Violin Lessons

(Super mega ultra points to you if you get the pop culture reference to this post. Congrats. You’ve reached a whole new level of pop zen.)

I went with TRC yesterday evening to get him signed up for violin at school. In our district, all 3rd graders get a half year of violin lessons as part of the curriculum, and in 4th grade that can continue for the whole year. (Band doesn’t start until 5th grade, alas.) TRC actually had the choice of Violin, Viola, or Cello. He went with violin, despite my best efforts to sway him to the dark side of the force. And by that I mean the bass clef. Because bass is where it’s at, people!

He’s pretty pumped, though. So am I. For the last year or two, I’ve been teaching him piano–and by “teaching” i mean “getting him to play.” He’s supposed to play for 15 minutes each day before he’s allowed to play video games or watch Netflix, and that works pretty well. But it also means I have to keep coming up with things for him to play. Now I can just sit back and tell him to practice whatever they’re working on in violin lessons.


But of course, nothing in life is easy. And when I discovered that we’re going to be shelling out $18/month for a violin to rent for him, I had to wonder if there wasn’t some alternative (especially since we’ll be having 2 other kids doing the same thing later on. That’s $180 per year for the rental. If each kid only does 1 year of violin before switching to a band instrument, then that means I’m looking at $540 for violin rentals. Can I do better than that?

You betcha!

So I’ve been scouring the internets, looking at violin buying advice. I immediately found some on eBay for $36. I’m no violinist, but that seemed far too cheap to be a good idea. A bit more rooting around and yes, it was confirmed: crappy instruments on eBay. Still more rooting around, and it looks like Shar Music has a good reputation for delivering low cost instruments that are decent. I’m eyeing a used violin package right now that will come in at $130 for the violin, case, rosin, and bow. 30 day money back guarantee. 1 year warranty. Even if the thing only lasts 1 year, I’ll still save money for just TRC.

But why have a blog if I don’t ask for input from my fantastic readers now and then? So I’m putting this out to you–any advice for a first time violin purchase? I don’t think TRC is going to stick to violin, and even if he does, he’ll obviously need a bigger one. So I just need a suitable instrument for him (and later, my daughters) to use as a bridge to another instrument later on. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

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