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Finding a student violin in the proper size

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 violin 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 violin 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 information and 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

Sell your violin to Corilon violins

The history of the violin bow


Corilon violins online catalogue:

  • Small sized violins

  • Violins

  • Violas

  • Cellos

  • Violin bows

  • Cello bows

  • Fine stringed instruments



  • New arrivals in our catalogue
    • Good Markneukirchen violin after Amati
    • Good sounding 1920's German violin. Warm, lovely tones
    • Old German 3/4 violin. After Stradivarius, dark tone
    • Fine Mittenwald violin by Max Hofmann, 1957
    • Violin from Saxony, approx. 1940 - powerful warm sound
    • Charming French violin, Marque Apparut,  made in 1936
    • 3/4 violin from Markneukirchen, 1920's. Clear strong tone
    • Attractive old German 3/4 violin. Saxony, 1930's, bright, radiant tone
    • Attractive antique Mittenwald violin, approx. 1900 - powerful sound
    • H. R. Pfretzschner violin bow, c.1930
    • French 3/4 violin bow. Ary France, Mirecourt
    • Violin of quality from Markneukirchen,. Kurt Raabs, 1930's
    • Modern Italian viola, Stefano Conia, Cremona 1985 (certificate Stefano Conia)
    • Contemporary Italian violin from the Otello Bignami school: Gianni Norcia, Bologna - concert master choice!
    • Older Markneukirchen violin, 1940's
    • Gold mounted violin bow. Markneukirchen c.1920
    • Cristiano Ferrazzi. Italian violin op. 120
    • Claude A. Thomassin, fine French violin bow. Circa 1920
    • Modern Italian violin. Lorenzo Bergonzi, Mantova, 1992
    • German violin. Made by F. C. Louis, Saarbrücken, early 20th century
    • Alois Fütterer, Mittenwald violin c.1930
    • Italian violin from the 1970's - warm, mellow sound
    • Italian violin, Archimede Orlandini, Parma 1985
    • George Adolphe Chanot, soloist violin no. 212