Foundational Ideas of FiddleQuest

How long does it take to learn to play the violin?

Most people are interested in the immediate cost of learning to play the violin. How much are lessons? How much does it cost to rent a violin?

A few people ask, “How many years will it take my child to learn to play the violin?” The answer would require knowing 2 things.

  1. How many hours a year does your child play?

  2. What does ‘to play’ mean?

Here’s my back of the envelope estimates.


20 hours: Attends 30 min weekly lessons, but no practicing or other music between lessons 120: 30 min lessons + practices 5x a week for 20 min, and attends a fiddle camp in the summer. 500: 1 hour weekly lessons + practice 7x a week for 1 hour and attends a few camps in the summer.


150+ hours to learn to… -Play violin on your own -Play violin with friends and family -Play violin in a jam session

500+ hours -Performing with a band for friends -Performing solo for friends -Play at a family/friend’s wedding -Performing for a community group

1000+ hours -Playing in a community orchestra -Playing fiddle in a Bluegrass Session -Playing fiddle in an Irish session -Playing fiddle in a Jazz Session -Performing with a band for a paying audience

2000 + -Begin an undergraduate degree in music performance

10,000+ -Performing solo for a paying audience

As you can see, the answer to the question of how long it takes to learn to play violin is similar to the question, “How many years will it take to learn to play basketball?” Are we talking pick-up games at the park or NBA?