Violin Purchase/Rental

From the “sixteenth” size violin at age 3-4, children can expect to spend a year or so on each size (1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 4/4) until reaching the full size around age 10-12. Children in the range of 48-52 inches in height are likely to be suited for 1/4 size.

A violin that sounds good and stays in tune will offer the best learning (and listening!) experience.  A poorly constructed violin may need troublesome repairs and be frustrating to play, making an already costly and difficult activity more costly and difficult.  Please read:

Please do not buy a violin, especially from an online description, ahead of time.

A violin is as much an artist’s tool, or a craftsman’s handiwork, as a mechanical (not electronic) device.  Before taking home a real violin, children will complete age-appropriate preparatory steps. Parents and children will be instructed by the instructor on basic care and maintenance, begin establishing a practice routine and working relationship, and continue to cultivate an attitude of respect for the instrument, for themselves, and for others.


  • Violins may be available from other students in the studio who have outgrown theirs
  • Violins from our personal collection
  • Princeton Violins (NJ) and Virtuoso Resources (NYC) offer rentals of high quality student instruments
  • Other referrals to string instrument specialists

Buying or renting from a local specialist

Pros Cons
Better quality instrument
Service level – some maintenance included, access to the luthier’s expertise
Easily trade for the next size – prevents accumulating multiple old violins
Partial rental fees applied to purchase – paying towards your future better violin
Support local small business
(Buy) Higher up-front cost
(Buy) Responsibility of ownership i.e. maintenance and damages
(Rent) Obligated for contract term
(Rent) Payments don’t end until you buy

Buying via a private sale

Pros Cons
Lower up-front cost on student level instruments that don’t retain much resale value Takes time and discernment to locate deals
No service support – you are responsible for all maintenance and damages