By Rigo Murillo
General Advise On Choosing a Violin:
Young students’ sizes should be determined by the individual teacher. If you are shopping for a violin for a Suzuki student, my personal recommendation is to ALWAYS check with your teacher before you head out shopping for an instrument. Make sure the dealer will let you take it to the teacher for approval as conditional to continue your commitment to rent or buy. Show the violin to your child’s teacher to check on size and playability. Since violin makers don’t have a “standard” set of fractional sizes, there can be a 1/8 violin that is the same size, or even smaller than a 1/10 of another maker. You want your child to have the most ease of playing and a pleasant learning experience.
For the older student, the best option is to take time visiting the shops personally and try several instruments. The shop owners know it’s a crucial decision for the student and parent to get a good fit. They will let you try several models and price ranges, and usually explain the instrument’s origin, construction, and possible usability. The violins should be easy to play, have a well-round sound (they have different character), pleasant to the ear.
It may take more than one visit to a shop to come up with a satisfactory decision. Though all these shops carry good quality instruments, it will take some shopping around to get the best fit for the student.
Rigo Murillo, Suzuki Strings Specialist
Here is a list of the local violin/string shops in the Dallas/Plano/Richardson area that I personally know to have good quality instruments:
The Luthier Shop
2201 Moseley Road
Cross Roads, TX 76227-8017
SELL: YES (~$400 – $11,00)
RENT: YES ($30-40/Mo.)
This is the place I have been going for the last 9 years to have work on my violins. Stephen Cundall is a master violin maker and also works on repairs. He carries very good, professional-line instruments at reasonable prices. Highly honest and great reputation. Rentals are also available.
Rury Violin Shop
1251 S. Sherman St., Suite 105
Richardson, TX 75081
SELL: YES (~$300 – $11,00)
Jay Rury has been serving the Dallas are for quite some time. They have provided service and instruments for our school’s student families and many of the Dallas Symphony musicians. They now carry an array of good instruments in a wide price range. Very friendly and punctual work.
Kelin Violin Shop
3321 Premier Drive; Suite B
Plano, TX 75023
SELL: YES (~$300 – $11,00)
RENT: YES (~$28-35/Mo.)
I have have known Kelin Zhang, the owner and violin maker of the shop for quite some time. He makes high-end violins and has a variety of student instruments as well. Several of my young students rent or own instruments from this shop. Kelin usually has all small-size instruments in stock all the time. They have a renting program, as well.