Shoulder Rest (3/4 or smaller violins; 13″ or smaller violas)
Shoulder Rest (Full-Size violins or 14″+ violas)
Pencil and 1/2 inch three-ringed binder for music (with 25 sheet protectors)
Essential Elements Book 1 2000(6th Grade)
Essential Elements Book 2 2000(7th Grade)
Habits of a Successful Middle Level String Musician(8th grade)
All students should rent an instrument until they are ready for a full-size instrument. It is recommended that once a students has grown into a full-size instrument, they purchase an intermediate or advanced level instrument.
What to look for when choosing an instrument for rental or purchase:
Size: String instruments come in various sizes. Students must be measured for the proper size instrument. You should not purchase an instrument that is less than “full-sized” as your child will grow out of it. If you rent an instrument, you will be able to trade instrument sizes as your child grows without an additional fee. A student should not play on an instrument too large for them; this will cause physical injuries, as well as difficulty learning the instrument.
Color: Though colored instruments are fun, they are typically made of plastic or are coated with excess layers of paint/lacquer that diminishes the tone of the instrument. Stick with instruments that are made of natural wood, and are stained/lacquered naturally. Rock stops, shoulder rests, bows and bow hair come in different colors, and are a great way to add individuality to the instrument.
Bows made of fiberglass or carbon fiber are recommended for middle school students. Do not be lured in by the “wood bows,” as they can warp and/or break easier than the “cheaper” carbon fiber bows.
On-Line Purchases: If purchasing an instrument on-line, stick with websites that offer a refund and/or exchange policy if you are not happy with the quality of the instrument. Please see the recommended on-line retailer list before purchasing an instrument.
As always, please be sure to contact your teacher before making any purchases, no matter how small they are. A quality instrument (including bow, rock stop and shoulder rest) is essential for a students musical growth.