Finding a violin for your child is one of the trickiest tasks when getting ready for your first lesson. Here are my tips on where to go and information that is helpful to know!
- DO NOT BUY A VIOLIN FROM AMAZON OR EBAY!
I cannot stress this enough! Yes, the price is low, but that is because the quality is also low. They are awful! Do not make a difficult instrument even harder by buying something that does not work.
- RENT from a music shop like Johnson String Instruments in Newton, MA.
Instrument dealers like Johnson have various rental plans for students of all levels. I recommend renting first until you know that your child wishes to continue to play the violin. Part of your rental fee goes towards purchasing an instrument should you wish to do that later.
- BUY a beginner violin from Shar Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Shar has the best priced beginner violins that I have seen so far. If you do not want to rent, you can buy either brand new or used/blemished and sell it later when your child out grows the instrument.
Violins come in different sizes for different ages. The options you will see are 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4. It is hard for me to say what size you should get without seeing your child in person, but usually a 1/10 works for ages 5-6, 1/8 works for ages 6-7, a 1/4 works for ages 7-8. Ages 9 and up usually have 1/2 or bigger.
- SHOULDER SPONGE
Make sure to get a shoulder sponge or shoulder rest when you get the violin. For students age 8 and younger I recommend a sponge, and for age 9 and older a rest.