4 tips for choosing a child's violin size

Successfully learning to play the violin takes patience, practice, and an instrument that's comfortable to play. Follow these steps to easily find the perfect size violin for your child.

4 tips for choosing a child's violin size

1. Grab a measuring tape

  • Instead of averaging instrument size based on age, measure your child's body to determine which instrument will really feel most comfortable.
  • Have your child stand with his or her left arm outstretched, palm up, similar to how they'll stand while holding a violin. Then, measure from his or her neck to the middle of the palm, where an actual instrument will sit.

2. Compare measurements to violin sizes

Violins come in a range of sizes to help smaller (and larger) people play more easily, and so that every performer has a chance to create the best sounds possible. There are seven common sizes for violins, and they're best suited to students with the following measurements:

1/16: 14 inches to 15 3/8 inches

1/10: 15 3/8 inches to 16 7/8 inches

1/8: 16 7/8 inches to 18 1/2 inches

1/4: 18 1/2 inches to 20 3/8 inches

1/2: 20 3/8 inches to 22 1/4 inches

3/4: 22 1/4 inches to 23 5/8 inches

Full size: 23 5/8 inches and longer

If you're in a position where you must use a violin that is either larger or smaller than the ideal size, it's better to err on the side of caution and choose a smaller violin that will be easier for a student to handle.

3. Pay attention to finger length

  • As is sometimes the case with children, arms and fingers can grow on different schedules, and for some body types, they never will.
  • Pay attention to your child's fingers. Even if his or her arms are long enough for a larger violin, you should aim for the smaller size if fingers are struggling with appropriate placement.

4. Try out different models in person

  • The obvious way of sizing the correct instrument for your child is by visiting a teacher or music shop with several sizes on hand.
  • A properly sized violin will fit comfortably in your child's hand when the chin is in the correct position.
  • A professional can help you determine which model is the best, and they can also help you navigate to appropriate models as your child gets older and needs to purchase or rent a larger instrument.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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