and talented as a teacher as well. I am so happy that God has lead me to have Zlata as my teacher. You come away from the lesson knowing just what you need and how to do it. I had my doubts about doing this over Skype and not being physically in front of her, but all my doubts are gone because being on Skype with Zlata is the same as being there. She is able to see everything about my playing and what needs attention. As Zlata says “practice makes permanent” so it’s important that I have this kind of personal attention from someone with Zlata’s expertise. This weekly class gives me the assurance that progress will be made. Can’t wait for our next class! If you’re thinking about classes with Zlata, don’t wait! You’ll be glad you did.

Kenneth Gill is Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy Gold level.

Dear Zlata,
I just noticed the e-mail you sent asking for feedback about the violin academy. So, I figured it’s high time I wrote and told you about what I’ve been learning 🙂 I’ve just been so blessed by your academy. You’ve given me back my joy in playing violin. 🙂 Violin is so much more enjoyable when I play in a relaxed way! 

First of all, I took lessons when I was younger for about 6 years. Then I graduated from high-school and got busy and didn’t play violin very much for 1 1/2 years. Well, I stumbled across your violin academy about 1 year ago. It has been AMAZING! I am such a visual person and getting to watch the videos helped immensely. I soon realized that the things I struggled the most with were the basics! As I watched the beginning videos, I soon saw how many bad habits I’d developed. Your videos have helped me so much! Some of the bad habits I mentioned was how I held the bow, my posture, how I moved my wrist and arm….well, I started doing some of the exercises for the left and right hand and my playing has improved SO MUCH. At Christmas time I played a hymn for our church’s annual Christmas program. Normally, when I’m in front of people my hand and wrist tighten up from nervousness and the violin squeaks and sounds horrible. Well, I’d been doing some of the exercises and my arm and wrist were all relaxed~ and when I played violin in front of everyone…it went great! I was able to have good tone and there were no squeaky noises.

Thank you so much, Zlata for violin academy! I’m so thankful to God for you and for all you do to help violin players like me! You are much appreciated!

Well, that’s my testimony of how you have helped me so much!

Well, thanks again!!!
Sincerely, Rachel Mitton

Rachel is Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy

Hello Zlata,

Thank you so much for making a video of the Meditation..It is a beautiful piece and your help and advice on the video is wonderful! You are a star.
Best regards and have a great weekend,

Linda

Linda enjoys my instruction videos on the Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet, which are part of the Violin Lounge Academy

Dear Zlata,

I enjoy your instruction at the Violin Lounge very much. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to improve my violin playing and technique.

I had violin instruction for nine years. My violin teacher had to re-locate to a different city and so I could not continue with the lessons. I missed having lessons and I happened to click on your website…the rest is history!

The more I follow your videos the more I see great results. I have completed the violin lounge basics course I am really motivated and practice every day, working on your instructions. At the moment I am working on the vibrato course. Finally I have learnt how to have a clear and controlled vibrato.

Your video instructions are very clear, concise and easily understood. I can replay the videos again and again which is very helpful. Being able to stop the video at any point in the instruction I can learn how to do that particular technique on my own until it is correct.

I see a huge improvement in intonation, bowing accuracy and a lovely volume as the bow passes over the strings. I look forward to each new video lesson but I make sure that I do not move on until I have mastered the previous lesson.

Thank you again, you have taught me how to make beautiful music with confidence.

Linda

Linda is Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy

Hi,

I received my bow today. I like it. Since you have some reviews on your site already I thought I should give you my first impressions too. Compared to my old bow that came with the student outfit it’s a big improvement. The thumb leather feels nice to hold. The frog is properly fitted and doesn’t twist around. The hair is much flatter at the tip and the bow sounds much more even from frog to tip. Seems to sound just nicer over all. Over all it looks and feels like a well made bow I think. Well worth the 75€.

And by the way… I did actually watch your ‘Weight vs Pressure’ video a while ago. I don’t really have a violin teacher but you are the second teacher I have come across the internet who teaches this and really emphasizes to use the weight of the arm. A man called Daniel Olsen also has some videos on Youtube where he teaches this and really demonstrates the effect. He really pushed his students to try and make “a big sound” and showed how much nicer it sounds. My experience is that using more of the weight of the bow arm is the perfect cure for a bouncing bow problem. When I fist started I always felt my upper arm twitching and causing the bow to bounce on down bows but using the weight of the arm really has me relaxing my arm and clears up all that twitching. You have a very good video but I think you could also try and demonstrate with a student to really show the difference it makes.

Thank’s a lot for your sincere effort in making the videos with all the tips and answering questions on Youtube!
Best,
Guido.

Guido bought a Zlata Allegro carbon fiber violin bow (click here to get one yourself!).

Violin Lounge Academy has taught me to love playing the violin. Zlata really emphasizes sounding good and enjoying what you play. She teaches the basics with the focus of producing enjoyable music. Her cheerful personality and encouragement make her videos pleasant to watch. She has been very helpful and kind when she reviewed the videos I’ve sent her. The combination of her helpful online tutorial videos and her focused comments about my playing have produced instant improvement. I estimate that I now sound twice as good after only 6 months of Violin Lounge Academy.

I tried many other online schools. Other teachers seem to have one solution to every problem–PRACTICE MORE! They seem to say that success is being a ‘serious,’ very disciplined musician, who obviously…practices…a LOT. Yes, Zlata acknowledges the importance of practice, but she clearly wants students to enjoy their practice by playing well and sounding lovely. I will never be a soloist, but I will be a true ‘amateur,’ i.e. one who ‘loves’ what they do.

After all, who hears most of what I play? I am really the only one who hears the hours of practice. I might as well enjoy the music I make. Violin Lounge Academy has polished my technique and basics and my sound improved across the board. I find it easier to focus on what I’m playing, to improvise, and build my repertoire because I feel so much better about my playing.

Thanks, Zlata!

Blair Faulk is Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy

Before Violin Lounge I wasn’t really getting anywhere with my study of the violin, wasn’t disciplined or consistent and needed an approach that would give me direction and help me to progress on the violin.
Up to date I’ve experienced with VLA tremendous help due to Zlata’s one on one attention to my particular needs on the violin. She has given me a practice plan, instruction and inspiration to achieve a level of success step by step. I feel confident now that I am headed in the right direction and finally getting somewhere with my practice thanks to Zlata’s abilities as a teacher.
As a student of VLA I’ve learned how to achieve a beautiful tone, better intonation and the importance of applying proven principles as it relates to the violin, relaxation and fundamental habits that will improve playing down the road.  At VLA all the moving parts that are necessary to fully express myself musically are here. 
The concrete results that I am getting as a student of VLA is access to many tutorials that apply to every area of violin playing which helps me to actually see through these videos the “how to” as it applies to my areas of concern. Since I’ve added weekly training with Zlata via Skype, “the sky is the limit”. This is the motivation and personal attention that I needed!
Kenneth Gill is Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy Gold level.

Hi Zlata!

LOVE the Sensational Scales – I’ve just been working with the first 3 major scales right now, but I’m very happy about the way the book is designed. The thirds, triads, and bowing technique included is great, and my intonation has improved a lot, as well as my use of the 4th finger.

You clearly put a lot of time, work and love into not just this, but the whole Violin Lounge Academy. I cannot fully put into words how grateful I am of you and everything you have done to bring the joy of music to people around the world!

Cheers, ~Ellie

Ellie is Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy

I interviewed Zlata about her teaching and her personal approach to teaching- she teaches based off a very traditional model, and is incredibly professional and concise. She has many videos on basic violin technique, specializing in tone production.

Ariella Zeitlin-Hoffman, violinist and teacher at Violin like THAT

Woowwwww you are amazing Zlata 😀 I ordered a bow from you last friday, 6-24, and received it today… Thats 5 days folks, to get from the netherlands to iowa usa. I got the best one you sell, it is beautiful and has tremendously helped my bow bouncing issue. Still have some but that is no doubt operator error lol. I haven’t used it much and I’m a newbe violinist so bear that in mind but it certainly seems to be a very good bow and …. 5 days??? incredible.

Phil Wells, Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy, purchased one of Zlata’s line carbon fiber bows (sent from Holland on a Monday, arrived in United States on Tuesday). Click here to get a Zlata carbon bow yourself!

Hi Zlata and crew,

I received my “Zlata” carbon fiber bow yesterday and am very happy with it! I was surprised at how fast it arrived here. I do have another carbon fiber bow but this one handles better so I’m thrilled.

Be happy!

Sincerely, Your Violin Lounge Academy student,

Ramona Jarvis, Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy, purchased one of Zlata’s line carbon fiber bows (sent from Holland on a Monday, arrived in United States on Thursday). Click here to get a Zlata carbon bow yourself!

Thank you very much Zlata! The bow arrived today. It’s beautifully made and very light. At first I was having buyers remorse and wondering what i would do if the bow wasn’t up to par. But i was pleasantly surprised. I’m glad i purchased this bow. It’s the best bow i’ve had and even like it better than the coda bow prodigy i purchased a few years ago. I’m glad i bought this bow and i enjoy your videos very much.

Zenaida Novido, Purchased a Presto violin bow. Click here to get a Zlata carbon bow yourself!

The Violin Lounge Academy offers videos on the areas of playing a violin or viola that I’ve never seen in method books.

Zlata shows you everything you need to know about how to work the bow, holding the instrument, getting a gorgeous tone, how a viola player can read treble clef (I needed this as I work with rock music a LOT and that’s the clef it’s written in) and so much more.

I think she’s revolutionized the way video instruction is to be presented, and always with grace and a desire to serve the musical community!

Sherrie Hoyer, a guitar and mandolin teacher who learns to play the viola with Zlata in the Violin Lounge Academy

Dear Zlata

I ‘m your student; and yes, my playing has improved a lot since I signed up for violin lounge academy.
My husband has made several comments over the last 2 weeks about how much better my bowing has become. My husband is very pleased to be hearing less and less scratchy sounds coming from my violin.

I have completed the basic course, which didn’t take long because I’m not a beginning violin student.
Right now I’m working through the vibrato exercises, and then I plan on doing the position shifting exercises.

Thank you very much, you are a great teacher!

Being able to take lessons any time I want also helps a lot. That way I can do a lesson anytime I have a bit of spare time in between other stuff that I have to do. It’s more fun to and faster than private lesson appointments.

Watching a new video every day has become one of the highlights of my day lately.

Thank you for all you do
Love & greetings,
your student
Yael Felicitas

Yael is a student in the Violin Lounge Academy.

Hi Zlata, my fingerboard poster arrived here today. I am so impressed with the quality of the print. Thank you for the ability to make pdf prints also. The video explained it very well. I also watch your videos in your language, even though I do not understand all of it 🙂 I am an older adult complete beginner and your videos offer so much help. I do have a local teacher and I use your information to supplement what she teaches. I am just learning first position on the violin and enjoying even just the simple songs (as I try to get the intonation correct).

Thanks again,
GS

Check out this Violin Fingerboard Map here!

Thank you Zlata,

I’m glad to have found your workshop, because it came as some sort of confirmation of what I’ve been feeling for a few years now.
Expanding awareness (especially kinestique one) is fun!
I’m an adult learner benefiting so much from this Internet era!

I appreciate so much for your clarification of what I was unable to put in words…It’s so liberating and refreshing!

Thanks a million!

Keiko

Keiko did the FREE workshop Weight vs Pressure. Click here to join too!

Hi Zlata,

I found your weight-vs-pressure workshop very helpful.
For example, your advice about being relaxed and trying to put some expression into your bow strokes.
Using the weight of the bow rather than applying pressure was also helpful and makes a big difference in the sound coming from the violin.
And i thought it was an interesting note that tension in my right shoulder can be heard through the violin. I have started taking a deep breath
sometimes while playing, to relax myself and help remove any tension.

I also thought that imagining all the notes and sounds are already in the air is an interesting way of thinking about playing violin, which is something i hadn’t tried before.
I also liked the exercise on bowing like a painter. I tried the exercise, while keeping my bowing hand relaxed and flexible.

One thing about these exercises is it helped me to be a more creative player, rather than just playing the notes that are written on a sheet of music.
While i have only mentioned a few things in this email, there were many things that i found very helpful and i will keep going back to remind myself and reinforce the ideas in my head.

And i have definitely noticed that since i first received this workshop, by applying a combination of the many things that are in the workshop (eg. removing tension), i am now a more relaxed player, and as well as other things, i have had a big improvement in my tone production.

Many thanks Zlata,
Luke Mulder

Luke followed the free workshop ‘Weight vs Pressure’ and after that joined the Violin Lounge Academy.

Hi Zlata and crew,
I received my “Zlata” carbon fiber bow yesterday and am very happy with it!
I was surprised at how fast it arrived here. I do have another carbon fiber bow but this one handles better so I’m thrilled.
Be happy!
Sincerely,
Your Violin Lounge Academy student,

Ramona Jarvis, Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy, purchased one of Zlata’s line carbon fiber bows (sent from Holland on a Monday, arrived in United States on Thursday).

I was thrilled to discover your email about my Video Exchange Lesson in my in-box today! Of course I immediately printed out the .pdf that you sent with my Personal Lesson Plan and watched the video.

I am honored that you took the time to view my video and I truly appreciate your numerous comments and suggestions. I knew that my [lack of] vibrato is a problem, but you identified several other areas that I need to work on that hadn’t occurred to me. You also pointed out several things, saying, “…you might not know…” that were techniques I suspect people learn early on with formal lessons that I might not ever learn from mere observation and trial and error. And, the good thing is I learned these things from you early enough that I have not formed lifetime bad habits. I’ll work on all these things.

This Video Exchange is a terrific idea! It really adds value to the Violin Lounge Academy. I didn’t find it that hard to make my video. Performing just took a few minutes. The splicing of the film segments took, maybe an hour because I’m picky. I didn’t have to buy software, I used a digital camera and Windows Movie Maker, which was included with my laptop. It would be easier for people to plan their performance and record the video using a webcam and be done in 10-20 minutes at most. I encourage other students to take advantage of this super service you provide with the Video Exchange. In fact, my niece plays the violin very stiffly, and I’m going to encourage her to sign up, so she can learn to “play beautifully and with joy.”

Thanks again for this service and for your many kind and helpful comments. I’m excited to start putting them to use!

Blessings on you!

Blair Faulk, Zlata’s student in the Violin Lounge Academy

Dear Zlata,

Thank you for the e-mail, the workshop is awesome! I had unnecessary tension, in my body and mind, in my body due to fatigue because my class starts immediately after work, my muscles were tired and tense, in mind because I lose focus when I don’t get things right.

I used to focus too much on gaining control over the instrument, that is changing.

I analyze every obsolete move while playing the violin. If I don’t analyze I will get used to do the wrong thing that may take more frustrating years to correct.

Also, I learned a very important lesson from your YouTube tutorial: contrary to popular belief you said adults can perfectly learn to play violin, one does not necessarily have to learn from childhood and you gave the language example as a learning tool. this motivated me a lot because I used to hear people saying that with my age it would be very hard to play well.

Inocencio

I really have to say how much I love my lessons and will appreciate the new videos. The lessons are making a significant change and improvement in my playing! I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook (student community)… I’d rather spend that time watching your videos or practicing, but I do like the idea of knowing the other members of the academy are there.
Keep up the great work!

Sincerely,
Ramona Jarvis

Ramona is a Violin Lounge Academy student.

Dear Zlata,

The most important results from being in the Violin Lounge Academy is that I don’t sound like I am strangling cats most of the time.

Still have a long way to go, still occasionally hit adjacent string with the bow, and vibrato needs much work, but the nice thing about the academy is that I can ask a question about problems I have.

The video lessons are really excellent, and I go over the ones in the area where I have been having difficulty frequently.  

It is like having a 24 hour a day on call teacher. 

Having been involved in adult education up to the time I retired, I am impressed by your teaching methods using videos to teach budding violinists all over the world. You show not only what to do but also not what to do. Besides the violin Basics course, I am also about half way through “Freeing your Vibrato”.  When I got to the “Small Siren Without Bowing” I found I couldn’t keep my thumb in place and my first thought was to use glue(it’s true).  Then watching your lesson video you said “don’t use glue”., and I actually got it t work by holding my thumb and rotating my fingers around it.  Sounds like you already had experience with students using glue.  Anyhow I got past that problem now and discovered I had another problem with my violin trying to rotate.  Temporary fix by attaching a pad to the front of the shoulder rest.  I am to skinny and the front of the shoulder rest was right on top of my pacemaker, making it very uncomfortable.  I really appreciate the effort you have put into the Violin Lounge.

Michael Wilson, Violin Lounge Academy student.

Hi Zlata

We moved from one town to another in January this year and the result was that I was on my own without a violin teacher. I don’t want to be idle for months with my violin practicing and therefore I register as student at VLA. It was up to now a wonderful experience to be a student at VLA. I start from the basics, doing a lot of things for the second time and still learn a lot, things I know as well as things I don/t know. I have learn a lot about practicing and how to practice and getting results.

In the meantime I got myself a violin teacher at the music academy. I still stick with the VLA as an extra way of improving my violin playing. I can really recommend any student who want to improve their playing to enroll with the VLA no matter if you have a private teacher or not.

Thanks again for your valuable and constant  advise and videos.  You are a born teacher and the way you explain things makes it easy to follow and  also  practising a lot easier.

I make a habit of trying the things you explain as soon as possible and that helps me a lot.

Thank you Zlata for sharing your knowledge with your students in a such a organised way! I am looking forward for all your helpful videos in the future.

Susan

Susan is Zlata’s student at the online Violin Lounge Academy.

Your remarks above truly capture my situation. I am an adult beginner who has spent half of the last five years of viola practice just correcting the bad habits my first teacher (for three years) ignored. So your videos delving into the details of playing help out a lot.
It is very noticeable to me that you are not a”violin-playing machine,” but a person of real character and radiant inner beauty. I wish you all the good things in life and great success with this website.
Warmest regards,
Richard

Hi Zlata! I LOVE your workshop! It is most helpful and informative! I am THRILLED to meet you and so grateful you have founded violinlounge.com! You are an AMAZING violinist (YES__I checked out your performances on youtube!) 🙂 You have a tone to die for. Not unlike the great Ani Kavafian, whose sound reminds me of the late great Mischa Elman. You could all be triplets (except for age). 🙂 LOVE what you are doing and hope to cultivate this new great relationship with you! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

With your help, I KNOW my playing will be beautiful.

:)–Love, Darlene

Darlene

Hi Zlata

I watched you free workshop directly after I join the Academy. I find it very helpful and enjoy every video you send online. I have managed loading it onto my computer and use it ever since. Thank you so much for all the precious tips you gave to the students. I found myself a violin teacher in the Paarl but I am still using your videos via the Academy as well those you send online.

Thank you Zlata I appreciate it so.

Kind Regards
Susan van Zyl

Susan is Zlata’s student at the Violin Lounge Academy

Hi Zlata,
yes I enjoyed your free workshop and your videos and find them very helpful, I can watch them over and over as I develop my viola and violin playing, weight vs pressure as well as some tips on making the chin rest higher has enabled me to enjoy playing without pain, I guess its like yoga learning to play without tension, and for me to control my expression so it does not cause tension, this will take some time because i love the sound of the instrument so much it takes me to beautiful places, I am learning that without tension the music still takes me there and I can discover new places. I still need to work on my left hand because there is pressure on the ball at the bottom of my first finger, may be the viola should not rest on my hand at all.

thank you again
all the best and happy playing to you

Anna Georghiou
Artist & Musician
www.artannageorghiou.info
www.troubadoursgarden.com

Zlata,

I did enjoy your free workshop. I think I’ve had some improvement in tone since viewing it. I also viewed at about the same time your video on mistakes that people make in practice or practice hints. It talked about focusing on specific aspects of specific measures and I’ve been doing that more with some improvement.

Thanks for staying in touch! I’ll be viewing some of your other free videos.

Blair

Dear Zlata
I have been practicing using your Weight vs. Pressure workshop materials. I am beginning to see improvement. I am especially paying attention to relaxing my arms and hands. Also I have been working on my vibrato. It is fun to see improvement. I have been playing violin for 12 years but only took lessons for 2 years as I moved away. However, I think I am gaining a lot of excellent pointers through the Violin Lounge. Thank you for your excellent teaching skills and the generous donation of your talents. I play several different violins. I have a 100 year old Maggini style violin that I play with amplification. It was built somewhere in Eastern Canada or in New England and is obviously not a beautiful instrument but has full wonderful tones. I also play a violin that was built in 1875 and has a beautiful light tone. Know you are enjoying your German violin that you recently obtained.
Thank you for all you are doing for violinists everywhere.

Meredith Coldren
Virginia, USA

I am really enjoying playing violin with Zlata as my guide. I have no private tutor so as you can imagine it is really important to choose an online tutor who knows how to “Teach”.

Colin Hesketh is Zlata’s student at the Violin Lounge Academy

The tips and lessons on the basics of violin playing (of which there are so many) from a good classical violin teacher like Zlata, are worth their weight in gold, and I’m loving it.

Peter Clements is Zlata’s student at the Violin Lounge Academy

Hi Zlata,

My situation before violin lounge was I’m probably just a basic player who learned everything from the university of youtube and some self train books from music store. I don’t have money for instructors and time too for I have three jobs. My love for music drived me to steal money from the budget to enrol at violin lounge and try to study at very hectic schedule.

My experience with violin lounge is it is very informative, you will not be overwhelmed, you can work at your own time, cheap and most of all it works.

I’m so happy to find Zlata who is so generous to share all she knows. I don’t know if your earning a lot but I could only say thank you and wish you the best.

I learned how to be patient, trust with the flow, be creative and a whole lot more which is just difficult to explain.

I’m so happy to have finally learned vibrato. Though I’m not good at it yet. I thought it is impossible for me to learn but Zlata’s method (like the karate Kid’s) works.

Thanks a lot!

Alexander

– Alexander Ladroma is Zlata’s student at the Violin Lounge Academy

Hi Zlata,
I’m so happy that I decided to share with you my results. I started doing the right hand motor skill exercises.

After two weeks practicing them on my free time at job or anywhere else, I went to my teacher and he asked me to play lesson 11 from hans sitt book 1. Which I’m struggling for 3 weeks, and I’m not confident on this piece.

But he said me that besides left hand’s problems I had my wrist completely relaxed and in a perfect movement. I didn’t believe on that and he recorded me playing to show me how good it was. And I saw a perfect bowing coming from me unconciously!

I’m really proud of your classes.

Regards,

Emanuel

– Emanuel is Zlata’s student at the Violin Lounge Academy

viool set harald lorenz 4

An acquaintance of mine plays the violin in an orchestra. In it several violinists play on Czech violins. Several of them are bought in your violin shop. These people are very satisfied with their instrument and it’s price: good quality for a nice price. They gave me your website address. My daughter’s violin teacher had indicated that in Czech great violins are built and I might inform for them.

Because we live on Kreta it’s not easy to try out a violin or buy one. We buy lots of things online and they are delivered to us. Your website looked good. It’s visible you care about it and update it a lot. This in combination with the testimonials from other violinists, was the reason we decided you are the go-to person to buy a violin from.

The finishing of the violin made a good impression right away. The bow is also of good quality. The sound is even better than we expected!

According to our teacher it’s a very good violin and our daughter will enjoy it for a long time. She is so happy with it. She also feels that the violin has many possibilities, more than she can get out of it now, and that stimulates her in her progress on the violin.

We are very happy with the purchase and very satisfied with your service. The transportion over such a large distance was no problem too. The instrument was packed outstandingly and arrived here safely. We can certainly recommend you to others! Who knows you will be sending more violin to the island.

Best regards,

Theo

Theo bought a Bohemian Dream violin for his daughter and had it delivered in a small village in Greece. Everything went perfect.

The workshop is awesome. Can thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and expertise with me.

– Paula Whalen

In only 5 days with your videos, I’ve been able to play at a level that impresses my friends who have been playing for years. I give your videos credit for making me such a quick learner.

– Matty

Dear Zlata! Thank yu for the wonderful tips on practicing. Your positive energy radiates so much around and your intentions are so genuine in teaching the world about the violin/viola. I really appreciate the time you take to share your learning with all of us.

– Anonymous

Thanks so much for your free workshop ‘Weight vs Pressure’ with the 44 page workshop binder and all the valuable tips!

I can use so much of it, because I can look at my playing in a different way and feel what I do when I play the viola. This morning I started adjusting my shoulder rest right away, because I notice that I was clamping the violin with my neck instead of holding it with the weight of my head: it helps so much! After the last concert I played with my orchestra, I had a stiff neck and right shoulder. Now I know it’s because of the camping and not using the weight.

Now I have adjusted my shoulder rest, the viola hold is different and the tension is my right shoulder has disappeared. I started playing the viola just three years ago and I love it. I play together with my quartet and with a friend who plays the piano.

Can’t thank you enough!

– Ellen

Hai Zlata,

In je instrukties en video’s leg je alles op een manier uit waardoor ik me er meer bewust van ben hoe het voelt om mn viool vast te houden, luister ik meer naar de klank in plaats van gewoon volgens de gebruiksaanwijzing de noten te produceren en merk ik ook dat dit voor mij het verschil maakt tussen het genieten van studeren en als een robot balend dat ik niet al veel beter ben.

Echt lessen voor de body mind en soul zoals je zegt, je wilt de theorie en de oefeningen en het waarom weten, je wil dat je lichaam het soepel kan doen en dat je er gelukkig van wordt in je ziel omdat je er iets van jezelf in kunt stoppen. Daarom vond ik het ook een goede oefening om de stukjes die je speelt in andere ritmes te proberen, ik vergat even het noten lezen en merkte dat ik daarna weer een veel mooier geluid had.

groetjes en succes Kim

– Kim (in Dutch)

Thank you! I loved your weight vs pressure workshop. I have also viewed some of your other lessons and enjoyed those as well. My biggest insight so far is to go back to basics and re-evaluate how I am using my hands and fingers on both sides of the instrument. I took a 20 year break from playing my viola, and I am just now learning to play with joy.

– Jerri Schwartz

I was able to watch the workshop and I thoroughly ENJOYED it and I learned so much!!! I am a beginner and so these tips are invaluable for me. THANK YOU.

– Maril

First of all, I would like to thank you for your weekly videos, that are very interesting and fun, and your workshop that really made me change my way of playing violin.

– Emanuel

All the skills I have on the violin… I owe to you!

– Patrick

Dear Zlata I received my violin and I like it very much. You did great. The sound is great and all you said was right. Well my story goes like this: I was always very fascinated with the violin and wanted to be able to play the violin but unfortunately that remained a dream. Now the situation was just right so I decided to get into it. Unfortunately there are not too many good violin teachers in India and I could not get proper guidance especially on how to start with buying a good violin. I ventured to a local musical instrument store but they had only Chinese made violins. With no choice and no help I settled for something I felt was maybe good. My teacher, though not a professional violinist was at least a start. I discovered the Chinese violin did not sound very encouraging. Also the size and quality of construction supposedly 4/4 did not match to my teachers instrument. I then stated to explore the internet and came across Zlata Bowed Instruments at www.vioolspelen.nl (the shop owned by Violin Lounge founder Zlata). I listened to all the videos posted on the site. I got the strong feeling this was an honest person and possibly the right place to buy a good violin. Then began a series of mail conversations and Skype sessions with Zlata. The moment I heard her play the Czech violin during the Skype sessions I was convinced I don’t need to look any further and I made up my mind to invest in this instrument. The interactive Skype sessions are really wonderfull first hand experience and extremely helpful. While I was worried on the safe transportation and handling of the instrument all the way from Amsterdam to Mumbai but I was pleasantly surprised with the whole process. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Zlata and would urge all beginners and professionals alike to at least visit Zlata Bowed Instruments at www.vioolspelen.nl before you take a decision. I am certain you will be more than satisfied. As a beginner and given the paucity of good teachers I would suggest if you could provide short video lessons online or courses or whatever you think best. This would be of great help. (and Zlata did! Please click here to find more information about Violin Lounge Academy!) Warm regards. Mahendra from India

– Mahendra

Beste Zlata,

Ik beleef steeds weer veel plezier aan de cursus en vind alle informatie ontzettend waardevol.

Ik heb inmiddels les van iemand bij mij in de buurt die van een andere “school” lijkt te komen want ze benadert sommige dingen een beetje anders maar dat bijt elkaar niet. Ik heb maar een half uur les in de week.

Jouw cursus is een schat aan extra informatie en bevat zeer veel extra training. Daar pluk ik in de les absoluut vruchten van. (Zoals bv. het droog strijken en dan zeggen: “1,2” bij de afstreek en “pink rond/duim rond” bij de opstreek).

De cursus violin lounge basics geeft me enorm veel theorie mee die ik in de les in praktijk leer omzetten.

Inmiddels kan ik al wat eenvoudige stukjes spelen! En dan heb ik naast deze cursus pas 8 lessen gehad!

Wat ik ook zeer waardeer is dat je altijd heel uitgebreid antwoord geeft op een mail waarin dan ook weer bruikbare tips staan of waardoor ik ineens tot een belangrijk inzicht kom.

Tot slot: jouw altijd vrolijke instelling in de video’s leidt ertoe dat ik toch weer de viool erbij pak, ook als ik alleen een filmpje had willen kijken. Ik ben blij dat je de video’s heel puur houdt: je maakt wel eens een foutje en lacht daar dan heerlijk om! Hoe inspirerend is dat?!

Bedankt Zlata!

– Paula Koopman (in Dutch)

The violin lesson with Zlata was certainly informative. The tips are very useful, especially the instructions about how to practice vibrato step-by-step. Before the lesson I was completely lost about my vibrato. The good thing about the lessons is that I can have a second opinion on certain topics. It can really help you further when you are stuck.

– Dick

I just wanted to tell you that, at our dance last night (over 3 hours of FAST playing), for the first time, I did not come away with muscle cramps! Why? Because I’d been practicing your bowing tips and techniques! These really helped me! I kept up with (most) of the tunes, played at Elgin-speed. This was huge for me, especially since I have fibromyalgia and usually come away all crooked-up for a couple of days afterwards.

– Dot

The lessons are awesome!! I’ve learned a lot and Zlata is really enthusiastic about playing the violin. I love Zlata’s enthusiasm, because she can teach clear and at the right level for me. After one lesson I practise every day with the exercises she has given to me. Zlata, you’re doing great and keep up!!

– Lisanne

I want to thank you for your Violin Basics videos. Last night I worked through your first videos regarding exercises – and already I am noticing HUGE results in my bowing! I especially like the one where you “paint the wall” with large movements.

– Dorothy

I already worked a bit through your guide Weight vs Pressure (included in the DVD box) and some points were really helpful already. Especially the point where you said that we should grab the sounds from the air and think as if they are already there was really interesting. Your videos are really full of information and fun to watch, you are very likable 😉

– Andreas

Thank you and congratulation for this amazing spectacular job you are developing.

– Michael

Thank you for the great videos…good humor too. You mention things in your explanations and have covered questions which others don’t cover.

– Wayne

I love the quote from Galamian and the statement that our movements should be as little and light as possible. You gave so much valuable teaching in a very short time! I am grateful to you.

– Kathleen about Weight vs Pressure

Thank you so much for your extremely helpful videos! I’ve struggled for 25 years on many topics that you’ve covered and I can’t wait to try all of your suggestions.

– Antinia

You’ve got so much knowledge around violin playing and you bring it with so much enthusiasm. It really stimulates me in my violin studies.

– Wil

Thank you for your video and the 44 page binder with valuable tips (all included in this DVD box)! I can use lots of them and review the way I play and the way I feel while playing. My viola is in a better position and I have no pain in my right shoulder any longer.

– Joanna

A thousand times thank you for the workshop Weight vs Pressure (included in this DVD box)! I can finally get a really beautiful tone from my viola. The square was an eye opener in my bowing technique. My tone quality has leaped forward thanks to you.

– Peter

In forty minutes, you addressed all my immediate concerns about violin playing such as spiccato, vibrato, intonation, bow hold, violin hold, shoulder rest, chin rest, finger movement on the bow, left elbow movement. Thank you so much for your dedication to the art of violin pedagogy. When I saw you study my playing carefully to determine just how you would help me, I knew I was with a good teacher.  Your suggestions were all very helpful and I look forward to implementing them in my practicing.  Also, my playing began to sound better and I felt more ease during the lesson itself! Your help was both immediate and long term.  I was delighted with your eloquent and poetic use of the English language.  I hope to enjoy more lessons with you in the future!”

– Kathleen, one of Zlata’s Skype violin students

“I’ve received lots and lots of valuable information!”

– Hellen, one of Zlata’s Skype violin students

“At first I was excited, because we didn’t know each other. But… you have a gift to make someone feel at ease! It was brilliant that you directly noticed what my problem was with the string crossings (in Bach’s violin concerto) and that you made a cartoon to show me how to practice to solve the problem.  I got great step-by-step practicing tips that are clear and easy to apply in my studies.”

– Dick, one of Zlata’s Skype violin students

“Thanks to Zlata I decided to continue violin playing. She totally renewed my enthusiasm!”

– Wil, one of Zlata’s violin students

“The violin lesson with Zlata was certainly informative. The tips are very useful, especially the instructions about how to practice vibrato step-by-step. Before the lesson I was completely lost about my vibrato. The good thing about the Skype lessons is that I can ask for a second opinion on certain topics. It can really help you further when you are stuck.

– Isaak, one of Zlata’s violin students

“I learned loads of new stuff! With lots of enthusiasm and patience Zlata let’s me hear, see and feel the new techniques.”

– Mellanie, one of Zlata’s violin students

“Well, let me say something about your teaching style…  For me, you are a committed and friendly teacher. You are absolutely helpful. You helped me to correct my playing mistakes even though small mistakes. You tried your best to explain everything I did not understand in English although I knew that English is not your mother language. Thank you for everything!”

– Huy, one of Zlata’s violin students
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