Frequently Asked Questions
Purchasing or Renting a Violin/Viola
The quality of the student’s Violin or Viola is
critical to the student’s success. Poorly made instruments,
or instruments that are not adjusted properly can severely impede
a student’s progress. It is important to consult the student’s
teacher or other professionals before purchasing or renting an instrument.
As a beginner, I believe the best route to take is to rent an instrument.
Many music companies offer rent to own programs. Usually a percentage
of your monthly payment can be applied to a larger or higher quality
instrument. Renting your instrument at the beginning serves two purposes:
1) Young students usually start on smaller instruments. When you rent,
you can gradually move up to the full sized instrument while continuing
to rent. By the time you get to a full sized instrument, the student
is ready for a higher quality instrument. 2) If the student finds
that the instrument is not the right choice, by renting, less money
is involved. Many music stores offer wonderful rental programs. Again,
please consult with your teacher for recommendations. If you are concerned
as to which size instrument to rent or purchase, I can advise you
at your first lesson. As students mature in their playing ability,
the sky is the limit on how much you can spend on a professional line
violin or viola. Generally, I recommend advanced students to move
to a higher end “professional” instrument early in their
high school years, depending upon their college goals. Many times,
the money that is spent for a higher quality instrument will more
than pay for itself in scholarship awards.
Necessary Violin/Viola Supplies
- Shoulder Rest – This helps the student
hold the instrument high with less tension. I recommend the Kun
or Everest Shoulder Rests. Young students often use a soft sponge.
- Extra Strings – Strings do break and
should be changed at least once a year. I can make recommendation
as to the correct brand to buy for your instrument.
- Rosin – I recommend softer or dark rosin.
There are many excellent brands available.
- Pitch Pipe or Tuning Fork – When students
get older, they need to be able to tune their own instrument. One
of these devices gives the student an A for home tuning.
- Cleaning Cloth – It is important to
keep excess rosin cleaned off the body of the instrument.
- Metronome – It is important for more
advanced students to have their own metronome. There are many excellent
brands. I can recommend the best when the time comes.
- Music – It is important for each student
to build their own music library. Each student will need different
books, depending upon their course of study. Copying music is against
copyright laws so it is important for the student to purchase their