How to Choose Your First Quality Violin: A Guide for Parents

by Staff

Introducing your child to the world of music can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and learning to play the violin is a journey that can last a lifetime. As a parent, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right violin for your child’s musical journey. A quality violin can inspire and motivate your child to practice and excel, while a poorly-made instrument can hinder their progress and dampen their enthusiasm. In this guide, we’ll explore how to choose your child’s first quality violin, so you can set them up for success and enjoyment in their musical pursuits.


 1. Determine Your Budget


Before you start shopping for a violin, it’s essential to determine your budget. Violins come in a wide range of prices, from affordable student models to high-end professional instruments. While it’s tempting to splurge on the most expensive violin you can afford, keep in mind that your child may outgrow their first instrument as they progress in their musical journey. Choose a violin that offers good quality and value within your budget, with room to upgrade in the future if necessary.


 2. Seek Expert Advice


Choosing a violin can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with musical instruments. Seek advice from knowledgeable professionals, such as violin teachers, music store staff, or experienced violinists, who can provide guidance and recommendations based on your child’s age, size, skill level, and musical goals. They can also help you navigate the various options available and ensure you make an informed decision.


 3. Consider Size and Fit


Violins come in different sizes to accommodate players of all ages and physical dimensions. It’s essential to choose a violin that is the right size for your child, as playing an instrument that is too large or too small can be uncomfortable and hinder their progress. Violin sizes are typically measured by the length of the body, with smaller sizes suitable for younger children and larger sizes for older children and adults. Your child’s violin teacher or a knowledgeable violinist can help you determine the correct size based on their measurements and playing ability.


 4. Evaluate Quality and Craftsmanship


When choosing a violin, pay close attention to the quality of construction and craftsmanship. A well-made violin will have a solid spruce top, maple back and sides, and quality fittings such as ebony pegs, fingerboard, and tailpiece. The violin should be free from cracks, warping, or other structural defects that could affect its sound and playability. Take the time to inspect the instrument carefully, or enlist the help of a knowledgeable professional to ensure you’re getting a quality instrument that will last.


 5. Listen to the Sound


The sound of the violin is perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing an instrument. A quality violin will produce a clear, resonant tone across all strings, with good projection and responsiveness. Listen to the sound of the violin both up close and from a distance to assess its tonal qualities and characteristics. If possible, have your child play the violin or listen to someone else play it to get a sense of how it sounds in action.


 6. Test Playability and Comfort


In addition to sound quality, it’s essential to consider the playability and comfort of the violin. The violin should feel comfortable and balanced in your child’s hands, with smooth, easy-to-turn tuning pegs and a properly adjusted bridge and strings. Check the action (height of the strings from the fingerboard) to ensure it’s not too high or too low, which can affect playability and intonation. Your child should be able to reach all the notes on the fingerboard comfortably without straining or stretching.


 7. Choose the Right Bow


In addition to the violin itself, the bow is an essential component of your child’s instrument setup. Choose a bow that is appropriate for their skill level and playing style, with good balance, weight, and flexibility. A quality bow will produce a smooth, even tone and allow your child to articulate notes with precision and control. Consider consulting with a violin teacher or experienced violinist for recommendations on choosing the right bow for your child’s violin.


 8. Invest in Accessories


In addition to the violin and bow, there are several accessories that can enhance your child’s playing experience and protect their instrument. Consider investing in a quality case to store and transport the violin safely, as well as a shoulder rest or chin rest for added comfort and stability while playing. Other accessories such as rosin, cleaning cloths, and spare strings are also essential for maintaining the violin and ensuring optimal performance.


 9. Plan for Upgrades


As your child progresses in their musical journey, they may outgrow their first violin or desire a higher-quality instrument to meet their advancing skill level. Plan ahead for potential upgrades by choosing a violin that offers good resale value or a trade-in option through the music store or dealer. Investing in a quality instrument from the start can save you money in the long run and ensure your child has a positive and rewarding experience with their musical pursuits.


 10. Trust Your Child’s Instincts


Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a violin is your child’s comfort, enjoyment, and enthusiasm for playing. Involve your child in the decision-making process and trust their instincts when trying out different violins. Encourage them to listen to the sound, feel the playability, and express their preferences and opinions. Choosing a violin that resonates with your child on a personal and emotional level will inspire and motivate them to practice and excel in their musical journey.




Choosing your child’s first quality violin is an important decision that requires careful consideration and research. By determining your budget, seeking expert advice, considering size and fit, evaluating quality and craftsmanship, listening to the sound, testing playability and comfort, choosing the right bow, investing in accessories, planning for upgrades, and trusting your child’s instincts, you can ensure a positive and rewarding experience for both you and your child.


Remember, the goal is to find a violin that inspires and motivates your child to practice and excel, while also providing them with the tools they need to succeed in their musical journey. With the right guidance and support, your child will be well on their way to making beautiful music and creating lifelong memories with their first quality violin.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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