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A violin’s size is a very crucial aspect to consider when picking one for your kid and even adult players. With the several violin sizes available, selecting the right violin size for kids has proven to be a very overwhelming activity, especially if you don’t know the basic features to look.
Available violin sizes in descending order are; 4/4, 7/8, 3/4, 1/2 (half-sized), 1/4, 1/8 (an eighth), 1/10, 1/16, and 1/32. To procure the best one for your kid, you need to know the length of their arms and pick a violin that corresponds to that length.
It’s best for the child to be present so that he/she can hold the instrument to ensure you pick the most precise size.
A step by step guide on how to measure violin size for Kids
Kids have different heights, and so does arm lengths, which is why violins come in various sizes to fit the body proportions of all players instead of adjusting to it. For precise violin selection, you need to know the distance between your kid’s neck and wrist or, most preferably, the middle of his palms and note down the measurements.
The most recommendable way to measure this distance is by extending the playing hand in a perpendicular position with the body (like you hold a viola).
When buying a violin, it’s crucial to double-check if it’s the actual size for your child. Simple steps on how to measure violin size for child are;
Ask your kid to extend his arm his palm aloft.
The kid should hold the instrument under the chin and then try to cover the scroll with his/her fingers.
If it’s the right size, your kid should be able to hold the scroll in his/her palms easily and effortlessly touch the violin’s peg-box. In case the fingers aren’t able to touch the pegbox, it implies that the instrument is big for him/her.
Different types of violin sizes and suitable corresponding age groups
A. 1/32 violins
This viola is the smallest among all violins and best for kids between the ages of 1-3 years or older petite kids. 1/32 violins measure approximately 13.5 inches long, suitable for kids with arm length less than 14 inches. Its size and weight make it best for kids to lift and play it for long hours without getting tired.
B. 1/16 violins
These violins are ranked as the second smallest available in the market, measuring around 14.5-16 inches long. Early learners popularly use them because of their simplicity and playability. Kids the age of 3-5 years and arm lengths of 14- 15.5 inches can easily use it.
C. 1/10 violins
In most cases, using a kid’s age to procure a violin for them can be misleading because some kids grow faster than others. If your kid is older for the above violins, the 1/10 can be an alternative. It has a length of 16-17.5 inches, appropriate for kids between the ages of 4-5 years.
D. 1/8 violins
This violin is best for kids ranging from 4-6 years. It has a length of 17.75 -19 inches and a width of 10 inches. It is important to check that your kid’s arm length is about 16.5 inches for him to use and lift this violin easily.
In some cases, three years old kids can use this violin, especially those growing fast height-wise. The most critical thing to consider in this case isn’t the age but the correspondence of your kids’ arm’s length with the violin’s size.
E. 1/4 violins
Usually, these violins are about 2 inches bigger than the 1/8 models, that is, 19-20.75 inches. This size makes them the best option for children between 5-7 years with arm lengths of approximately 18.5- 19.5 inches.
Unlike the above violins, this model is a bit weightier due to its broader body length (11 inches). This factor necessitates the consideration of your kid’s arms strength. If you feel it will be heavy for him/her, it’s best to invest in a much lighter alternative.
F. 1/2 violins
If your kid is 7-9 years, then this is the best violin for you. It’s usually 20.75-22inches long with a body span of about 12.5 inches. For your kid to comfortably play this viola, he /she should have an arm span of around 20-21 inches.
If your child’s arm is a bit smaller, you can select another suitable option from the above models to prevent them from straining during playing.
This violin has a body span of 13 inches, and its 22-23.5 inches. It’s suitable for 9-12 years kids with arm lengths of about 21.5- 22.5 inches.
H. 7/8 violins
7/8 violins are the second-largest models available in the market. Since they’re almost similar to the full-sized violas, they tend to be very rare in stores. This model of violins is best for teenagers with a bit small hands or arm lengths. It has a slightly bigger body of 13.5 inches
I. 4/4 violins
4/4 violas are the biggest among all the nine models available and widely used by tall teens and adults having arm spans of around 23.5 inches and above. Kids above eleven years old or 5ft can use this model without difficulties.
Fully-sized violins are 23.5+ inches with a broader body length (14inches). If your kid has slightly short arms or petite hands, it would be best to go for the 7/8 model.
Important things to consider when procuring a violin for your child
Other crucial factors need consideration when obtaining a viola for your child besides knowing the dimensions of the best violin for your kid include;
1. The length of your child’s neck.
Neck length is a very crucial factor when determining the violin size for kids. For example, individuals with longer necks need to tilt their heads to support and play the violin well. Playing violin while in this position can create tension that will later affect your child’s playing capability or cause back pains.
As a remedy, you can obtain some shoulder rest paddings for your child to rest his/her head while playing. Wooden and bar paddings are a better choice than the sponge ones because sponge pads usually reduce the violin’s sound intensity.
2. The size or length of your kid’s fingers
Considering the arm length only can be a bit limiting, going further to measure the length or your child’s fingers can be an added advantage. Tall kids with longer fingers might end up needing a violin that’s above their age group, while those who are short or have short fingers may need violins meant for kids below their age.
If your child is tall, larger violins will work best for them because of their tall necks. Giving a petite kid large violin will prevent them from playing well because they’ll struggle to play the right notes. Such a situation denies a child the opportunity to polish his/her skills.
3. Your kid’s jaw shape
If you examine the faces of people around you, you’ll notice that the shapes of their jaws are completely distinctive in their way. For this reason, it’s crucial to procure a violin that can support your kid’s chinrest comfortably so as improve his/her stance and playing technique.
Round-faced kids need models with flat chinrests while those with slating/ thin faces can easily use those high-ridged chinrests.
violin size for kids: FAQs
1. What’s the price range for robust violins?
Violin prices differ with age, brand, utility, inclusions, size, or quality. A robust violin usually comes with a case, bow, and rosin. Most violins range from 100-5000 USD.
2. What are the two major types of violins?
Violins can be either electronic or acoustic (non-electric). In some cases, violins are classified with their eras.
3.how can you tell a violin is a right size
A fit violin is the one you can reach its notes at ease while holding it.
Knowing the exact violin size for kids is crucial when procuring this instrument, whether for an adult or kid. If you don’t know the best size for your kid yet, the above guide will help you find the violin size for your kid.
Avoid estimations and guessing, as easy as it may seem, its best for you kid to physically tryout a viola to see if its the precise size before purchasing it.