Musical Instruments

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Musical Instruments
7
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 10:08pm
Anyone know where to get a second hand violin other than at a yard sale? I would love to start my 4 year old with music lessons. I remember enough from school to teach him the basics (like notes and holding the violin), so that's not a problem. I do have a flute in my closet, but he's too small to use it. I was also thinking of getting him a recorder to try(because they are cheap) if the violin couldn't be found.

I love this board.

-Kendra

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: badb
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 6:31am
Most misic stores sell used instruments.
Avatar for sarahfran
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: badb
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 9:46am
Many music stores sell used instruments. If you want a better price, though, call around to pawn shops and see what they have--I've met many, many musicians who started with an instrument from a pawn shop! Look in the newspaper for estate sales as well--almost everyone's grandmother has a violin in her attic. Don't buy from eBay. I was talking with an instrument repair guy a few weeks ago and he said that in recent years he's been getting a lot of people bringing in instruments that they purchased from eBay, and most of the instruments aren't worth repairing--it would cost more to repair them than it would to buy a new instrument, and even after repairing them, they'd still sound bad because they aren't good instruments to begin with.

For a four year old, you may do better to rent an instrument before buying one. At age four, most kids will need a quarter size or half size violin, which they'll then grow out of in a few years. It doesn't make much sense to purchase one since you know you aren't going to keep it long-term, and it doesn't make much sense to buy a full-sized violin if he then gets frustrated trying to play it. OTOH, I imagine that there are a lot of used quarter and half sized violins running around to purchase since they *aren't* kept by people, so that might be the best bet all-around.

About recorders--they're fun for kids to play, and very inexpensive (we got a bunch of them from Oriental Trader for $1 each this year), but really, really difficult to play for kids much under the age of nine or ten simply because their hands are so small that their fingers can't reach all of the holes, and their manual dexterity is such that they have a hard time getting any notes right.

Good luck!

Sarah

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Avatar for triptakers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: badb
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 4:49pm
excellent answers above, just wanted to add, you may also check the classifieds.

Good luck!

Avatar for meandmypea
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: badb
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 6:23pm
Pawn shops are great places to get used instruments. You can also check Ebay - some music stores auction their used instruments there.

Bridget

Bridget
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: badb
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 7:25am
My son takes Violin and when we started him he needed a half size(he was 7) We got ours from a music store and rented it first to see if he would like it the rent for this violin was 35$ a month if you rented it long enough you bought it That is also where he took lessons from

Check into suzuki books they are really simple and if you know the basics you can get him going on learning and then start him in lessons later if he likes it

Take care

SUE

Avatar for akamarti
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
In reply to: badb
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 10:43am
Our elementary music teacher recommends starting kids on rhythm instruments...just thought I'd throw that in. She says they develop more skills from playing tambourines and drums and rattles and maracas and such that help them with the more advanced types of instruments. You can MAKE most of the rhythm instruments, too...just to see if the interest IS there...

Playing along with recorded music develops their rhythm and sense of timing. And it's somewhat easier to learn the rests and lengths of notes with them.

It's something to consider if you end up not choosing the violin or the recorder....

A simple drum can be made from an empty coffee can or round oatmeal box. A tambourine from two paper plates glued or sewn together with beans inside. The rattles can be made from gourds and dowels.

You can also make some interesting sounds with using small cans...don't take the lid all the way off a mushroom can when you next use them. Open it as little as you can. Drain, clean and put in some dried beans. Tape shut with duct tape...taping a handle on the side in the process. Tinny, but musical...different sized cans make different sounds.

Haha cups are fun additions to a rhythm band (Put a one foot length of string through a can, plastic cup or other container. Secure it firmly on the top with a bead or toothpick so it doesn't pull through the top hole. Moisten fingers and pull down the string...it will make a laughing noise.) ...as are rain sticks (Glue brads in a spiral pattern down the sides of a gift wrap tube. Add popcorn or beans and seal the ends of the tube. You can also use bamboo skewers and insert those all the way, breaking off the ends and gluing or taping them firmly in place.) and just plain drum sticks banged together. You can make the (I can't remember their names!) sand paper blocks simply by gluing strips of sandpaper to a couple chunks of wood. They hold the blocks and swoosh them together...Jingle bells can be made simply by just sewing them onto a heavy loop of ribbon. You just shake the loops...or you can get fancy and make them on a stick...by wiring them on.

I know we have even more additions to the rhythm band here...like two circular coasters glued together with a string and bead secured at one side. This is stuck on a pencil..I think we drilled out the bottom edge of the glued coasters....and when you twist it, it drums in rhythm...

Even if it doesn't end up being your music of choice, it is a lot of fun to make the instruments, tons of fun to watch kids playing them and it does enhance their sense of timing and rhythm!!!

Oh, yes...another one...make little bitty cloth bags and fill a little loosely with popcorn. Tie or sew them all together and secure to the end of a dowel or stick...it's another interesting rattle sound. You can do this with dried walnuts, too...remove the meat, insert a couple beans...glue the shells back together with a strong string stuck in. Tie all the other ends of the strings to a stick and shake.

You might check with your local elementaries if they offer music programs...ask about putting a note up in the music room asking for a good used violin...or to look over the bulletin board offerings they might have. Some elementaries do a lot of instrument exchanging and selling...

Marti

Marti

Avatar for louannems
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: badb
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 12:17am
That is how I bought my my DD flute, it was 28.31 a month for 3 years. It is paid off,and we are still paying 37.50 a month for her electric bass and amp. That is an 18 months rent-to own.

The good thing about rent to own, is if at any time your kid looses interest, you simply take back the instument and the payments end.

My kids started on viola and violin, but quickly lost interest and I took them back.

Also, this rent to own program covers insuranse for stolen intruments and for damaged instuments and it covers all tune-ups and cleanings during this period.