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corilon violins

Finding a student violin in the proper size

Corilon violins · Lilienstrasse 2 · Entrance Zeppelinstr. · D-81669 München
Phone: +49 (0)89-444 19 619 · Fax: +49 (0)89-444 19 620 ·

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  • A violin size chart and tips about selecting the dimensions for smaller violins and violas

    What size should a student violin be so your child can play it easily? A size chart and tips about selecting the right dimensions for smaller instruments.

    Finding the right violin size for students is always a customised process. What matters most is not the child's height or age, but the length of his or her arms. If you select one of our smaller violins, our guaranteed return policy will protect you against miscalculating the size you need. Of course, however, we hope that that the instrument you order will be the correct size and therefore can be played immediately. To help make sure this happens, we have given you a few tips about selecting the right student violin.

    Our size chart lets you estimate how a child's arm length and age usually relate to each other. To provide greater orientation, we have also added information about the child's height and the standard approximate parameters of instrument size.


    Arm length Approx. age* Approx height Violin** Viola** Bow***
    340-430 mm 3-5 1,00-1,20 m 1/16 (230 mm) --- < 430 mm
    420-445 mm 4-7 1,10-1,30 m 1/8 (255 mm) 1/4 (250-280 mm) 430-490 mm
    445-510 mm 5-8 1,20-1,35 m 1/4 (280 mm) 1/2 (280-320 mm) 490-550 mm
    500-570 mm 6-9 1,20-1,45 m 1/2 (320 mm) 1/2 (280-320 mm) 550-610 mm
    560-600 mm 7-11 1,35-1,50 m 3/4 (335 mm) 3/4 (330-340 mm) 610-670 mm
    > 600 mm > 9 > 1,50 m 4/4 (355 mm) 4/4 (380/400 mm) > 670 mm

    * in years
    ** the length of the instrument body, which is also indicated in our catalogue
    *** only the length of the stick, not including the screw


    You can measure arm length most easily by having children extend their left arm straight ahead; measure the span between the beginning of the shoulder and the middle of the open palm.

    Whereas it is common practice to buy slightly larger clothes for children to "grow into," the exact reverse is true when it comes to selecting a violin. A violin that is too small is much less challenging to play than one that is too large.

    Once you have received the instrument, your child's teacher will certainly help you decide whether it is a good fit. Another useful rule of thumb is that children should be able to cup the scroll in their hand when they fully extend their arm. Another test is to have the child play a few notes in first position – assuming the child has already learned that – to see if the mensur (a measure of the overall string length) fits well in the hand. Beyond that, it goes without saying that they should be able to keep their arm in position comfortably and without strain.

    Related articles:

    The violin: practical tips on care and maintenance

    Student violins: a few answers to frequently asked questions

    How to select a violin, provenance, value and violin appraisal

    The violin bow: practical tips on care and maintenance

    The history of the violin bow

    Ernst Heinrich Roth: a rediscovered master

    Hopf: a dynasty of Vogtland violin makers

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    Fine violins

    Corilon violins · Lilienstrasse 2 · D-81669 Munich
    Phone: +49 (0)89-444 19 619 · Fax: +49 (0)89-444 19 620 ·

    New arrivals in our catalogue:
    • François Fent, a fine historic viola of the late 18th century
    • German violin after Guarneri del Gesù
    • French violin, Mirecourt mid 20th century
    • Mittenwald violin, Johann Reiter, 1922, opus 42
    • French violin after F. A. Glass, Mirecourt
    • Didier Nicolas (L‘Ainé), master violin, circa 1825
    • Edwin Lothar Herrmann, German violin bow
    • Fine violin bow, probably Albert Nürnberger
    • Fine Markneukirchen violin: copy of Santo Serafino (Sanctus Seraphin)
    • Excellent French violin, Collin-Mézin (fils), No. 54
    • Central Italian violin by Aristide Benigni, Ascoli Piceno (published twice)
    • Italian violin, Archimede Orlandini, Parma 1985 (published)
    • 3/4 –sized German violin by Boosey & Hawkes
    • Markneukirchen violin, "Künstler-Violine Nr. 18" by Meinel & Herold
    • Claudio Gamberini, a fine Italian violin, 1930, Bologna
    • Excellent violin from Machold’s custom violin workshop, Chemnitz
    • Italian violin by Lodovico Giovannetti, 1955 (certificate Castelli)
    • Silver mounted violin bow by Rudolf Neudörfer
    • Antique French violin, Mirecourt
    • 1982 Bubenreuth violin, by Erich Werner master violin maker
    • Good Markneukirchen violin bow, approx. 1930
    • F. & R. Enders, outstanding Markneukirchen violin bow
    • Powerful silver mounted violin bow, Markneukirchen
    • English violin bow after Tourte, silver mounted