How to Choose the Correct Size Violin for Your Child


Music is something that can be appreciated at any age and it is never too early to begin introducing your child to the music you love. Some children naturally gravitate to music and beg for music lessons. Others may need to be introduced to music and will need to find their niche. Whatever the reason for taking music lessons in Santa Clara, one of the first steps for setting your child up for success while they enjoy learning an instrument like the violin is finding the right size of instrument. Due to their size and depending on their age, children taking violin lessons will need to begin learning to play the violin on a smaller instrument than what is used by adults. Today, we will be discussing the basic parts of the violin and how to find the right size instrument for your child.

Parts of the Violin

A violin is made up of many parts. However, today we are simply going to talk about those basic parts that make up this instrument. By introducing you to the parts of the violin, you will be able to help your child find the right size instrument for them:

Body - The largest “part” of the violin is the body.

Neck - The neck is the skinny part of the violin that branches off the body of the violin.

Scroll - The scroll is located at the very end of the neck.

Pegs - The pegs on the neck just below the scroll are what allows the violin to be tuned.

Strings - The strings are easy to find and run almost the entire length of the violin.

Bridge - As the strings travel the neck and down the body of the violin, you will encounter the bridge under and perpendicular to the strings.

Tailpiece - As the strings go up and over the bridge, they are connected to the body of the violin by the tailpiece.

Sound Hole/”F” Hole - Though these holes in the body of the violin may seem like just decorative element, they are a key part of the violin that allows the instrument to produce sound.

Basic Guidelines

Finding the right size violin for your child can be determined by two factors: first their age and then their size. Using charts like the one below can help you know where to begin when selecting the instrument.


Steps to Determine the Right Size

Like many things, instruments are not made to be “one size fits all.” Once you’ve determined what size or sizes of violins might work for your child, you can perform the following test to make sure that the violin you’ve selected truly fits your child.

  1. Hold the violin - Have your child place the violin with the body of violin between their neck and left shoulder with the neck facing away from them—like they are about to begin playing.

  2. Point their left arm straight out beneath the violin - Again, in the position they would be to play the instrument

  3. Have them curl their left hand fingers around the neck just under the scroll

After they are in position, you will be able to determine how the violin fits. A violin that fits well will allow your child’s left hand fingers to touch the the neck of violin just under the scroll easily. If it’s too big, their fingers won’t reach the top of the neck and if they have to bend their left arm to wrap their hand around the scroll, the instrument is too small.

Investing in an Instrument

Buying an instrument—even a child’s size violin—can cost up to and beyond $1000. For some, investing in an instrument that will have to be replaced may seem exceptionally costly, especially with the prospect of having to buy a bigger size once their child grows. However, you have options, so don’t let the price of an instrument deter you from investing in violin lessons for your child. Renting an instrument instead of buying one can be an affordable option. Be sure to talk to your violin teacher or local music store about your options.

Is your child ready for violin lessons? The California Conservatory in Santa Clara offers violin lessons and music classes for children of all ages using the trusted and exceptional Suzuki Method. Visit our website to learn more!