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Are you thinking of taking violin lessons? Perhaps you are a parent in search of a first violin for your child? Or perhaps you are a violin teacher looking to compare the best violins for your students? Whichever the case, the process of choosing a violin is equally difficult. Violins are not cheap instruments, and with so many different options on the market, you will get overloaded with information. In this article we are going to concentrate on the best Violin for Students specially for beginner and intermediate students.
We understand that you will have a budget to stick to; but you also won’t want to compromise on quality. So, we have selected for you some of the best quality violins on the market for students that will retain their value.
Things to Consider When Buying a New Violin
In this article we have rounded up what we consider to be the top five brands of violin for beginners and intermediate students, along with some tips and tricks, and a frequently asked question section. From quality to price, there are a few things that you must consider that are important when purchasing a violin. Below are the most important ones.
Before you set your heart on a violin for your student or child, it’s a good idea to have an amount in mind. If you are looking for a violin that will last and retain its value, then the starting price for your new musical instrument will be around 500$. This is a basic starting price and it will go up depending on the violin you choose and the accessories. As well as the violin, you will most likely have to invest in a bow and case as separate items. So, before you get flustered by so many different brands and styles of violins, discard the ones that don’t fit into your budget.
Asides knowing the maximum amount you can spend on a violin, you should also consider the quality of your purchase. After all, if you are not violin-savvy, you could be coaxed into buying a low quality instrument at a high price. But, that’s what this article is here to do; to prevent this happening to you. Take a look at the construction of the violin you are thinking of purchasing. It should not creak or warp when you apply pressure to it.
New or Used:
When investing in a violin, you have two options open to you. To buy a brand new instrument or a second hand one. If you are unsure whether your child will carry on with his interest, then a second hand violin or even a rented one are options that you should consider. If you are on a tight budget, there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t buy a second hand violin. All you need to make sure is that the instrument is not damaged in any way and that it is being sold at a fair price.
Not all violins are the same size. For children there are many different sizes to choose from; these are ¾, ½, ¼, 1/10, 1/16, and 1/32. When choosing a violin for a child, you need to have your child correctly measured. Also think about how fast your child is growing when choosing the size. This is a reason that you may opt for second hand at first. To measure up your student, ask them to fully extend their left arm away from their body. Then measure from the base of their neck to the center of their palm or their neck. This is something that you should have done professionally in order to insure accurate results.
Student, Intermediate, and Professional Violins
In this article we are concentrating on student violins. We will however now take a quick look at the difference between student, intermediate, and professional violins.
A violin that is designed for a student will be manufactured from a lower quality of wood, using less handiwork. On a student violin you will often find that the chin rest and pegs are made of plastic. This type of instrument is great for children who are learning and growing fast, but still not sure if they will continue with their playing. The price for such a violin could be as little as 100$, and up to around 400$.
An intermediate violin is a good compromise between a student and a professional instrument. You can pay anywhere between around 400$ and 1000$ for an intermediate violin. They are the perfect choice for those who are looking for good quality, but that are not yet ready to invest thousands of dollars in a professional violin.
Professional violins can cost as much as 10K. So, they really are for those who are serious about their musical careers. They are constructed from the highest quality wood and are hand build by a luthier. They are finished off with only the finest quality components such as ebony fingerboards.
Buying a Violin Online vs. In-store
Nowadays you can buy virtually anything online, and violins are no exception to the rule. So, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of buying online and buying from a reputable brick and mortar store.
Buying from a Music Store
There are tons of advantages of buying a violin from a music store, first and foremost the fact that you can try before you buy. In the best music stores you will find practice rooms for the purpose. Some stores will also allow students to borrow a violin for a few weeks. In-store, you will be greeted by knowledgeable staff that will make your purchase a comfortable one, staff being able to clear up any doubts you may have.
Of course there are also cons to buying in a store. Unless you live right by a large store or a specialist violin store, there will be limited models in stock. Many won’t have the brand that you are looking for. Also, you pay for the service provided by a local store, and buying a violin from a brick and mortar music store will work out more expensive than making your purchase online.
When buying online, you have the chance to shop independently and you won’t be bombarded by salesmen desperate to make a commission. Even if you’re not sure about the brand or type you wish to buy, you can take your time and read reviews and recommendations before making a choice. Online shopping undoubtedly means you will have more choice of brands and models; if you can’t find what you want on one website you can simply look on another.
Of course, there are risks associated with purchasing a violin online. You won’t be able to try them out, and you may have difficulty returning an instrument if you are not satisfied it. Of course, there are many scams online and copies of expensive violins that when you buy them won’t actually be the one in the picture. So, beware!
Best Violin Brands for Students
As we said before, violins vary by type. Some are for advanced students and others are designed for beginners. Most of the bigger brands will carry different styles, each being designed to meet the specific playing needs of the customer.
If what you are in need of is a student violin, Stentor comes top in our list. You can spend anywhere from as little as 150$ for your violin. Cost of this money, you will receive an instrument that is well-built and reliable. For a beginner, you can choose from the beginner’s range, the Stentor Student 1 Violin being the perfect choice. For a slightly higher price tag, the Stentor Student II is a perfect choice, due to its ebony fingerboard and pegs.
Next on our list are Knilling violins. These are of high quality craftsmanship, boasting unique pegs for optimal tuning. These Perfection Pegs make for precise and quick tuning. A beginner’s violin from the range will cost approximately 500$.
Cremona produces affordable violins for students. They are designed for both beginner and intermediate use. They are made from high quality wood and prices start at around 300$.
Cecilo is a brand of violin that is teacher-approved. They come with the bridge already attached and strung so that students don’t have to assemble them. The wood used for such violins is maple and spruce, ebony also being used. At a cost of around $200 for a beginner’s violin, the Cecilo is very reasonably priced.
Another brand that we recommend for beginner students and intermediates is Mendini. They are priced at under the 200$ mark and are factory-made. The Mendini brand is renowned for providing durability, the only negative being their strings that will need to be replaced quite regularly.
Buying a violin for the first time should be a positive experience. So, it’s important not to rush into things and to read over the tips we have given you. As a parent you may also like to seek the advice and opinion of the violin teacher at your child’s school.
Best Violin for Students: FAQS
1. Will I Need to Buy Accessories?
Asides your basic violin, you will need a bow and a case. It is also advisable to invest in a shoulder rest and some rosin.
2. What are the Different Strings?
Violin string is an indispensable part of a violin. In your violin you will find the G, D, A, and E strings. The thinnest and highest pitched string is the E string, the G being the lowest and the thickest. Strings need tuning frequently in order for them to stay in tune and sound nice when you play.
3. At What Age Can My Child Start Violin Lessons?
Violins are available in a whole range of child sizes. This allows children as young as 3 to learn the violin. The smallest violin would be a 1/32 and actually looks like a toy. But, rest assured, it’s actually a fully-functioning violin.
4. Do I Need Rosin for My Bow?
Rosin is essential as without it the bow would glide across the strings of your violin but it wouldn’t make any noise. You will need to rosin your bow each time you play.
5. How Often Should I Replace the Strings?
Over time, strings will snap, even on the most expensive violin. When one breaks, or feels too thin, you can replace it; you don’t need to replace the whole set if you don’t wish to do so.
6. Can You Play the Violin Left-Handed?
The short answer is yes! Normally the violin is taught on the right, but it is possible to play on the left, and most teachers will have come across it plenty of times.
7. How Long Will It take for me To Make a Nice Sound When I Play?
This really is a question like the question how long is a piece of strong. Some people have natural abilities and take the violin very quickly; others never progress past the beginners stages. Of course, the more effort you put in and the more your practice, the better you will sound.
8. Can I Play the Violin with Long Nails?
Unfortunately, no, you can’t. The nails on your left hand will need to be short as they are used to press down the strings. As a left handed player, this would refer to the nails of your right hand.
9. What is My Bow Made Of?
Traditionally the bow used to play a violin is made from a horses’ tail, using somewhere between 150 and 200 hairs. If you are a vegan, you can find alternatives to the natural hair that will work just as well. With a traditional bow it is extremely important to use rosin each time that you play, but to also avoid using too much that can result in lumps and clumps.
10. How Do I Care for My Violin?
You should treat your violin with respect, always storing it away in its case and in an environment that is neither too damp or too dry, nor hot, or cold. After playing, wipe over your violin to get rid of greasy finger marks. Wipe down your bow with a separate cloth to get rid of any residual rosin. You may also like to cover your violin with a cloth before closing the case to ensure that it doesn’t get exposed to fluff and dirt.