How to Size Yourself for an Instrument

Violins come in LOTS of sizes for children... our staff is always available to help determine which size instrument makes sense for your child.  Schools and Suzuki programs, however, frequently size differently.  Below are two general options.  It is important to check in with your teacher to find out their specific preferences.  The shop will defer to the teacher’s preferences. 

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Sizing for Violin/Viola

If you don’t have access to an instrument, use a yardstick. Lift the left arm and extend it fully to the side, palm facing upward, fingers flat and straight out.

FOR MANY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Place the yardstick under the chin, touching the neck. Have the student stretch their arm straight out to the left.  Measure from neck to palm (as this is where the violin will sit), and then determine the measurement from the neck to the center of the palm. Don’t allow for any slack. Once you have the size in inches, use the size chart, below, to determine the child’s size.

FOR MANY SUZUKI TEACHERS: Place the yardstick under the chin, touching the neck.  Have the student stretch their arm straight out to the left, without slack.  Measure out to the wrist, just below the hand. 

If you are having trouble trying to figure out what size instrument is right for you, remember that you can always come to any of our shops and we will be happy to help.

Violin/Viola Sizing Chart

up to 15" - 1/16 Violin/Viola
15"-17" - 1/10 Violin/Viola
17"-18" - 1/8 Violin/Viola
18"-20" - 1/4 Violin, 11" Viola
20"-22" - 1/2 Violin, 12" Viola
22"-23" - 3/4 Violin, 13" Viola
23" or greater - 4/4 Violin, 14" Viola or larger

Sizing for a Cello

Seat the child so that the knees are bent at a ninety-degree angle. Make sure the child is sitting upright, at the front edge of the chair (not reclining backward or slouching).  With the child sitting in this position, measure the distance from the left knee to the left ear.  Once you have the measurement in inches, compare it to the chart below to determine the correct size.

If you are having trouble trying to figure out what size instrument is right for you, remember that you can always come to any of our shops and we will be happy to help.

Cello Sizing Chart

up to 21" - 1/16 Cello
21"-23" - 1/8 Cello
23"-25" - 1/4 Cello
25"-27" - 1/2 Cello
27"-30" - 3/4 Cello
30" or greater - 4/4 Cello

 

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