Student Stories

James Eke
Martial Arts Teacher
Victoria, British Columbia

Finding peace in violin practice

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, James had just started taking in-person violin lessons. With everything on pause, he knew he needed another way to continue learning.

Meet 51-year-old martial artist and Zen Buddhist from British Columbia, James Eke. He’s been studying violin with Trala for over a year now and has made some incredible progress!

Trala Student James Eke.

“I have been a martial artist for over 40 years and a Zen Buddhist since I was a child. What I’ve found is the same drive that I’ve had to use to meditate every day is very similar to the dedication that I’ve needed to learn the violin.”

Despite the limitations of the pandemic, James’ discovery into the violin couldn’t have come at a better moment.

“Honestly, if I started playing violin as a kid, I don’t know if I would love it as much as I do now. I found Trala at the perfect time. Now, at 51 years old, I can proudly call myself a violinist!”

Using Trala to guide his process, James has successfully kept his commitment to daily practice and made violin an essential part of his life.

“The Trala app helped me find the love that I have for the violin. It works in a way that is just so fun. Learning with Trala has empowered me to not only develop as a musician but as a person as well.”

Haniyeh Mobini
Pharmacist, 28
Tehran, Iran

Trala student holding her violin.

Forging a new path with the violin

It was always Haniyeh’s dream to play the violin, but she had trouble finding a teacher who would help her learn the way that she needed to.

“Two years ago, I signed up for violin lessons near my home. Very quickly I learned that I have a problem with a bone in my left wrist that made it impossible for me to play the violin the ‘correct’ way. My teacher told me that rather than playing left-handed, I should give up and pick another instrument. I was devastated. I really wanted to learn violin.

Feeling discouraged by this rejection, she put the violin down for about a month. Then she stumbled across Trala in the app store. Through the app, she was able to learn with left-handed positioning, and meet enthusiastic mentors who urged her to continue.

“Since I started using Trala, all of the members of the team have been so kind and encouraging.”

Now she’s been playing with Trala for about four months, and has found a path to progress and fulfillment on the violin.

“I just want to enjoy playing. I don’t need to be a professional in this field, but I want to have the violin in my life forever.”

Marianne Girard
Doctoral Student
Montreal, Canada

Rewriting the traditional narrative

Marianne always loved the sound of the violin, but she had doubts about her ability to learn a brand new skill with her life as a researcher and PhD candidate.

“I was really shy, and I had imposter syndrome because it was so far away from what I do in my life.”

When her sister bought her a subscription to Trala, she finally had the opportunity to try the violin in a comfortable, judgement-free environment.

“With Trala I really saw a ton of people with different lives and interests all learning the violin, and I realized that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying both research and music, and building a life with a lot of variety.”

Marianne needed a way to incorporate learning the violin into her life as a serious student, without the expectations of becoming a professional performer. Learning the violin is something she does for herself, to enrich her life creatively, and Trala has helped make it a reality.

Sadaf Rezvanpour
PharmD Student
Ardabil, Iran

Making time for music in a busy schedule

One of the greatest challenges of picking up a new instrument is finding the time to practice. For Sadaf, who bought her first violin in high school, this was definitely the case.

“I hardly had any time to play violin in high school. When I got to university, I had more free time, but I was still a total beginner, and I couldn’t even tune my violin.”

Without the time to travel back and forth to a music school, Sadaf looked to technology to get her started. When she found Trala, she was able to start practicing the music that spoke to her for at least 30 minutes a day!

“I mostly practice playing pieces that I love. Day by day, I’m closer to playing exactly as I should be.”

Latoya King
Kansas City, Missouri

A second chance at the violin

For many students all over the world, learning classical music is part of the required violin curriculum. But traditional methods of music education aren't the right fit for everyone. Take Trala student Latoya King, who always felt the urge to take her music outside the classroom.

Trala student Latoya King.

“I have always loved music and dancing. I played a rented violin in school, but I always wanted to venture off on my own. My dream is to become a professional violinist and a dance instructor."

Recently, Latoya had the chance to buy her very own violin. Then she found Trala. With the app, Latoya took ownership of her music education and improved her skills with personalized feedback from real violin teachers.

“Finding the Trala app has been such a blessing because it truly lets me learn violin all on my own. Thank you, Trala, for all that you do! You have changed my day-to-day life!”

Ready to learn violin with Trala?

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©Trala, Inc 2021
Photography by Orel Chollette
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