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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: definition of the student violin size, answers to frequently asked questions about old or a new instruments


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 size 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 student violin 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 correct violin size, 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?
  • 3/4 - German student violin, Saxony 1950ies - top

    German 3/4 student violin. Saxony, 1950ies

    Inventory No.: 2048
    Provenance: Bubenreuth
    Length of back: 33.7
    Year: approx. 1950

    Old Saxon student violin

    Old Saxon student violin. 1920's

    Inventory No.: 5163
    Provenance: Saxony
    Length of back: 35.8
    Year: 1930 circa

    Antique student violin from Saxony, after Antonio Stradivari - top

    Antique student violin from Saxony, approx. 1880

    Inventory No.: 5012
    Provenance: Saxony
    Length of back: 35.9
    Year: approx. 1880

    What size should a student violin be?


    Proceed to Corilon violins online guide on how to determine the proper student violin 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 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.

    The "Violins" section features our attractive online selection of good sounding and affordable affordable violins for sale: Old French violins and German violins, with audio sound samples.



    Product categories:

  • Violins

  • 3/4 violins and 1/2 violins

  • Violas

  • Cellos

  • Violin bows

  • Cello bows

  • Fine stringed instruments


  • Information and further violin-related reading:

    The violin: practical tips on care and maintenance

    Finding a student violin in the proper size

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

    The violin bow: practical tips on care and maintenance

    Selling your violin to Corilon violins

    The history of the violin bow

    New arrivals in our catalogue
    • Attractive old Czech violin, 1930's (certificate Löbner)
    • Fine French 3/4 violin, approx. 1910
    • German student violin after Guarneri, from Markneukirchen
    • Older Mittenwald violin, 1960's
    • Antique French 3/4 violin with a strong tone - J.T.L.
    • Handsome old German violin. "Conservatory violin", approx. 1920
    • SALE Older English violin, made in the 1940's - warm, golden tone
    • Old Czech violin full of character, made in the Italian style, c.1910
    • Alfred Knoll viola bow. Silver mounted, a strong player
    • SALE Raffaele Calace, Italian Neapolitanian violin, 1916 (certificate Eric Blot)
    • 1/4 - Fine French 1/4 violin bow. Morizot Frères (certificate J.-F. Raffin)
    • SALE Fine Neuner & Hornsteiner 3/4 violin, Mittenwald, c.1850
    • Old Mittenwald violin, J. A. Baader, No. 4908
    • Excellent silver mounted violin bow, stamped Felix Martin
    • Fine master violin bow by C.A. Hoyer, Markneukirchen
    • Excellent German violin bow after Lupot, approx. 1940
    • SALE 1920's German violin by Otto Ebner, Augsburg
    • SALE Claude A. Thomassin, fine French violin bow (certificate J. F. Raffin)
    • French Richelme violin No. 23, Marseille 1869 - collector's piece
    • German master violin, Otto Gläsel, Gelsenkirchen
    • MARMA, silver violin bow after Sartory, approx. 1920
    • Antique French 1/2 violin, J.T.L. Compagnon c.1880
    • SALE Italian violin from the 1970's - warm, mellow sound
    • WORKED OVER AND IMPROVED: Fine master violin, 1940's. Probably American