Q: Do I need to buy my student an instrument?
A: No, in fact we strongly discourage you from doing so (at least for a few years) for many reasons. First of all, stringed instruments come in many sizes--1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8 and 4/4 to name a few. We carefully measure your child to fit him/her to the correctly-sized instrument. As your students grows, he/she will often need a different-sized instrument, sometimes even halfway through the school year! Secondly, we provide higher quality instruments for students to use than you can buy in most music shops in East Texas or on the Internet. They may not always look pretty, but they are made correctly and are properly maintained. In addition to these things, once you purchase an instrument, you need to maintain which requires having the bow re-haired and replacing strings as needed, among other things.
Q: Is my student allowed to use a personal instrument at school?
A: Starting next year (2015-2016), we will evaluate personal instruments and let you know whether or not the student is allowed to use them at school and for concerts.
Q: When should I buy my student a personal instrument?
A: We recommend waiting until the student shows a serious commitment to playing their instrument, at least 3-4 years of playing.
Q: Does the school sell instruments?
A: No, but we are happy to consult with you to recommend some reputable luthier shops. Many of these shops will allow you to lease, rent, or buy and even offer payment plans. We do not receive kickbacks or favors from the shops that we recommend. That is unethical and unprofessional. We just want to make sure that your student gets a quality instrument that will not hurt him or her (poorly made instruments can cause injury or hurt you to play them), and we also want to make sure that you are not wasting your money on something that isn't made correctly. Playing an improperly set up instrument of low quality with low quality strings will cause pain and discourage ANYONE from continuing to play an instrument!
For more information on purchasing instruments, please read these articles. They have excellent advice that applies to all stringed instruments--violin, viola, cello, and bass. www.violinist.com/blog/CarmenLasceski/