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  1. The dealerships have been good so far about not mentioning the prices before she plays but my daughter almost always picks the most expensive or the second expensive one in the line up and they have been in the $20,000 range. I don't know why dealers bring out expensive instruments when we ask them to show us "student instruments" but it's useful for her to know the qualities she is looking for. Except for one violin, she has rejected instruments that are priced under $12,000 without being aware of their asking price. She did find a Chinese workshop violin she says she can live with which was priced at $6,000. The store was weirdly secretive and evasive about its origin, which made me feel uncomfortable. If we are going for a Chinese workshop violin with which "she can live with," we should be able to find something under $3,000. Potter, we have learned our lesson and we don't want to be tied to one shop when she's ready for her next/second full-size. That's one of the main reasons we want to stay on a budget so her first full-size can be her future spare. Marty, we are in the good ol' US of A but I am open to having an instrument shipped to us from almost anywhere. Jeff, thank you for understanding the situation perfectly well from my disjointed posts. After all these years, I feel she should simply wake up and be inspired to practice but it doesn't seem to work that way. As I feared, she has fallen in love with a $20,000+ modern Italian violin and a $5500 bow. It's hard to find that sleeper. At this point, I don't even know where to look for one since the local stores definitely do not have them or at least they haven't shown us any. I know people talk about finding a superstar $500 fiddle but that sounds like an urban legend to me right now. We're still looking.
  2. Thank you for all the advice and suggestions. After 8 years of lessons, you'd think we'd be more prepared but the full-size world is new to us. No violin loaning programs near us. If anyone wants to loan us a great sounding instrument, please let me know. Her current shoe size is 37 so she won't need size 43 for awhile. Just to clarify to those of you who mentioned teacher kickback, that is something we do not have to worry about. We don't have a good public transportation system so we have to drive her everywhere. She already has a backup full-size violin for school orchestra so it's not an issue for us. Our house is like a junkyard for unwanted instruments. baroquecello, we have roots in EU and she herself is very interested in the possibility but I'm not sure if she can pass the language requirement for programs in Germany/Austria. gowan, my daughter has found a bow she loves ($5,500). I always understood that bows make a difference but I didn't realize the full extent of it until she "met" the bow. It was honestly an eye opening experience. No matter which violin she tried, she sounded amazing (at least for her). It was like being matched to the right magical wand. It was tempting to get her the bow but her teacher stopped us. He thinks if we keep on looking, a bow just as good can be found under $2,000 and bows are much cheaper to ship for trials than violins. I don't know...We have been trying bows in that range and have found nothing thus far. With fractional sizes, we just went with whatever the dealership had and we could afford what she picked. That's not the case anymore and the choices seem endless. I can see why parents get burn out and just choose a random one at the end.
  3. Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated. Sorry for the confusion. I forgot to put "full-size" between first and violin. Is she serious? Hmm. I'd say she is serious about becoming a violinist but not so serious when it comes to putting in the work necessary to make that happen. My daughter has known since age 2 that she's a violinist. I have long given up on understanding how that happened. She is determined to major in violin performance but she's 11 and has many years to change her mind. I am not sure if we want to pay 4 years of college tuition for her to play violin so we'll see. Yes, parenting a middle schooler is impossible. I have a very stressful job but it's nothing compared to getting her ready for school every morning. If we had pushed her towards practicing a lot, I think she would be further along but she's not the type of kids who does what other people tell her to do. There are a couple of specialized string instrument shops here but I don't think it's going to work out with either of them. We have a local violin maker who also makes (from white, I assume) student instruments but we have yet to visit him. Her first full-size can be her future spare so being able to trade-in isn't a big issue. On the other hand, we'd like to be able to trade-in her 3/4 violin and bow (retail value $3000) but that's another problem we have to solve. It seems like $5,000 is the group consensus here. She has a few more months of growing to do before the 3/4 becomes too small so we have some time but this isn't going to be an easy search.
  4. My daughter is 11 years old and has been taking lessons since she was 3. She isn't exactly ready to solo with an orchestra or compete in major international competitions but she is a capable, advancing young violinist who is learning pieces by Saint-Saens, Sarasate, etc. We have a wonderful teacher who is willing to help but he wants my daughter to take the lead and seek his approval towards the end of the process. Well, if I don't give her a budget, she'll go out there and fall in love with a $20,000 violin and a $5,000 bow. So, I'd like to give her a reasonable upper limit. If we base it on what we can afford, well, we can afford something nice so that's not really a limiting factor but she's 11 and I don't think insurance covers gross negligence. In my shoes, what do you think her shopping budget should be?
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