Obtaining A Violin
All students must obtain a violin before the first lesson. For students of all ages, I strongly recommend renting a violin (as opposed to buying one). Rental violins used for lessons must be from an accredited violin shop, not a general music store (violin shops generally have the name "violin" in their title, as opposed to music stores which often have "music" in the title).
If you are currently renting a violin from a "music shop", it must be exchanged for a rental from a "violin shop" prior to initiating lessons. The monthly rental fee will be comparable, and the student must be present to be measured for the accurate sized instrument. Please read on for how to locate a violin shop near you.
If you already own a violin, please take it to an accredited violin shop prior to scheduling your first lesson. If the shop deems that it is not in playing condition, or it is not possible to make the repairs, a rental instrument will be necessary in order to begin lessons.
There are many reasons for the above requirements. In the recent years, there has been an increase in scam/fake violins sold over the internet, as well as rented and sold in general music stores. These instruments are called "violin shaped objects”, or VSOs, and make learning violin virtually impossible due to their limitations and poor construction. All too often, students arrive to their first lesson having already purchased one of these instruments only to discover that it is not functional, and will need to be replaced with a real instrument in order to study violin.
The initial price tag of an instrument like this may seem alluring, but VSOs are a cost liability to their owner. Because of their cheap construction, they are prone to damage. Most violin repair shops will refuse to repair this type of instrument, so the owner is left to buy a new one each time something goes wrong. Another red flag for these purchases is that they are often not returnable, because the retailer is not willing to guarantee the quality of the product.
If you are unsure, please contact me prior to purchasing a violin for yourself, your child or your loved one. In lieu of gifting a violin as a Christmas present, please consider a gift certificate to your local violin shop for rental or purchase.
For more about how to identify a VSO, please read this article: Cheap Violins For Sale Are Not A Good Deal
Please rent a violin from an accredited violin shop (RL Ray Violins or Applebaum Violins are two local options for South Sound residents). Please read on for instructions and required accessories to pick up with your rental.
For Children: Your child must be present at the time of rental so they can be fitted for the appropriate sized instrument. Violins are sized specifically for the age of the student, and a child who starts playing at 6 years old will generally go through five different sized violins before reaching the full size instrument. Children generally change violin sizes about once a year, sometimes faster. Renting is the most economical option in this regard, as it is on average $25 a month and you are renting to own the instrument. You can switch out the instrument anytime as the student grows.
For Adults: Most adults use a “full” sized violin.
Violin Rental Checklist (All Students)
After you have been fitted for a violin, please purchase these supplies from the violin shop:
- Shoulder rest (required)- make sure the employees adjust it to the student's body, and try a few different styles before purchasing one.
- Fingerboard tape-ask the shop to apply to the neck of the violin
(All of the above supplies can be viewed here, but it is better to purchase them in person to ensure proper adjustment).