Can the violin be self-taught?

Looks like a simple question which requires a simple answer “yes” or “no”. But not everything that simple… In general everything what has to do with the violin is quite complicated. 

 Lest start from what do you mean by “play violin”? 

In my young years I had parakeet, and he used to all day to be outside of his cage, flying around and from time to time land on my opened violin right on the strings and than fly again, so in that moment when he was lending or taking off from the violin, violin was making noise, it was very cute. So my mom calls it “parakeet playing violin “. Obviously, he was self tough:)
To be serious, everybody understands “play violin” differently. If your goal is to make a career with violin, making money by playing violin - then the answer will be: you definitely need a teacher, good, professional and experienced teacher.
If you don’t have any violin goal and just want to try yourself, then for sure you can achieve some results. Progress might look even fast but until a certain point, usually it’s something like grade 2 or maximum grade 3 if a student had really good study materials. 
And there are lots of reasons why it can’t be at a better level, why it will stop developing on the beginner level. Main reason is the lack of information. Yes, even so there are lots of study materials on the internet printed and recorded and video, but first it’s not organized. Everything you need is not in one bundle (unless you bought a pre-recorded, very good, well put together online course from an experienced professional, but we are talking about 100% self taught). So you really don’t know what to look for, you are looking for how to solve some problem that you have at a particular moment, but any study (not just violin or other music instruments, but absolutely everything) needs a system, structure. By looking on the internet how to fix some problems that appear during your study, you fix the problem but not the reason why that problem happened.
In my teaching practice I had many cases when different students were playing seam music and almost all of them were making mistakes in seam spots. And from the side was sound that even mistake was seam. This is the tricky part- the reason for “mistake” was different, we all are different, our understanding of material is different our physical and intellectual abilities are different so the reason for seam mistakes can be different and it is. And only a teacher who has strong theory knowledge in how to teach a particular musical instrument and years of experience and just honest wish for his student to succeed, will find the reason why mistakes happened and figure out with the student how to fix it, because you have to understand, for every student solution will be different. 
Very often students have a hard time to be honest with themselves when they are practicing. One, two, three times during practice let seam mistakes happen and it’s enough for mistake to turn into “normal”. And more and more every day after day one not fixed problem brings another and e.t.c., that’s why after a certain point- the progress is impossible.
If you want to try to be a self taught violinist my suggestion for you will be:
- spend $100 and by some prerecorded violin course, at least they might put there the information you need, in order and have a certain system which should give you solid progress. 
-When you are practicing, do it in front of the mirror. 
- Record yourself, and try to play the “teacher” game, look for everything you would like to make better in your music.
- Always remember: violin takes time. Give yourself time to get used to holding the violin, get used to holding the bow. Don’t jump into learning new things before you're really good at what you’re at.
- do every exercise until it is perfect. There isn’t “good enough”,  especially at the beginner level all exercises are simply enough for being played perfectly.

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