So, your child has finally decided to learn how to play the violin. Congratulations! As one of the most significant instruments, studying how to play the violin comes with tremendous value and lots of benefits for your child.
Find out what you need to consider before buying a violin for kids.
The violin is an instrument that requires a lot of patience and practice. The result from all the hard work is being able to create beautiful music and melodies. Through practice, your child will learn to be more disciplined and gain more confidence. This is beneficial in both school and in the future as these are important life skills.
However, buying a violin for kids is not that easy. There are plenty of things that you need to consider to make sure that you will make the most out of your investment.
The Violin size
Violins are available in various sizes, with sizes expressed in fractions. For a full size violin, the measurement is 4/4 and smaller violins tend to have smaller fractions.
Take note of the arm length when you are buying a violin for kids.
When choosing your child’s violin, it is important to consider the length of the arm of the player. Make your child extend his arm out perpendicular from the body with the palm facing up. Start measuring from the neck of your child to the center of his or her wrist.
If there is one thing that you need to remember, it is that it is not advisable for you to choose a violin that is too big for your child now, hoping that she will grow into it. Do your research and find the suitable violin size for your child.
How do you tell if the violin that you are about to buy is of good quality? More tips on this on the next page.
Signs of a better quality violin
When buying a violin for kids, there are several factors that you need to look out for to ensure that you will make a sound decision.
A good violin is one that has properly dried wood
Perfect dried wood
A good violin has properly dried wood; excessively dried wood might crack. Tonewoods, which are believed to have tonal properties and are therefore used for constructing stringed instruments, are only used by violin makers until these have completely dried. The drying period averages for seven years or more. As there is no special mark or sign on a tonewood violin, it is best to ask the shop staff about the type of wood the violin is made of.
A good violin has a purfling that is inlaid and not painted on. Purfling refers to the “stripe” running around the instrument’s edges. Its purpose is not solely for decoration, as it actually serves as a mechanism for protecting the instrument. If a crack develops, this will usually only run as far as the purfling before it stops, making the repair easier than when the crack runs all the way to the violin’s edge.
Get to know the different parts of a violin.
A better instrument should have tailpiece, fingerboard and pegs made from suitable hardwood. In most cases, this must be ebony. There are also some better quality boxwood and rosewood accessories. The painted softwoods are not recommended for these will wear quickly and may even cause you more trouble down the road.
Good violins have varnished and not painted pegbox. A pegbox is the head of the violin where the tuning pegs are attached. The image below shows the pegbox of a violin.
The violin’s pegbox should be varnished, not painted.
The best violins are those that are soundly crafted. There should be no gaps or cracks in all the seams of the instrument. If you see any hint of poor workmanship, better look for another option.
How much does a violin cost and where can you buy one? More details on the next page…
While you might not want to spend a fortune on your child’s first violin, it is best to make sure that the instrument would be able to last her for a good few years.
The last but definitely not the least consideration of a parent getting a violin for a child is the price. In this case, it is best for you to be more reasonable. Student violins usually have a price between $100 to $300 dollars, while the better ones are priced at $400 to $50,000. There are also decent enough violins at $500 to $600.
While it is not advisable to invest a lump sum of money for the instrument, it is also not recommended to just get the cheapest that you can find in stores and online shops. Always choose one that will give you the actual value of your money so that you can ensure that your child will have the best violin playing experience and at the same time, you will also be able to stick to your budget.
Going for the complete violin outfit
It is highly recommended to get the full violin set for your kids.
While it is possible to buy a violin all by itself, parents can also choose to get a complete outfit for their children.
Majority of student outfits are composed of the violin itself and a bow together with a cake of rosin. There are outfits that come with a humidifier that protects the violin from dry air, preventing cracking. It is best to go for a complete outfit for your child’s first violin.
Where to buy a good violin in Singapore
There are a number of violin shops in Singapore. Visit any of the following shop to help you find a suitable violin for your child:
Gramercy Music is a renowned violin shop located at 19, Ubi Crescent Singapore 408577. You can also purchase from their website.
For more information, contact them at +65 6749 9618.
JX Young is a string instrument distributor and manufacturer, conveniently located at 181 Orchard Road #05-40 Orchard Central Singapore 238896.
Call JX Young at +65 9754 3995 to find out more about their violins.
Synwin is a string instrument shop based in Singapore. Located at 6 Raffles Boulevard #03-117/ Marina Square Singapore 039594, Synwin is a music shop selling various string instruments such as violins and cellos.
To contact them for more information, call +65 6336 1366.
Article contributed by Lee Jin Rui, Founder of Violin Lessons Singapore