One of my kids has determined that he wants to take up the violin. I know a bit about music but not much about the strings. Does anybody have a recommendation or advice about where I can buy a violin, what kind of violin I should buy, where we can find a good teacher, etc.
I checked at Yamaha, which is near my office, and they have their own system (starting at NT$4,000+ for 4 hours) and they will sell me a 1/4 sized violin also for 4,000+. That’s about all I know, so here are a few more specific questions (for reference, my son is 8 and fluent in Chinese, we live in Zhong He and his school/my office are in Taipei by the Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall).
Is the cheapo violin OK because he’ll need a bigger one soon, or should I look for something better?
Is Yamaha for violin any good? I’ve heard good things about their piano classes.
Is there a Suzuki violin program around and is it any good?
Has anybody had any experience with the school violin clubs in the local schools (which he wants to join)?
Any other advice, warnings and suggestions greatly appreciated.
dunno about violins, but generally with instruments you don’t splash out on a massively expensive one for a beginner. You don’t need a performance grade guitar when you can barely change chords. Wait until he learns a bit and if he gets good and stays serious about it, THEN look at spending the big bucks on a decent instrument.
Having said that, an instrument that you don’t need to retune every two minutes is great (so buy a $3,000 ukelele instead of the $100 one). But I’m not sure about violins. If you can ask a teacher (not the lady at the desk) they should be able to give you more info without trying to sell you everything in the shop.
Violins need to be retuned frequently. But even a Strad needs to be retuned frequently.
Yes, a cheapo is exactly what you should be getting at this stage. Early on violins are like shoes, you rebuy as the child grows taller. Once the child is a teen, if your child shows a lot of talent, the teacher will likely bring up getting a better violin to match the child’s skill level. For most kids for whom violin never became “their thing”, they finish their violin careers never having needed an expensive one.