sketch of violin

Learning to play a string instrument is like learning to speak music in a pure language. At Sloan School of Music, we teach violin, viola, and cello. The skills necessary for playing these instruments can at first seem daunting, but with time and much practice, the student becomes proficient.

Maryland Locations

(Virtual Lessons Available)

violin on cloth

Why Play Violin, Viola, or Cello?

How do you choose which instrument to learn? String instruments are not the easiest choice for beginners, but many students do decide to begin with them. Part of the choice comes from personal passion. If you love the sounds that come from a cello, then you naturally want to make those sounds yourself. There are other benefits of learning to play string instruments, including:

An Overview of Stringed Instruments

String instruments have been creating wonderful music since the lyres of ancient Mesopotamia as long ago as 3000 BC. Those origins led to a great variety of stringed instruments, but they all have some common characteristics.

Most have strings stretched over their necks and a sound box, which is the body of the instrument. (Pianos are one prominent example of a string instrument that doesn’t have a neck.) Many bodies of stringed instruments have an opening directly under the strings. This opening amplifies the vibrations of the strings as the player plucks or strums them.

The musician can also produce sound by running a bow across the strings, as with violins and other instruments. Some stringed instruments, such as an electric guitar, don’t have an opening in the body. This type of instrument requires an amplifier to help produce the sound. String instruments also have tuners on the neck that tighten or loosen the strings to adjust their pitch.

Types of Stringed Instruments

There are more than 300 different stringed instruments in the world! They range from the 88-string piano (which is also considered to be a percussion instrument) all the way down to a single-stringed diddley bow.

The most common are:

  • Bass
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Ukulele
  • Harp
  • Guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo

This gives a beginning music student many choices, so don’t hesitate to consult with an expert to pick out the right instrument for you. Sloan School of Music has a great selection for anyone looking to buy or rent an instrument if you don’t have one already.

The Benefits of String Lessons at Sloan School of Music

Music has so much to offer people of all ages, and it’s a true no-brainer to follow your interests if you want to become a musician. The expert instructors at Sloan School of Music understand how learning to play music benefits you. When you start strings lessons, you will:

  • Learn to read music
  • Gauge sounds as you play
  • Improve poise and posture
  • Foster overall child development
  • Develop important socialization skills
  • Improve comprehension and math skills
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Improve brain function and IQ

We offer lessons from beginning to expert levels and will adjust the lessons to meet you where you are. Sloan School of Music provides a positive atmosphere that makes learning easier and more enjoyable.

Our experts lead group classes, where you can develop your skills while playing with others. We also offer private, individual lessons to focus on your specific needs and strengths. Individual lessons enable you to grow and improve at a much faster rate.

Frequently Asked Questions about Strings Lessons

When you decide to take lessons on a string instrument, it’s a long-term commitment. Playing music is fun and soothing, but you may have some questions if you’ve never played an instrument before. Here are answers to some we hear often:

Kid String Lessons

How Old Should My Child Be Before Starting Strings Lessons?

It may vary from person to person, but the youngest a child can usually begin lessons is at 6 years old. They will need to know their alphabet and be comfortable sitting in one place for about 20 minutes at a time.

Do I Need to Buy a New Instrument?

No. Buying a new musical instrument is not an option for some, so we offer used instruments at affordable rates. We also have high-quality instruments for rent, which is ideal for many parents because they can change instruments as the child grows. Our experts can help you find the solution that best fits you.

Can I Sit In On My Child’s Lessons?

Parents may certainly sit in on their child’s lessons, but some children may find the presence of their parents or guardians to be distracting. Consider whether it will help or hinder their progress before you commit to attending your child’s lessons.

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Play an Instrument?

This is an impossible question to answer, as every person is unique and progresses at their own rate. Consistent practice will help you improve far more quickly than a haphazard or inconsistent practice schedule.

How Long Should I Practice?

Those who can commit to a practice schedule of at least 30-40 minutes daily for five or six days per week should see great progress, but the student has to decide how much time is available. The most important consideration is consistency.

How Often Should I Take Lessons?

We recommend weekly lessons. This allows our instructors to track your child’s progress and help them make any adjustments, not only during their classes but also in their practice sessions at home.

There are many good questions about strings lessons not listed above, so we hope you’ll contact our team for answers. Our experienced staff is ready with any information you need.


strings bring a sense of peace

Of all the types of instruments, the beautiful sounds coming from the string instruments evoke feelings of peace and tranquility. While it is true that behind one perfectly played song are hours of practice, we desire to give our students the satisfaction of playing their instrument for their own personal benefit. Playing music reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. It provides an outlet for creative expression. The therapeutic benefits of playing an instrument are being scientifically studied more and more, and the results are amazing.

girl playing violin

Build Community When You Play

strings orchestra

We believe in giving our students opportunities to perform for others. Our students may enjoy the pleasure of performing in a recital at the Sloan School of Music. One of our lesson instructors teaches a string ensemble. Other performance opportunities often arise, and we help our students prepare for these, so they can enjoy success and making a community of people happy with their music. We offer private lessons online, and we also offer group lessons. We want each student to play well individually, and also be able to blend their sounds with the voices of other instruments.

Play for the Love of Music

Most of all, we teach our students to play their instruments for the love of the music. All ages and skill levels can enjoy a good tune. Our experienced instructors teach different genres of music, incorporating classical, folk, jazz, and popular music. We believe it is important to immerse yourself in all types of music so you can appreciate it when you play it and when you hear it.

Music is a world of its own, and we want to open this world to each student who enrolls in our school. We try to make it fun, but we also are serious about laying a firm foundation of technique. When a student can play technically well, he or she is ready to use the technique to create personal expression through the instrument. We love to see that look of pride on the students’ faces when they know they have played their best.

someone playing the violin

Strings Lessons at Two Convenient Locations

Sloan School of Music has two locations (one in Hagerstown, MD and one in Urbana, MD) with modern amenities and great spaces for playing or learning music. Both sites have friendly expert staff members who can discuss our instruction, give you a tour of our facilities, and help you begin your strings lessons.

Three More Reasons to Choose the Sloan School of Music for Your Strings Lessons

Music students come to Sloan School of Music because it’s the best and most fun place to begin or continue their education. Here are a few more reasons we’re an excellent place to become a better musician:

1. We Offer State-of-the-Art Facilities

We conduct our group and private lessons in a clean, modern space. We provide a comfortable waiting area complete with USB charging ports, free Wi-Fi, and even a fridge stocked with free drinks.

2. Our Instructors Are Experienced at Teaching

Many people can play music beautifully, but that doesn’t mean they can teach. Sloan School of Music was founded in 2019 by a group of teachers who are also passionate musicians. We focus not only on the music but also the ability to pass our knowledge down to others.

3. We Stay Up to Date

Technology is always changing. We are committed to keeping up with advances in the music industry and ensuring you have the most current instruction available.

Make Sloan School of Music your choice for strings lessons and team up with instructors who bring their specialized skills and knowledge to every session. Contact our staff today to sign up or get your questions answered.


Interested in taking up the violin or the cello? Or perhaps you’re more curious about the viola or double bass.  Whatever your goals, Sloan School of Music has instructors for all skill levels. Check out our instructors below, and schedule a lesson with the one that suits your needs.

Michael Nealon headshot

michael nealon

Check Out Other Music Lessons: