What’s the Total Cost of Learning to Play the Violin?

Do you want to learn violin, but you’re not sure if you can afford it? Below, violin teacher Carol Beth L. shares the total cost of learning to play the violin…

Is “learn violin” on your to-do list for this year? Learning to play any instrument is an investment. Some students or parents may not realize, however, exactly how much investment must be made in order to reach their goals.

The cost of learning the violin can be broken down into a few major categories, which include both monetary investments and time. Below, we breakdown all of the costs associated with learning how to play the violin.

Cost of a Violin

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What is the cost of a violin? Well, the exact cost will depend on whether you decide to rent or buy. Different options are appropriate for different students. For example, the cost of a new student violin at the lowest level can range from about $100 to $500, with $300 being a good mid-range price to have set aside.

While you don’t need an expensive Stradavarius to begin violin lessons, it’s important to have a functional violin that sounds good and isn’t too difficult to tune. Otherwise, you may become frustrated when you aren’t able to make it sound the way you want it to.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money upfront, you have the option to rent a violin. Violin rental prices may vary slightly depending on where you’re located. However, the typical rate is around $25 to $30 per month.

Many studios will allow you to apply a portion of the money to purchasing the violin later on. This is a good option for those who aren’t quite sure if they want to continue to learn violin. This option is usually a little more expensive than to buy it directly at the beginning, but it can be worth it.

Cost of Violin Accessories

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There are a lot of accessories that you’ll need to help you learn violin. For beginners, this will likely include a basic violin book of techniques and maybe a book of exercises. As you become more advanced, you will likely need to purchase violin books for scales and perhaps for sight-reading.

Other important supplies include a tuning fork, a metronome, and a stand. Many vendors now offer combined electronic tuner/metronome devices.

If you can’t find one, tuning forks are another good way to tune your violin. This tool will help you develop a good ear, since it will only give you your initial A!

Though you may not use all of these accessories, beginners should be ready to set aside between $50 and $100 for violin supplies.

Cost of Violin Lessons

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The cost of violin lessons is the most obvious investment people think of, and since it is ongoing, it is probably going to be the largest. The exact cost will be determined by your area and by whether your lessons are 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or a full hour.

For younger, beginner students, a half hour lesson is usually enough. Older and more advanced students may wish to spend 45 minutes or an hour each week.

The hourly cost of lessons in most areas can vary from $30/hr to $80/hr or more depending on the location, studio, and teacher credentials.

Cost of Violin Recitals and Activities

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Enrichment activities and recitals can help inspire and motivate students to learn violin, but don’t be surprised if these outside activities come with a cost.

While some studios will allow students to participate in their recital for free, others may request a recital fee that is used to cover the cost of the venue or other incidentals.

Your violin teacher may also recommend concert attendance, summer camp, group classes, or orchestra in addition to private lessons. These are often recommendations and not requirements, but they can help the student advance in other ways by providing a variety of musical experiences.

Incidental Costs

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As lessons progress, there may be some unpredictable costs that come up. Perhaps, for example, your violin rosin breaks or is lost or your strings break.

A full set of average violin strings can cost between $10 and $20; high quality strings can cost more. Inexpensive rosin can cost less than $5, while higher quality rosin might cost closer to $10 or $15.

Such incidentals are usually minimal, but it is good to be prepared when they come up.

The opportunity to learn violin is a rewarding endeavor, and certainly worth the time, effort, and costs associated. While it is difficult to put an exact cost on learning to play the violin, considering these areas should help estimate how much you will need to put aside.

CarolPost Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches viola and violin in San Francisco, CA. She currently plays viola in the San Francisco Civic Orchestra and has been teaching students since 2012. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

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