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famous violin players

Which of These Famous Violin Players Are You? [Quiz]

Do you love playing the violin? From Heifetz to Perlman, there are dozens of famous violin players who have helped inspire us all.

Whether you’re just starting to learn the violin or you’re a seasoned professional, chances are there’s a certain violinist who you’ve channeled more than others.

Find out which of these famous violin players is your alter ego in the quiz below! Be sure to share your results with your fellow violinists.

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Which of the famous violin players did you get? If you’re struggling to emulate your favorite violin player, you might want to consider sharpening your skills by taking some violin lessons.

Your violin teacher will be able to teach you certain techniques so you can rock like Lindsey Stirling or shine bright like Joshua Bell. All it takes is a little practice and some confidence!

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5 Easy Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Violin

playing the violin

Are you taking proper care of your violin? Below, violin teacher Ruth V. shares some tips on how to maintain a healthy violin…

Learning how to properly care for your violin is important for many different reasons. First, it ensures you get the best sound when playing the violin.

More importantly, it helps protect your investment. Violins are expensive, and the last thing you want to do is carelessly tarnish your instrument by not taking care of it.

Below are five tips that will help keep your violin healthy so you can sound your best while playing the violin.

1. Wipe violin down

After playing the violin, rosin residue will start to cake on the instrument. It is very important to wipe down your instrument with a small soft dry cloth after each practice.

You want to make sure you wipe the fingerboard, under the fingerboard, on the body of the instrument, between the sound holes, and last but not least, your strings.

Never wipe rosin off the bow with just your fingers, because the oils on your hands could transfer on to your bow. A soft dry cloth is strongly recommended.

2. Loosen bow hairs

It is essential to loosen the bow hairs after you’re done playing the violin, as this will help preserve the instrument’s life span.

Avoid getting polish or touching the bow hair with your fingers. Doing so may damage the bow hairs, which can be expensive to replace.

Typically, bow hairs will last for around 120 hours of violin playing, which means your bow should be rehaired once every six months or so.

3. Tune pegs

Tuning pegs is not the easiest thing to maneuver, especially when you’re first learning the violin. If your pegs are turned too tight the string may pop causing pain to one’s self or nicking the instrument.

Nonetheless, effective tuning is a vital skill for a musician to acquire. When tuning, start with your A string then move onto your E string followed by the D and G strings.

If you’re unsure of how to tune or care for your pegs, ask your violin instructor to help.

4. Store violin in cool, dry place

Keeping your violin in a cool dry place is extremely beneficial to the life span of your instrument.

Heat and/or direct sunlight can cause the wood to expand or warp. After playing the violin, store it in a safe place away from air conditioners or heaters in your home.

And always remember to unload your violin from the trunk or backseat of your vehicle!

5. Don’t forget to store violin accessories

Your violin accessories—such as rosin, tuner, shoulder rest, stand, and carrying bag—should also be stored properly.

Make sure to always remove and place your shoulder rest in your bag after each use. Keeping the shoulder rest on the body of the violin for too long may cause chips and/or nicks on the body.

What’s more, tuners should always be turned off after each use and placed in an easily attachable bag. Don’t forget to keep a pencil with all the accessories as well.

A clean violin is a happy violin. Use the tips above to maintain the health of your instrument. If you have questions or need guidance, consult your violin teacher.

Photo by Andreanna Moya Photography

Post Author: Ruth V.
Ruth V. teaches violin, piano, and guitar lessons in San Antonio, TX. She received her Bachelor’s in Human Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word. Learn more about Ruth V. here!

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violin performance

5 Tips for Pulling Off a Showstopping Violin Performance

violin performance

Stage presence is an important skill for all musicians to master. Below, violin teacher Ha-eun R. shares several tips on how to confidently pull off a showstopping violin performance…

Have you ever attended a concert in which the artist sounded better if you closed your eyes? A performer’s stage presence is more important than one might think, as a recent study has shown.

According to research, published in the PNAS journal, participants who were shown silent videos of piano competitions were able to pick out the winners more often than those who could hear the music

What this study proves is that nailing a great violin performance isn’t just about your ability to play the violin. It’s also about how you present yourself on stage.

If your stage presence is struggling, here are some helpful tips on how to nail your next violin performance.

1. Watch Where You Stand

You’re the star, not an extra! Be mindful of where you stand on stage, as your placement affects your sound projection. The violin’s F-hole should be facing the audience to facilitate sound projection.

What’s more, if you’re playing with music, try to keep the stand from obscuring your face. Otherwise it may look like you’re performing for your music stand.

If possible, book some time to play in the venue with your violin teacher present so you can determine where onstage is best for you to stand.

2. Avoid Distracting Behaviors

You don’t want to divert the audience away from your violin performance with distracting behaviors, such as foot-tapping, bobble-heading, breathing loudly, or gazing somewhere conspicuous like a high window or ceiling.

Another big issue is excessive body movement. Movement should only ever serve to match the music. If you feel yourself moving too much, try practicing in front of a mirror.

This will have the added bonus of giving you more stability, especially with shifting and bow technique. You’d be surprised how many people do this. With enough mindfulness, you can even choose to choreograph!

3. Be Cognizant of Your Audience

Always play for the people at the very back of the hall. Things that sound somewhat scratchy or harsh in the practice room can end up sounding passionate and energetic to the audience.

On the other hand, a practice room pianissimo will often not translate well in a hall. It’s not about sounding pianissimo, it’s about feeling pianissimo. Always ask your violin teacher for their opinion.

4. Display Confidence Onstage

Enter the limelight with confidence and bravado no matter how nervous you are. In other words, fake it ’til you make it!

If a violin string breaks or you play out of tune, brush it off. If you carry yourself well in the midst of adversity, the audience will admire you all the more for it.

5. Be Gracious

Finally, after you’re done with your violin performance and people are congratulating you, be gracious and thankful. Even if you think you played badly, you should act as if it went well.

This is not the time to nitpick about the mistakes you made. If you complain, people may end up having second thoughts about their good opinion of your violin performance.

Violin performances can be intimidating. If you can, play for experienced musicians as often as possible, such as your violin teacher. Their views can offer great insight on “stage hygiene” and professional protocol.

Remember that no musician is perfect and every violin performance adds to your musicianship as long as you learn from it!

Untitled design (26)Post Author: Ha-eun R.
Ha-eun R. teaches violin lessons and audition prep in Brookline, MA. She received her Masters in Violin Performance from Boston Conservatory. Learn more about Ha-eun here!

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violin exercises

5 Violin Exercises to Help Build Finger Strength

violin exercises

Just like athletes, musicians must build certain muscles to help them better perform. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some fun violin exercises that help build finger strength…

Finger strength is very important for violinists. The fingers in the left hand control the pitches on the violin, while the fingers on the right hand control the bow.

For this article, we’ll focus on violin exercises that will help build your left hand finger strength so that you can play in tune as well as any tempo.

Students who haven’t developed finger strength in their left hand often struggle with pushing the string down all the way to the finger board.

When a string isn’t pushed fully down, the tone quality of the note suffers and it can sound scratchy.

This especially becomes a problem when students start using the fourth finger (pinky) as it is one of the weakest fingers.

Finger strength is also important for playing fast. So much is demanded of the left hand for fast passages of music that sometimes violinists will find that their left hand hurts after playing.

It’s important, therefore, to build up the proper finger strength so that you don’t fatigue your left hand to the point of injury.

Below are five violin exercises you can practice outside of your violin lessons to help build finger strength.

1. Four Little Monkeys

For young violin players, the nursery rhyme “4 Little Monkeys” is a great way to develop coordination and initial finger strength.

First, the student holds the violin in proper playing position and taps one of his or her fingers on a string to the beat of the chant.

The number of monkeys determines which finger gets tapped. As the song counts down from four to one, each finger on the left hand gets a turn.

If you’re not sure how the song goes, here’s a reminder:

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell down and bumped his head
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

“Three little monkeys jumping on the bed…”

2. Left Hand Pizzicato

A great way to strengthen the third and fourth fingers on the left hand is to play pizzicato with the left hand.

This is usually done with just the third and fourth fingers, and requires a lot of control in those fingers to pluck only one string.

Make up plucking patterns on open strings, or play simple songs and insert left hand pizzicato notes whenever open strings come up in the music.

3. Harmonics

Harmonics are high notes that are created by dividing a string in a certain spot. The way you do this is by lightly resting a finger (usually the fourth finger) in a specific spot on the string without pushing it down.

Practicing harmonics will help you develop finger strength because it requires you to move out of first position, as well as use your fourth finger.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to play harmonics:

4. Finger Tapping on a Table

Here’s a violin exercise you can do without even using your violin! Try tapping different finger patterns on a table or hard surface, as if you were playing the piano.

Challenge yourself by writing out patterns to tap slow, and then fast. Or, try “playing” some of your music this way.

Try these patterns to start (index finger is 1 and pinky finger is 4):
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4
1 3 2 4 3 1 4 2
1 4 2 3 4 1 3 2

5. Trills

Trills are a great violin exercise to develop finger strength. To play a trill, you’ll play one note and then quickly alternate it with the note above.

The fast movement of the trilling note will challenge your finger strength. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to play trills:

The violin exercises above will help you build your left hand finger strength so that you can play the violin even better.

If you’re looking for more help with building your left hand finger strength, try asking your violin teacher for some more violin exercises and specific advice.

Photo by Changjin Lee

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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famous violin players

How Well Do You Know These Famous Violin Players? [Quiz]

From Bach to Heifetz, there are dozens of famous violin players who’ve made major impacts on the violin community. If you call yourself a violin aficionado, then test your knowledge of these famous violin players in the quiz below.

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How did you do? If you’re not happy with your results, there’s no need to worry. Simply, ask your violin teacher to help you study some violin trivia or brush up on these famous violin players on your own.

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best violin songs

How to Choose the Best Violin Songs for Your Recital

best violin songs

Do you have a big recital coming up? Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some tips on how to choose the best violin songs and nail your next performance…

If you’re a beginner violinist preparing for your first big recital, you’re probably wondering how to pick the best violin songs that will showcase what you’ve learned throughout your violin lessons.

Chances are you’re also nervous about how you’ll play in front of people. While it’s good to have some butterflies in your stomach, there’s no need to be overly anxious, as your violin lessons have prepared you for this exact moment.

To ensure that you choose the best violin songs for your performance, follow the tips and tricks below. There’s also a short list of suggested violin songs for beginners.

Tips for Choosing the Best Violin Songs

Not too easy, but not too hard

You want to choose a recital piece that is difficult enough to keep you engaged in the learning process, but not so challenging that you can’t play it well.

Pick a piece that looks about as difficult as other music you’ve played well in the past. When in doubt, err on the side of picking an easy violin song.

For your first recital experience, you want to be as comfortable and confident as possible.

Appropriate for the setting

Is your recital a formal event or more causal? Will the other performers be playing strictly classical music, or will there be a mix of musical styles like pop and rock? Are you expected to perform with piano accompaniment?

These are all questions that you should be asking yourself to determine the overall performance setting.

A song from Pirates of the Caribbean performed with CD accompaniment, for example, may be appropriate for one recital, while a more classic song will be best suited for another performance.

Enjoyable for you

Choose a song you enjoy playing. There is nothing worse than spending hours and hours learning to play a song you don’t even like.

The more you enjoy playing and listening to your recital piece, the more you will end up practicing it.

Plus, your enjoyment will radiate on stage and will put you more at ease while performing.

Your comfort level

Some students feel perfectly comfortable performing alone in front of an audience, while others are terrified of being on stage alone.

If you’re one of those people who prefer to play with someone else, here are some options you might want to consider:

  • Perform a duet with another student or your violin teacher
  • Play with accompaniment of some sort (piano, guitar, CD, etc.)

Best Violin Songs for Beginners

If you’re still not sure what recital piece you should choose, below are five of the best violin songs for beginners:

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

While it’s not the most exciting song, almost any student who has been playing for a few months can pluck or bow this classic. Because students are already familiar with the tune, it will be easy for them to pick up.

2. Minuet No. 1

This song is part of the Suzuki violin repertoire. It’s a great song for showing off your bowing technique and the repeats make it sound longer and harder than it really is.

3. Ode To Joy

With its recognizable melody and limited note range, Ode To Joy is a great first recital choice. Even if you don’t read music, this song can be easily written out by letter names. What’s more, piano accompaniment is easy to add, as is a friend to play along.

4. Can Can

This upbeat tune is fun to play and listen to. Played in the key of D, this song only uses the D and A strings and is perfect for students early in their training.

5. Old Joe Clark

This American folk tune is a great intro to the world of fiddling. For a fun twist, play this song through twice during your recital; the first time at a medium tempo, and the second time at a faster tempo.

Use the following tips and list of songs to help you nail your next violin performance. Most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy your time up on stage–you deserve it after all of your hard work!

Looking for more songs to play? Check out this list of 50 easy violin songs!                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

Photo by Alden Chadwick

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You Know You’re a Violin Player When…

You Know You're a Violin Player When...

Let’s face it; not everyone can be a violin player. It takes a certain individual to master such a complex instrument that requires immense dedication and concentration.

From rough finger tips to grueling practice sessions, violin players are challenged both physically and mentally whenever they step onto the stage.

Whether you’ve just started taking violin lessons or you’re a seasoned violin player, chances are you can relate to more than one of the following things…

1. Every piece of clothing you own is black.


You capitalize on every opportunity to wear bright colors because you’re sick of wearing all black ensembles. And don’t even get us started on those bulky blazers and billowy dresses.

2. You have impeccable posture.


Your posture is so good you could run a marathon while balancing books on your head.

3. You’ve lost all sensation in your fingertips.


People think you’re a construction worker judging by your callused fingertips.

4. You did yoga before it was cool.


Before Lululemon came along, you were doing yoga in your living room to relieve tension after a long performance.

5. You wear turtlenecks in the summer to hide your violin hickeys.


People can’t help but glare and giggle at the violin hickeys on your neck. You’re embarrassed by them, but they secretly give you a sense of pride.

6. Violin stock photos.


Enough said.

7. You have a recital face.


You try your hardest to smile during a violin performance, but you can’t help but put on your stern recital face.

8. Somehow everything you own has rosin on it.


No matter how hard you try, you seem to get that sticky gross stuff–better known as rosin–all over everything.

9. One hand is significantly more dexterous than the other.


You might be right handed, but your left hand is much more dexterous.

10. You can’t help but want to scream when someone mistakes your violin for a viola.


For the last time people, a violin and a viola are NOT the same thing.

Beginner and advanced violin players will all agree that playing the violin is a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, there are bumps along the way to becoming a master of this unique instrument.

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suzuki violin method

The Pros and Cons of the Suzuki Violin Method

suzuki violin method

Are you looking for more information about the Suzuki violin method? Below, we’ll go into detail on everything you need to know about the Suzuki method, including its pros and cons for students and their families.

The Suzuki violin method can be a polarizing topic in the music world, as there are many different opinions on it. While some argue that the method helps children develop a high level of playing ability, others say it doesn’t teach students proper violin techniques.

If you’re considering the Suzuki violin method, it’s best to thoroughly research it before you determine if it’s a good fit for you or your child. To ensure you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision, below are six principles of the Suzuki method along with their pros and cons.

Suzuki Method: The Pros & Cons

1. Structure of the Suzuki Method

Suzuki violin programs are a mix of group and private violin lessons. Below are the pros and cons of this structure.

  • Pros: Students receive frequent reinforcement of skills because they are attending at least two lessons per week. The varied lesson plans provide a well-rounded approach, covering many different learning styles. Group lessons are also a great environment for children to be encouraged and challenged by their peers.
  • Cons: The lesson commitment for the Suzuki violin method is more than that of traditional private lessons, which can be too much for today’s busy families. Additionally, the Suzuki structure is pretty regimented with not much flexibility for missed lessons.

2. Listening to Violin Music

Students are encouraged to listen to violin music daily, especially recordings of the songs they are learning in lessons. This requirement of the Suzuki method comes with its own set of pros and cons as well.

  • Pro: Listening to music daily is a fantastic way for children to develop an ear for the violin and other instruments. The more they listen to the songs they are learning, the faster and better they will learn those songs.
  • Con: The commitment to listen to music daily typically falls on the child’s parents. Not only is this a burden on busy families, but some parents will quickly grow tired of listening to the same Suzuki songs day in and day out.

3. Performances and Recitals

Recitals play an important role in the Suzuki violin method, which also has advantages and disadvantages for families.

  • Pro: Preparing for a recital gives students a goal to aim for. Students are often proud of their accomplishments after a recital, which is a great self-esteem builder. Suzuki recitals with group performances also provide a safe performance environment for new violinists.
  • Con: Children who are very shy may have a hard time with this aspect of the Suzuki violin program. It can take a while before a student feels comfortable enough to go on stage and showcase his or her skills.

4. Rote or Memory Learning in the Suzuki Method

Beginner students learn songs by rote (or memory) in the Suzuki method. Note reading is finally introduced several years later into the program.

  • Pro: Students develop excellent ears, meaning they can hear whether or not they are playing in tune. Songs become very strongly ingrained in their minds because everything is played by memory. Students who struggle with note reading will find great freedom in being able to play music without reading notes.
  • Con: Because note reading is not introduced until later in the program, it can often be a struggle for students. By the time they learn how to properly read music, their violin techniques are much more advanced. Going back to the basics can be frustrating, not to mention difficult for students who might have already developed bad habits.

5. Practice Commitment

Daily practice is expected when learning violin with the Suzuki method. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this factor.

  • Pro: Any student who practices an instrument daily, even for 10 minutes a day, will make significant progress.  After all, daily practice is one of the best ways to improve upon one’s skills. With this in mind, the Suzuki method is excellent for making regular practice a necessity.
  • Con: As parents are well aware, most children will not practice daily unless they are told to. A lot of responsibility for the daily practice sessions will fall on the parents, which can quickly become a burden or cause friction in the family.

6. Parental Involvement in the Suzuki Method

With the Suzuki method, parents are expected to learn the violin alongside their child. This means attending all lessons and classes, and directing practice sessions at home.

  • Pro: Young children benefit greatly from having such strong parental involvement. This is especially clear with the parent-directed practice sessions at home. The focus and assistance that parents provide during these sessions ensures that students are reinforcing the skills they learned during their violin lessons.
  • Con: The Suzuki violin program is a sizable commitment for parents. In addition to attending lessons and directing daily practice, parents must carve out significant time in their schedule to learn the instrument themselves. Not only does learning an instrument take time and patience, but it can also be difficult as an adult.

As you can see, there are many great aspects of the Suzuki violin method. The cons are largely circumstantial and depend on the lifestyle of each individual family.

The Suzuki method is great for some families and very difficult to adhere to for others. If you have further questions, you might want to take a lesson with a teacher who has Suzuki experience, as he or she will be able to give you sound advice and guidance.

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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violin books

Top 5 Instructional Violin Books for Kids

violin books

Do you need to purchase a violin book for your child, but you’re not sure where to start? Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares her top five violin books for kids…

There is an unbelievably large amount of music books available to kids who want to learn the violin. While there are many great options to choose from, sifting through all of them to find the best one can be daunting.

Most students start with a method book, but activity and solo books can be great supplemental materials to aid a student’s progress. To help guide your selection process, below are my top 5 violin books for kids.

1. Adventures in Violinland

This charming series engages beginners with a unique approach that’s geared toward children. It is full of pictures (some even for coloring!), recurring characters, and familiar songs.

violin books

The series starts with book 1A and includes 24 books that follow a very systematic approach. What’s more, it includes a scorecard and points system that helps kids see their progress as they move through the books.

 2. Essential Elements 2000 — Violin Book 1

This is a great beginners method book most appropriate for students ages seven and up; although I have used it successfully with students as young as five. It is full of classical, folk, and holiday melodies that children already know.

violin books

It also includes rhythm and technique exercises, as well as theory and music history information that provide a well-rounded approach to learning the violin. Students will benefit from the MP3 play-along tracks as well.

3. Harry Potter, Solos for Violin

Students who are Harry Potter fans will love learning how to play the theme songs from the movies. The book of 10 songs includes parts for both the violin and piano accompaniment.

violin books

It also includes a CD, featuring demo tracks with orchestral accompaniments that sound just like the movie versions. This book is for kids who have been playing the violin for at least two years, although the recognizable theme songs will make it easier for beginners to play along and learn.

4. Early Start on the Violin — Volume 1

This fun method book features large print music and text that’s easy for young children to read. Additionally, it takes a unique method toward teaching notes, as it focuses on one finger at a time. This is an ideal approach for children who struggle with finger coordination.

violin books

By the end of the book, students will be able to play popular folk songs and will become more familiar with reading violin notes. This book is best suited for younger students, ages four to six.

5. Freddie Fiddle and Betty Bow

This imaginative violin activity book is a great supplement to the other books kids use during their violin lessons. The book covers everything from the various different parts of the violin to right and left hand techniques to the names of the notes on the violin.

violin books

Activities within the book include drawing and coloring, using stickers, and flash cards. This book is great for further engaging small children in learning the violin.

With so many violin books available, there is something for every child. If you’re not sure which book to choose, you might want to consider asking your violin teacher, as they probably have a few favorite violin books that they recommend to students.

 

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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violin brands

Top Five Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students

violin brands

Are you just starting to take violin lessons? Below, violin teacher Delilah B. shares the top five violin brands for beginner and intermediate students…

Thinking about purchasing a violin? Choosing the right violin brand can be difficult, as there are many options available.

While you want to stay within a certain budget, you also don’t want to compromise on quality. What’s more, you want a violin that’s going to last and retain its value.

So, what do you do?

To help guide you through this complicated process, we’ve rounded up the top five violin brands for beginner and intermediate students along with some tips and tricks on how to successfully purchase a violin.

Things to Consider When Buying a New Violin

From price to quality, there are a few important things one must consider before purchasing a violin. Below is a short list of things to keep in mind while you search.

  • Price range: Before you start searching for a violin, it’s a good idea to set a budget. Quality violins usually start at around $500, then go up from there depending on the violin brand you choose. Remember, you will most likely have to buy a violin bow and case separately, so be sure to factor that into your budget, as well. By setting a budget, you’ll be able to narrow down your search by weeding out instruments that are not within your price range.
  • Quality: In addition to setting a budget, it’s important that you know what to look for in terms of quality. After all, you don’t want to get coaxed into purchasing a low-quality violin at a high price. Make sure that you check the instrument’s construction and structure. A high-quality violin shouldn’t look warped or creak when you apply pressure.
  • New or used: When purchasing a violin, you have two options: You can either purchase a brand-new violin or a used violin. If you’re on a tight budget, buying a used violin may be in your best interest. Just make sure that you do your research to ensure that the instrument is in good working condition and that you’re getting the most value.
  • Size: Violins come in different sizes. For children, there are sizes 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16 and 1/32 violins. There are two ways to properly measure a child for a violin. With the student’s left arm fully extended away from his or her body, measure from the base of the neck to either the wrist or the center of the palm. The neck-to-wrist measurement will indicate the most comfortable size for the student.

Difference Between Student, Intermediate, and Professional Violin Brands

Student Violins

In general, a student violin is made from lower-quality wood and involves less hand work. These violins usually have some parts made of plastic, such as the pegs and chin rest. Student violins are great for children who are interested in learning, but are not yet sure if they will play for very long. Prices for student violins can vary from about $100–$400.

Intermediate Violins

Violins classified as intermediate are a good compromise between student and professional instruments. The price range can vary from $400 to $1,000. Intermediate violins are great for musicians who want something better than a beginner instrument, but are not quite ready to invest thousands of dollars in a professional violin.

Professional Violins

Professional violins are usually constructed from highly-quality wood, hand-built and assembled by a luthier, and finished with high-quality components, such as an ebony fingerboard. These instruments, which are only appropriate for professional and advanced musicians, can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000.

Buying a Violin Online vs. In-Store

If you’re debating whether you should purchase a violin online or in-store, below are some pros and cons to help you make your decision.

In-store

Pros:

  • You can try it out: One of the great things about buying a violin in-store is that you can try it before you buy it! It’s common for buyers to request to try out a violin brand at the shop. In fact, many shops have practice rooms for that exact purpose. Also, most violin shops are open to letting students borrow a violin for up to two weeks.
  • Knowledgeable staff members: If you’re a first-time buyer and don’t feel comfortable purchasing online, then you might want to opt for buying in-store. Most music shops have knowledgeable staff members on the floor who can match you up with the best violin brand.

Cons:

  • Limited inventory: Do you have a specific violin brand in mind? Music stores usually only carry a limited number of violin brands in-store. The last thing that you want to do is drive around town searching for a specific instrument that isn’t in stock.
  • High prices: Because they have less inventory, violin shops tend to have higher prices and less frequent sales. If you’re on a budget, you may want to shop around online for the best price.

Online

Pros:

  • You can shop independently: When shopping online, you aren’t bombarded by pushy salespeople trying to sell you the most expensive violin in the store. You can gather recommendations, read reviews, and shop peacefully and independently.
  • Larger inventory: Typically, online violin stores will have a larger inventory of violin brands to choose from. If one site doesn’t have what you want, chances are you can find another site that does.

Cons: 

  • Higher risk: When purchasing goods online, there’s always a certain amount of risk involved. Some websites will try to coax unknowing buyers into purchasing a violin that they think is of a much better quality than what it actually is. If you decide to go the online route, make sure you purchase from a certified violin dealer.
  • Uncertainty: If you’re stuck deciding between two violin brands, there’s no way that you can “try them out” online without having to purchase both and then return the one you don’t want.

Top Five Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students

As previously mentioned, violins vary by type. Some are designed for beginner and intermediate students, while others are customized for professional violinists. Most of the major violin brands carry a variety of different styles, each designed to best suit a customer’s specific playing needs.

So, what are the best violin brands? While the question is slightly subjective, we’ve rounded up the top five violin brands based on peer reviews and recommendations.

1. Stentor

When looking for a student-grade violin, Stentor violins are at the top of the list. Ranging anywhere from $150 to $180, these violins are reliable and well-built. For true beginner students, the Stentor Student I Violin is the most popular option and features a quality fingerboard and pegs. For intermediate students, the Stentor Student II Violin is a great option, as it offers better quality and tone due to its ebony pegs and fingerboard.

2. Knilling 

Knilling violins are well known among violin teachers and students. In addition to it’s high-quality craftsmanship, the company’s student violins have unique pegs for optimal tuning. Unlike regular friction pegs, Knilling violins feature Perfection Pegs, a 4:1 gear reduction inside the peg that makes for quick and precise tuning. Beginner Knilling violins are priced at around $500.

3. Cremona

Cremona is another great and affordable violin brand. Cremona violins are designed to meet the specific needs of both beginner and intermediate students. Besides using the highest-quality woods, the company takes quality very seriously and has 22 staff members in charge of quality control. The company’s student violin, the Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin, starts at around $300.

4. Cecilo

Cecilio is another teacher-approved violin brand. The instrument comes strung with the bridge attached so students won’t have to assemble it on their own. Also, you’ll be happy to know that the company puts their violins through rigorous tests to ensure they are fit for purpose. They also pride themselves on using quality wood, mainly maple and spruce, and top notch ebony. Student violins come in at a low cost of $200.

5. Mendini

Mendini is another brand ideal for beginner and intermediate students. Almost all factory made, the instruments offer good value at the low price of $199. Additionally, although the violins are low in price, they are durable. However, you’ll most likely have to replace the strings at some point, as the quality is not as great when compared to other brands.

 

Purchasing a beginner violin is a very exciting experience. What one person may see as a must-have feature, others are not so keen. Therefore, it’s important that you take into consideration the tips above. Keep in mind that you may want to get advice from a violin teacher or somebody who is experienced in buying musical instruments before you make a purchase.