The very first instrument. The one that might make or break their interest in music. We understand there’s a whole lot of pressure to get this right, and of course you have a lot of questions bouncing around in your mind. What’s the right size of the instrument? Which brand do you choose? What do you want it to sound like? Is it the right instrument for your child, for the rest of their life?
Take a deep breath. There’s only one important thing that we really want you to know: buying your child’s first stringed instrument should be a fun and exciting experience.
That’s all. We mean it. There’s no rush, no stress about getting the “perfect” instrument on the very first go, and there’s certainly no need to book an appointment and rush through it. At Simply for Strings, our specialists are here every day to guide you through the process, and make sure it’s a smooth process.
But we know that even with all this reassurance, it’s still a scary situation! That’s why we’ve got together a guide for buying your young musicians’ first stringed instrument.
The first step: a sneaky search from the comfort of your home
Even if you don’t know your trebles from your tenors, there are those around you that can help you find information:
Ask your teacher for their recommendation
Teachers are great guides to helping you pick your instrument. They do, after all, spend their careers coaching children (and adults) on how to be most comfortable and capable with their instrument.
Before you head into your first lesson, ask your teacher what their opinions are on instrument sizes, and what they expect you to have on the first lesson. This may include accessories.
If you’re still unsure about how to pick the most appropriate instrument, you can ask your child’s music teacher to come along with you to visit the store and help your child in choosing their instrument. They are also more than welcome to come chat with any one of our specialists.
Do a quick Google search before you head into the shop
Instrument prices can look very daunting. Even when you know it’s an investment into your child’s education and future, the price tag on a lot of instruments can be a massive deterrent. If you’ve got some time to spare, it’s a great idea to conduct a quick Google search before you head into a store, just so you have a rough idea of what to expect.
View our range of beginner violins online.
Make a list of “silly” questions you’d like answered
There’s no such thing as a silly question. We’ve all been exactly where you are. In fact, we would say it’s much better to ask as many questions as possible, rather than biting your tongue and getting a worse fit for your child.
Consider whether you want to buy or rent an instrument
It’s normal to be concerned about whether your child is going to stick to their instrument long enough for you to warrant spending a lot of money on it. Take into account factors like whether your child wants to play the instrument because their friends are doing it, or whether they’ve been talking about it for a while.
Renting is always a smart option for if you want to access an instrument but change your mind with no consequences.
At Simply for Strings, all our rentals are professionally set up, and inspected before being accepted into our rental program.
On the other hand, the rental costs over a period of time could end up costing you more than a brand-new instrument. This makes renting a great short-term option, while you’re deciding on a new instrument.
Read our guide to buying vs renting.
What to look for once you’re at the store
Once you’re at the store, things should be smooth sailing. Especially if you’re at Simply for Strings (even if we do say so ourselves). Our team will measure your child in store, so you don’t even need to stress about sizes prior to turning up.
But when you’re there, make sure you:
- Ask the person helping you if they can demonstrate the instrument for you while you’re there. That can help you decide if you like its tone, and whether it will respond well to your child
- Ask about their professional set up – if it hasn’t been set up by a luthier (that’s violin maker in fancy speak), then it won’t be easy for your child to play
- And lastly, take your time. Make sure you put aside half an hour, or longer, so that you have time to listen and play a variety of instruments and brands, and enough time to browse through the accessories.
And of course, our most important piece of advice: It’s the first and only time your child will be getting their first stringed instrument. Savour it! We promise it will all be worth it when you see the look on their face as they’re handed their very own, personally-fitted instrument.
Oh, and don’t forget the accessories. There are two crucial things that come in handy for stringed instrument players.
A music stand is a great way to get your child into the correct (and good) posture from the get go. Grab a cleaning cloth to go with it and encourage your little one to upkeep their instrument – it will bring them pride about their instrument as well!
It’s also an easy way to set them up for success, from day one.
Read our ultimate guide to what violin accessories you really need to buy here.
We hope you’ve found this guide handy, as you and your child embark on your first musical journey. And remember, we’re always free for a walk-in or a chat, so drop us a line or come visit us at 78 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill.