Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Reasonable amount to spend on a child's first violin


nene_bird
 Share

Recommended Posts

BTW

Not sure if this should be considered or not:

I mentioned this topic to someone who does not play instruments. He pointed out that a very expensive instrument (5000, 10,000, maybe even 3000 $) could make other kids at school or music school/ lessons envious and that might result in bullying or damaging the violin on purpose. I don't know if this is a thing, if kids that age tell each other what their instruments cost and if they get jealous, but it might be a good idea to tell the daughter not to elaborate about the price of the violin.

Also, he pointed out: Would one send a young teenager on the bus/ subway with a $8000 to $10,000 instrument, especially with other kids that age who often "rough around" on public transport? Or kick bags, also violin cases, around during breaks?

I recently read an article about a cello that got damaged when a kid accidentally kicked the cello case lying on its side under the table during a break. It took some months to get the insurance money and only then could the cello be repaired, so the kid was without its cello for more than half a year.

Actually, if I bought my kid a violin for 5000 to 10,000 $, I'd probably invest in a cheaper instrument (500 to 1000 $) to take on public transport and to school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 88
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

This sounds like a bit of a fallacy to me.  Advanced young musicians need quality instruments.  Chances are if you're at the level OP's daughter seems to be at, you're primarily playing outside the school music program.  Yes, expensive violins ought to be insured.  A backup violin is always a good idea, but if you only use your nice fiddle half the time, what's even the point?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, uncle duke said:

From a guitar players perspective ..............  more is better, buy a whole bunch of violins and if possible, bows.

100% ha ha :lol: My room used to be full of guitars, it is now full of violins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

This sounds like a bit of a fallacy to me.  Advanced young musicians need quality instruments.  Chances are if you're at the level OP's daughter seems to be at, you're primarily playing outside the school music program.  Yes, expensive violins ought to be insured.  A backup violin is always a good idea, but if you only use your nice fiddle half the time, what's even the point?  

You use the "nice fiddle" to learn on - and/or during performances.

You use the backup for rehearsals, group settings, etc. Kids are notoriously "uncareful" around "stuff", especially around other people's stuff.

Sincerely;

Previous Band Parent

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Frederica said:

BTW

Not sure if this should be considered or not:

I mentioned this topic to someone who does not play instruments. He pointed out that a very expensive instrument (5000, 10,000, maybe even 3000 $) could make other kids at school or music school/ lessons envious and that might result in bullying or damaging the violin on purpose. I don't know if this is a thing, if kids that age tell each other what their instruments cost and if they get jealous, but it might be a good idea to tell the daughter not to elaborate about the price of the violin.

Also, he pointed out: Would one send a young teenager on the bus/ subway with a $8000 to $10,000 instrument, especially with other kids that age who often "rough around" on public transport? Or kick bags, also violin cases, around during breaks?

I recently read an article about a cello that got damaged when a kid accidentally kicked the cello case lying on its side under the table during a break. It took some months to get the insurance money and only then could the cello be repaired, so the kid was without its cello for more than half a year.

Actually, if I bought my kid a violin for 5000 to 10,000 $, I'd probably invest in a cheaper instrument (500 to 1000 $) to take on public transport and to school.

By this logic you would never take the 30k car out of your driveway. I am sure that's a much higher risk, and includes life and limb. My kid is  learning the value and responsibility of taking care of her violin. More risk, to me,  in not trusting and disempowering her, and letting her know she is not capable of being responsible.

If my kid was bragging about the cost of her violin, she would hear from me, but not because the danger of envy or bullying, but because of my expectations of simple kindness and thoughtfulness and privacy on her part.

3 hours ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

This sounds like a bit of a fallacy to me.  Advanced young musicians need quality instruments.  Chances are if you're at the level OP's daughter seems to be at, you're primarily playing outside the school music program.  Yes, expensive violins ought to be insured.  A backup violin is always a good idea, but if you only use your nice fiddle half the time, what's even the point?  

Agreed. 

I would guess if you went to a pre college class at Juilliard,  most if not all the violins would be in the upper range of what's being discussed and many of kids would have carried them, by themselves, on the subway to class.  (and not all the parents would be super well off, they would be stretching themselves to meet the needs of their talented kids.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rue said:

You use the "nice fiddle" to learn on - and/or during performances.

You use the backup for rehearsals, group settings, etc. Kids are notoriously "uncareful" around "stuff", especially around other people's stuff.

Sincerely;

Previous Band Parent

With the violin and the student being 11 years old she/he must really know their best violin inside and out before any of that let's use this other fiddle today.

There's the chance of a tuning peg deciding to let go during a performance, for example.  I did hear that happen once during an ensemble - surely gut wrenching for whomever..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Shelbow said:

100% ha ha :lol: My room used to be full of guitars, it is now full of violins.

Not necessarily a bunch of violins, just a few good ones. 

With guitars some tunes were just easier to play vs others in the collection.  Neck taper/thickness and weight issues mostly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one thing I wish in retrospect when we were shopping for the daughter's full size we had considered-

I like the shop where we have bought all of my daughters' violins and the people that work there.  There are two shops in the city nearest us, both I would describe as small to medium size.

We played everything at both shops, both offered us 100% on the 3/4 we were trading in. We chose a violin we are happy with from the original shop, based pretty much on sound and playability.

If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to travel and look at places like Potter's (no relation:)), Carriage House,  or Robertson and Sons. (Never been to these, just online and from reputation). If we go to upgrade again for college, I am concerned about the choice of inventory at a smaller shop. The only place that is going to give me the trade in- likely. So that might force us into keeping her current violin as a spare. Not the worst thing,  but something to think about as you are shopping.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our region, we were fortunate to have a dealer who has worked very hard to assist talented young players in finding very good instruments without bankrupting their families. I think he realized that he was cultivating his future clients, should these kids find themselves advancing in music as a profession.

When my daughter (who in high school was lucky to be playing on a pretty good instrument that had been played by two generations of family before her) began the professional audition process after college, she also began auditioning better instruments through this same dealer, who ultimately reached out to other shops to find a match for her. It took about six months, but the violin she selected has served her very well in her professional capacity. The violin she selected was on trial from a shop two thousand miles away.

I really recommend working though a good dealer who is willing to go the extra mile. Sure, he's going to make a nice commission--but that is well-earned, if he can access a much broader field of options. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, nene_bird said:

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. 

Where are you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, nene_bird said:

No violin loaning programs near us. If anyone wants to loan us a great sounding instrument, please let me know. 

https://www.virtufound.org/

It's best to get your child's teacher to put the word out in their network.  It could even be a violin from the teacher's peers in their student days.  Or some collector who merely want their instruments played.  Look at the profile of the Virtu Foundation founder.  There are quite a few people like him out there.

Don't expect formal lending programs.  Most of these lending instances are the result of ad hoc, spur of the moment personal connections at recitals and maybe Youtube videos these days.  A musician will have to develop these soft skills as well in order to be successful later in life.

I know this almost seems like a contradiction, but you should expect a long hard slog to find a decent instrument in a shop.  Time horizon of YEARS; your daughter would probably be in college then.  Generally that's not where instruments highly desired by musicians end up.  You want to plumb from the instruments out there that have already been vetted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, nene_bird said:

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. 

Where are you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, martin swan said:

This is an absurd generalization which smacks of some hidden agenda.

Yeah, tell us why you played so many fiddles on your tally (won't bother linking to your page where you evaluated tonal qualities of violins from various makers) if it were so simple to find a decent instrument. 

Fact is you have to kiss a lot of frogs.  An old boss once stated "A good resume never hits the floor,"  that's even more true of fiddles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hempel said:

https://www.virtufound.org/

It's best to get your child's teacher to put the word out in their network.  It could even be a violin from the teacher's peers in their student days.  Or some collector who merely want their instruments played.  Look at the profile of the Virtu Foundation founder.  There are quite a few people like him out there.

 

I think there are very few people like Curt.  He's the real deal. I know him well, worked with him from the beginning, helped him with acquisitions and donations of instruments coming into the foundation, and assisted him in assembling the group of Instrument associates used to maintain the instruments. 

From the website: 'The major criteria for awarding scholarships are: musical skill and potential; instrument need; available financial resources; availability of a suitable instrument."

Submissions are reviewed carefully and recordings are evaluated by some very capable musicians/teachers. The mission has always been to provide instruments for talented students with limited family resources. Teacher input is critical in the process.

It may, or may not, be the best place for an 11 year old to access their first full size, especially if the family can afford a half-way decent and appropriate one for them to start with (which in my opinion should not break the bank), but it all depends on the above criteria. The foundation is a great resource for talented young players as they develop, though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hempel said:

Yeah, tell us why you played so many fiddles on your tally (won't bother linking to your page where you evaluated tonal qualities of violins from various makers) if it were so simple to find a decent instrument. 

 

Yeah, I'll tell you ....

These were all instruments at auction ... I didn't think it would be very gentlemanly to go around rating the tonal qualities of violins offered by rival dealers :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a great topic for discussion.

I hear many dogmatic opinions, but in my view there is only one thing that's important when buying a first violin for an 11-year old, even if they are an exceptional talent.

When they open the case, they should see a face they like, and which makes them want to play. Even a slightly irrational choice may be a good choice if it encourages the student to play.

Parents should not stretch themselves financially at this stage of a young player's development, as this places an unreasonable burden on everyone.

Teachers have their own agendas. If they are asked to make a choice on behalf of a student, all their own prejudices come into play. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, uncle duke said:

With the violin and the student being 11 years old she/he must really know their best violin inside and out before any of that let's use this other fiddle today.

There's the chance of a tuning peg deciding to let go during a performance, for example.  I did hear that happen once during an ensemble - surely gut wrenching for whomever..

Well..by 11 years of age, if they are performing at a higher level (and even if they are not) ...they are perfectly capable of checking their equipment in advance.

I am not sure why a tuning peg is only going to slip on a backup instrument though. And I don't believe I ever suggested that the backup instrument should be an unpredictable piece of cr*p.

My backup/outdoor violin is perfectly sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Yeah, I'll tell you ....

These were all instruments at auction ... I didn't think it would be very gentlemanly to go around rating the tonal qualities of violins offered by rival dealers :lol:

Total exercise in futility, considering at auction any set up/condition goes.

Why bother testing and publishing at all?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hempel said:

Total exercise in futility, considering at auction any set up/condition goes.

Why bother testing and publishing at all?

You are welcome to ignore.

But if you choose not to ignore you could do me the courtesy of reading what these results represent and why I published them - it's all there.

Incidentally Tarisio and Ingles & Hayday present all their instruments in excellent playable condition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, martin swan said:

This is a great topic for discussion.

I hear many dogmatic opinions, but in my view there is only one thing that's important when buying a first violin for an 11-year old, even if they are an exceptional talent.

When they open the case, they should see a face they like, and which makes them want to play. Even a slightly irrational choice may be a good choice if it encourages the student to play.

Parents should not stretch themselves financially at this stage of a young player's development, as this places an unreasonable burden on everyone.

Teachers have their own agendas. If they are asked to make a choice on behalf of a student, all their own prejudices come into play. 

 

 

This is a great thread. As a dealer, I find this  very interesting.   Rue and Nathan have said some really great things for the OP to read.  I know Potter went through this a little while ago and has some great advice too.  It seems the teacher is not going to be a "commission kickback" problem as he/she stated they want to stay out of it until the end.  That's good to hear.  Not that I have any issues with a teachers help throughout the process, it's just that this shows they don't have a motive.  There are a lot of "sleepers" in the $3-5K range.  Better commercial instruments that just hit above their weight.  I would agree with the $5-$10K range, but to not shut out the lower range for sleepers. 

   Based on what Martin just stated (open it, love it), you might consider going heavy on the bow and get her the one she loves, going a little lighter on the $ of the violin.  As he stated, (and I agree completely)a lot of it is what inspires her.  Not everything, but a lot.  Dealing with a shop that gives you 100% trade down the road (of what you bought from them), is a good thing to take the pressure off of the decision too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/10/2021 at 3:07 AM, Frederica said:

Especially I would not give my daughter the idea that the higher the price, the better the violin, so that in the end she believes "oh, it's only a $3000 violin, it cannot be that good!"

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. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...