What is a Violin?

A stringed musical instrument of treble pitch, played with a horsehair bow. The classical European violin was developed in the 16th century. It has four strings and a body of characteristic rounded shape, narrowed at the middle and with two f-shaped soundholes.

What size violin do I need?

The measurement of a violin is taken along the back seam. The measurements are the entire lenth of the back, but do not include the heel button on the end of the neck. 4/4 Size: 14″ – 14 1/8″
3/4 Size: 13″ – 13 1/4″
1/2 Size: 12 1/4″ – 12 1/2″
1/4 Size: 11″ – 11 1/4″
1/8 Size: 10″ – 10 3/8″

Testing if you have the right size violin You can see if a violin is the right size for you, by holding it in the playing position. If the violin is the right size, the player will be able to extend their left arm and cover the scroll with their hand comfortably, and without stressing the elbow.

Why do violins come in different sizes?

Played by people of all ages the violin is made in different sizes so that even a small child can find a model that he or she can hold and play comfortably.

How many different violin sizes are there?

Violins come in 8 main sizes. The size corresponds to the length of the body of the violin (not including the neck and scroll). The smallest common size is 1/16 (just 9 inches or 23 cm), and the sizes work their way up through 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8 and finally 4/4 or full size (about 14 inches or 36 cm).

How do I measure my child for a violin?

Have your child stand up straight and hold out their arm with their palm facing upwards. Measure from the left side of their neck to their wrist. Check the length in cm or inches against the table below: Measuring to the wrist is a method favoured by Suzuki teachers and will normally give a slightly smaller size than when measuring to the middle of the palm, another method. Therefore it may be ok to choose the bigger size here, if your child’s wrist measurement comes very close to the next size up.

Why is it important to choose the correct size?

A violin that is too big will be heavy for a child to hold. Playing a heavy violin will make their arms tired and sore and may also hurt their neck and eventually their back. Also if they have trouble reaching the notes it will be very difficult to play in tune. Aside from the discomfort, none of this will be good for their motivation to play music!

When is a good time to move to a bigger size?

Children tend to adapt quickly to a bigger size of instrument, so I usually advise just to go ahead with a bigger violin whenever your child is ready. If possible, it’s best to allow a few weeks to get used to the bigger size before playing in a concert or exam. Occasionally, a teacher may hold back a child from moving up a size for a couple of months to develop their bow technique and make their arm just a bit stronger before the jump up. So consultation with the teacher here is always good.

Should I buy a better quality violin when I need a bigger size?

I advise to buy for the level of instrument that your child needs, rather than buying a certain level of instrument for a given size or age of the child. For example, if you are looking for a new violin for your 9 year old who has been playing for a few years, it’s likely because they are making good progress and are keen to continue with music lessons. In that case, I would advise upgrading your child’s instrument. The 9 year old who is working towards grade 3 exam will need a better instrument than another 9 year old who is just starting violin lessons for the first time.

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