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More detailed information about stringed instruments and the history of violin making.


Student violins: a few answers to frequently asked questions


Advice on the purchase of a student violin:
what size should it be, should i choose an old or a new instrument?


When you play first violin in an orchestra, you need an especially good instrument, a fact which no one in the ensemble would dispute. The "first violin" in the life of a budding musician, however, is often something else entirely. Many parents looking for the right instrument for their children's beginning music lessons are confronted with a dilemma: on the one hand, the family budget is limited, and no one knows in advance whether the youngster in question will turn into the next Paganini or if the violin-lesson project will die of natural causes within a few months. On the other hand, it is equally true that having the wrong instrument will prevent playing from being fun, and without that enjoyment, the child's musical education will invariably get off on the wrong foot. Ultimately only few parents are knowledgeable experts who can assess the value and musical qualities of a student violin with confidence. So how does one go about finding the right instrument? Here you will find a few answers to common questions about "first violins".


  • What size should a student violin be?

  • Are older or newer instruments better?

  • What makes more sense: buying a violin or leasing a violin?


  • What size should a student violin be?


    Proceed to Corilon violins online guide Finding a student violin in the proper size


    Older violins, newer violins: which are better?


    Given the wide range of brand-new factory-made student violins available, many people do not even ask themselves the latter question, even though the world of historic stringed instruments offers many appealing opportunities, especially for aspiring young musicians. For centuries, children have been taking violin lessons, and violin makers throughout the generations have created instruments that are the right size for younger players. Smaller historic violins often share a particular richness in sound which only such older instruments can develop. And even school children – whom you should never underestimate! – appreciate knowing and feeling and hearing that their student violin dates back to their great-grandmother's time. This sense of fascination can motivate younger students and encourage them to develop a relationship to their instrument, to keep picking it up and playing it. And that relationship can help bridge the thornier periods in which things don't sound quite the way they should or the student has to slog through a series of monotonous exercises and scales.

    This of course is not to say that there are no good new student violins for beginners; the point is simply that in shops you will come across newer pieces automatically, while historic student violins are still quite the inside tip. Corilon violins has successfully specialized in offering a selection of quality smaller-sized instruments which we present in a separate category in our online catalogue. Like all our instruments, they have been set up by our luthier and are ready to play – which is something that cannot always be said of many cheaper new violins and often involves further costs. By contrast, our student violins allow your child to begin lessons right away.


    What makes more sense: buying a violin or leasing a violin?


    A good historic student violin can be found for around € 950 or less at Corilon violins and generally rank among the most affordable old stringed instruments available, even though it is just as costly to produce them as it is to make normal-sized instruments. Another interesting option is our trade guarantee with which we can accompany young virtuosi in their musical development. If you are looking for a more affordable approach, local violin makers or music schools often have rental options for factory sets and other beginner violins. Instrument leasing of finer master violins and Italian violins over € 10,000 is available upon request at Corilon violins.



    New arrivals in our catalogue
    • Interesting modern violin by Beare & Son, Beijing 1995
    • Markneukirchen violin by Meinel & Herold, "Künstler-Violine Nr. 20", Guarnerius model
    • Antique Markneukirchen violin, probably Schuster & Co., after Jacobus Stainer
    • Albert Nürnberger: Powerful silver mounted violin bow
    • Fine violin by Nicolò Gagliano, 1762 (certificate J. & A. Beare)
    • Charles Louis Bazin: fine and powerful French cello bow (certificate J.-F. Raffin)
    • Acoulon & Blondelet, old French violin, 1920's
    • Fine Czech master violin after Guarneri, Schönbach, 1920
    • H. Emile Blondelet, old French violin, No. 235
    • Fine violin of the Thir circle / school, approx. 1750 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
    • 3/4 - Fine French 3/4 violin, approx. 1910
    • Eckart Richter, fine contemporary master violin from Markneukirchen, 1995
    • Good Schönbach viola, Ferdinand Fischer, 1935
    • Fine quality Markneukirchen violin bow, c.1930
    • German Penzel violin bow, approx. 1960
    • Luminous Red Mittenwald violin, approx. 1960
    • Old German violin, Saxony, approx. 1920
    • German Saxon violin with a clear, brilliant sound
    • 19th century: Antique French Mirecourt violin, Pailliot, approx. 1820
    • Markneukirchen cello bow, 1960's
    • Very fine French viola bow by Pierre Testa, Paris (contemporary)
    • 1/2 - antique 19th century French 1/2 violin, c.1870
    • Fine master violin bow by Hermann Richard Pfretzschner
    • Rare historic violin by Christoph Friedrich Hunger, Leipzig, 1776