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Strings

Here you can watch videos made by students from Chetham’s School of Music as they play and discuss their chosen instrument from the String family.

Violin

The violin is the smallest member of the string family.  Violins are most commonly found playing in orchestras but can play in folk and chamber ensembles as well.  The sound is produced by bowing or plucking the strings.  Music is generally written in the treble clef. 

Below is further information on the violin. These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Violin facts for kids

The Strad: Articles on all things violin. 

Violinist.com: Blogs, discussions and teacher recommendations for violin players.

History of the violin
History of the violin 2 

Learn to play the violin online

Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice. When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument.

7 Musical Facts About The Violin

19 Ways to Becoming A Kick-Ass Violinist

Musicians that inspire us:

Henning Kraggerud
Callum Smart
Jennifer Pike

See a violin being made

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music making in the UK

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well! 

Cello

The cello, or violoncello is a member of the string family.  Cellos are most commonly found playing in orchestras but can play jazz and in chamber ensembles as well.  The sound is produced by bowing or plucking the strings.  Music is generally written in the bass clef. 

Below is further information on the cello. These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Cello facts for kids

London Cello Society
As the ‘home’ for cellists in the United Kingdom the London Cello Society promotes the art of cello playing, preserving its great traditions while encouraging its continuing development. The Society exists for the benefit of young students, professional players and teachers, for amateur players and lovers of the cello and its repertoire. 

History of the cello
History of cello 2 

Learn to play the cello virtually
Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice. When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument. 

10 Awesome Facts about the Cello

Musicians that inspire us:

Rostropovich plays Bach
The Goat Rodeo sessions
‘I Made a Cello’ – from a wooden box!
See a cello being made 

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music making in the UK

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well! 

Guitar


The guitar is one of the most widely played instruments in the world and is a member of the string family.  One hand strums the strings while the other presses the strings against the frets.  It plays a variety of music including folk, classical, rock and pop.  A Classical guitar has a sound box to amplify the sound whereas a pop guitar is plugged into an amplifier. 

Below is further information on the guitar. These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Guitar facts for kids

The Federation of Guitar Societies
The Federation of Guitar Societies was formed to raise the profile of the guitar, and to stimulate interest amongst younger people. The current means to this end is by forming a network of existing societies to offer mutual support in the interest of promoting the classical guitar and related instruments, as well as providing a source of help and advice to enthusiasts. 

History of the guitar
History of the guitar 2 

Learn to play the guitar
Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice. When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument. 

7 Interesting Facts About the Guitar

Musicians that inspire us: 

Jimmy Rosenberg
Joe Satriani
John Petrucci
Guthrie Govan 
Miloš Karadaglić
Tommy Emmanuel
Clive Carroll 
Stevie Ray Vaughan

See how an acoustic guitar is made
See how an electric guitar is made 

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music-making in the UK

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well! 

Harp

The harp is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world.  The earliest harps were developed from the hunting bow.  It can be played in orchestras and chamber ensembles, performing music from traditional to classical to pop.  It is a member of the string family and produces a sound by plucking the strings. 

Below is further information on the harp. These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Harp facts for kids

The United Kingdom Harp Association
The association brings together all those interested in the harp, in all its forms, including amateur and professional players, teachers and businesses.  The association organises events around the UK, provides bursaries for young harp students and publishes a magazine twice annually.  

History of the harp
History of the harp 2

Learn to play the harp
Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice. When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument.

10 Fun Facts About the Harp

Musicians that inspire us:

Handel’s Harp Concerto
Amy Turk
See how a harp is made  

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music making in the UK

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well! 

Double bass

The double bass is the largest member of the string family. It can be played in orchestras and jazz bands and plays low-pitched notes. It makes a noise with a bow or by being plucked (pizzicato).

Below is further information on the double bass. These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Double bass facts for kids

International Society of Bassists
With some 3,000 members in over 40 countries, the ISB is an organization for those who teach, study, play, repair, build and enjoy the double bass. The ISB is a forum for communication among bassists throughout the world and across a wide variety of musical styles.

History of the Double Bass
History of the Double Bass 2 

Learn to play the Double Bass virtually
Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice. When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument.

6 Brain Benefits to Playing the Upright Bass

Musicians that inspire us: 

Thomas Martin
Ray Brown 

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music-making in the UK 

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well!

Viola  


The viola is the tenor voice in the string family.  It can be played in orchestras and string quartets and plays low and middle-pitched notes.  It makes a noise with a bow or by being plucked (pizzicato).  

Below is further information on the viola. These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Viola facts for kids

British Viola Society
Everything you need to know about playing the viola and meeting like-minded people.  Information for young viola players, details of courses and competitions for all viola players, teaching and playing vacancies, viola ensembles PLUS details of viola instrument hire. 

History of the Viola
History of the Viola 2 

Learn to play the Viola virtually
Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice. When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument.

Classic FM’s ‘9 Things They Didn’t Tell You About the Viola’

Musicians that inspire us: 

Maxim Rysanov
Timothy Ridout
Want to know how Violas are made? Watch this relaxing video

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music-making in the UK

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well!

We have taken every effort to ensure that these links are genuine and useful. However, we do not accept any liability for their content. Following these links will take you out of the Chetham’s Outreach website, at your own risk. This excludes the resources created by us which are identified.