STQI Toronto Downtown

Learn Er Hu Chinese Fiddle in Toronto


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Overview of Erhu Lessons and Classes


Our er hu classes are designed for beginner and intermediate students of any age, and no experience with string instruments or music is necessary. If you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument this class is for you! We limit the class size to ensure a more personal learning experience. Our teachers will not only train you to play this beautiful instrument, but also teach you music theory and to read simplified notation. If you advance quickly you will be able to join the intermediate group. In addition, with our system of learning er hu you will be able to take er hu examinations and progress through the er hu grading system.

To participate in our er hu classes, you will need an er hu instrument. We suggest a professional er hu made with a heftier wood material such as rosewood. Although expensive, the sound quality is much greater. You may purchase your own or buy one from our school. We still only professional er hu instruments and are pleased to offer them at a discounted price for our students.

Overview of the Erhu Instrument


Erhu is a Chinese ancient instrument with a tone similar to a western violin, yet more soulful and expressive, extremely popular in China today as a medium for both traditional and contemporary music. The Erhu was introduced into central China from the minority tribes in the northern frontier during the Tong Dynasty 618 — 907AD)and became popular during the Sung Dynasty(960 —1270 AD). Throughout its thousand year old history, it has been constantly improved. Played with a variety of techniques, it is now extremely popular for both solo and orchestral performances to play Chinese and western music.

Amely Zhou, Er Hu Director and Teacher

Amely Zhou is a young Canadian musician trained in both Eastern and Western traditions. She began her music studies at an early age at the Shenzhen Arts School. In 2005, she was recognized as one of the school’s most outstanding music students. In 2007, after her immigration to Canada, she joined the Toronto Chinese Orchestra, where she is currently the orchestra’s bow-string section assistant principal. She regularly performs with the orchestra, helping to promote Chinese orchestral music in Canada. In 2010, she co-founded the Chinese-Western fusion instrumental band “Spire.” Utilizing both Eastern and Western musical elements, she arranges music for the band and performs with the band on a regular basis. In 2010, Amely achieved a First Award at the Kiwanis Music Festival for her erhu solo performance. Amely also won the 2013 York University Concerto Competition, and performed with the York University Symphony Orchestra as an erhu soloist. Today she has joined the STQI Toronto team as the Er Hu Director to help promote, develop, and spread her passion in Er Hu.

Amely Zhou’s Inaugural Concert Summary

What You Will Learn


Beginner’s Class:

  • To read numbered notation or/and staff
  • To recognize Erhu bowing and fingering symbols and dynamic signs
  • Right hand basic bowing techniques, holding the bow, short bow and long bow
  • Left hand postures and basic fingering technique for stopping strings
  • To play short songs with D key and G key
  • Much more about how to tie the loop (QianJin), rosin the erhu bow, tune the strings and maintenance for the Erhu.


At the end of the first term of lessons, students will be able to perform well enough to play simple tunes on the erhu. The more you practice and review the lessons the better you will play.

Intermediate Class:

  • Left hand position shifts for D key, G key, and F key
  • To do rolling vibrato, multi-finger sliding, beating tone, etc.
  • Fast bowing, controlled bow bounce
  • To play music dynamics

At the end of the intermediate lessons, you will be able to play well enough to perform some difficult songs with the D key, G key, and F key on the Erhu.

FREE Chinese Music Awareness Concert on April 14, 2018 at STQI Toronto!

Why Come to Our Concert? We’re raising awareness about a variety of Chinese instruments in hopes to attract more people to learn them. Chinese instruments such as er hu, guzheng, pipa, and bamboo flute are deeply rooted in Chinese... Read More »

Should I buy a used erhu or a brand new erhu?

Article By: Amely Zhou, Music Director of STQI If you are planning to start learning the erhu, this question will probably come across your mind at some point. Qualities of erhu in the market varies greatly, and because of... Read More »
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