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Approved Music Vendors for Rentals and Purchase

Click on the links below to visit the sites of our approved vendors where you can rent and purchase instruments.

Purchase or Upgrade your Rental

If you know your child is committed to orchestra through high school and you are ready to purchase, there are several routes to take.

1. If your student is taking lessons, first ask the teacher for guidance. They can help you test choices.

2. If you are using one of our vendors to rent, check with them on the process of applying rental fees to purchase.

3. If you are trying to buy locally and you do not want to use one of our approved vendors, check Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, pawn shops, etc. for used choices. Instruments do not depreciate in value! Here are some excellent student brands: Eastman, Bella, Strobel, Knilling, and Becker. There are others, but these are standard.


1. The brands - Cecilio, Cremona, Bellafina

2. Do not purchase an instrument at Amazon or Guitar Center 

Avoid VSOs (Violin Shaped Objects)

What is a VSO?

The term VSO refers to the umbrella of items passing as violins but not functioning as them. This earns the item the name Violin Shaped Object. While a VSO may look exactly like a regular violin, they do not sound like one! VSOs are found for cheap, but do not be tempted by the low price point - as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for"!

How to spot a VSO:

  • Very shiny, thick lacquer varnish or painted finish that deadens sound

  • "Mystery" wood that is not declared by the seller

  • Painted black “ebony” fingerboard that is made from a cheaper, lighter wood

  • Cheap, plastic fittings that break easily

  • Improper nut height that sets strings too low or too high 

  • Bridge is soft wood, misaligned, and/or not custom cut to fit the violin

  • Painted purfling

Investing in your child's future

It is always tempting to buy a cheap instrument for a young student or beginning adult. Keep in mind, however, you may end up spending hundreds of dollars in necessary improvements just to make the VSO playable. And even after spending the money you still may not like the way it sounds or feels! A well made student violin will last throughout the years and is always a worthy investment in your child's future.

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