You will need to buy or rent a few things in order to learn to play the violin.
Here’s some advice.
What Things Do I Need?
Your shopping list should include:
Shoulder rest (KUN model is recommended for most players)
Metronome with pitch generator and tuner
Any sheet music/books you wish to study
Also an internet-connected computer if you want to watch video lessons!
How Do I Get Sheet Music/Books
To study any pieces or etudes on this website, you will need to purchase the music separately. This website does not include print-outs, as most of the music is under copyright, and this would be the same with almost any serious violin teacher. If you have local music shop where you live, it’s great to support your local business! If not, you can order any music book you need online. Without recommending or endorsing any specific shops, you may want to look into Johnson Strings*, Shar Music*, Music Espresso*, and Amazon*.
Where Do I Get a violin?
Buying or renting from a reputable shop is a good way to ensure you are getting something decent. Consult your local conservatory or professional orchestra for recommendations. If you don’t have a good shop in your area, here are a few sources you may look into: Johnson Strings* and Shar Music*.
How Much Do I Need to Spend?
Avoid any places with “too good to be true” deals. Violins are expensive, and something extremely cheap will only lead to frustration. You’re going to be putting lots of time and energy into learning the violin, and you want to make sure the instrument you buy or rent is up to the task!
If the price of a decent instrument is a concern, renting is a good option. You can find good deals and bad deals, so please do your due diligence! But just for some starting point, in the Boston area, a decent student violin and bow can be rented (including insurance) for about $29 - $51 a month. Student violin and bow packages can be purchased from around $1,500 to $2,000.
Of course, they can go much higher! A professional violin will cost at least $20,000 - and an older, antique violin from a famous maker can literally cost millions of dollars! Luckily, you can get a lifetime of music a joy from something much less expensive.
What Size Violin?
Young players often need a smaller violin and bow, referred to as 1/4 size, 1/2 size, 3/4 size, etc. If your child needs a smaller instrument like this, it usually makes more sense to rent an instrument so you can change sizes as the child grows. Once you are ready for a full size instrument, it may make more sense to purchase one so you don’t keep loosing rental fees.
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