How to Size Your Child on a Violin

Learning to play the violin is an exciting process for a child!  There are a few steps involved in getting you and your child ready for my new 6 week beginner violin course, 'STEP INTO STRINGS.' One of these steps includes buying or renting a violin that fits your child. Here is some important information regarding how to size your child for an instrument.

You do not need an expensive violin. The purpose of this beginner course is to see if your child enjoys playing the violin and desires to continue on with a local teacher.

Pre-used beginner violins are not expensive to rent (approximately $12-20 a month). Sometimes, they aren’t even expensive to buy and can often find them used under $100. You will always be able to resell a beginner violin if need be. Once your child has been playing for a little while and knows they want to commit to playing longer term, then you can consider buying a higher quality one.

The most important part is that the violin fits your child. Any music store that carries string instruments should be able to size your child for a violin. We use their arm length to determine what size will fit them.


Violin Sizes

You might be surprised to learn that the violin comes in so many different sizes! Here are recommendations based on age and arm length:

1/64 size Violin

Yes! They make them this small! These are rare instruments to find and they fit a child that is 1 or 2 in age.

1/32 size Violin

This size fits children ages 1 to 3. Some actually begin this early! While I don’t recommend starting this young very often, these students often begin learning on a cardboard violin; one that isn’t so breakable!

1/16 size Violin

Your child will usually fit this size if they are between 3 to 5 years old. It measures 14.5 inches in total length and suits a child with a 14 inch long arm.

1/8 size Violin

Students that are between the ages 4 to 6 usually find this size fits them well. It is 17 inches in total length and will fit a child whose arm length is 16.5 inches long.

1/4 size Violin

This size of violin generally fits students ages 5 to 7 years old. It measures 18.5 to 19 inches in length and fits arm lengths of 18 to 18.5 inches long.

1/2 size Violin

Students who are between the ages 7 to 9 years old will need a violin that measures 20.5 inches in total length. It is a great fit for children whose arm length is 20 inches.

3/4 size Violin

This instrument suits children ages 9 to 12 years old and is the last size before landing their final full size instrument! This instrument measures 21 inches long and is best for a student whose arm length is 21.5 to 22 inches long.

4/4 size Violin

This is also called a “full size” violin. It measures about 23 to 23.5 inches long and is suited best for students ages 10 to adult. Players who are taller than 5 feet (1.5 meters) can start playing on a full sized violin.


Tips for Finding the Right Size Violin

As mentioned above, measuring your child's arm length is the best place to start when sizing a violin.

When holding the violin, look for a relaxed V in the arm when your child’s arm is at the end of the violin. Too tight of a V means the violin is too small, and too wide of a V means the violin is too big.


preschool aged girl holding a violin demonstrating how a child's arm should look when using a violin that is sized correctly


Get Started with the Violin Today!

Once you've found a correctly sized violin for your child, get them started right away with a FREE sample lesson from our curriculum! Just fill out the form below.


Leave a comment