String Instrument Buyer's Guide
Some helpful tips from the teacher for parents/guardians considering the purchase of an instrument for their child.
*Please note that this page is currently in development...direct any questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
learning to play a string instrument need one that can stay tuned for
long periods between lessons until they learn to tune themselves (about
2-3 years of study) and that is rugged enough to withstand being carried
around and handled in varying weather, on busses, or walking to and
from school. Many dealers and manufacturers are selling sub-standard
products that do not meet these needs. When a child uses such an
instrument, they can do everything right and still produce an awful
sound. This is the fastest way to kill a child's inspiration and love
of music. Most often, these instruments end up making pricey dust
collectors and/or decorations despite the seemingly low cost. But when a
decent quality instrument is used, students efforts are more successful
and consistent. This gives them all the benefits that studying music
offers, not to mention their own personal satisfaction.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
Real wood grain, not pressed paperboard.
Smooth ebony or other hardwood pegs, not coarse and porous balsa or light-weight wood.
or exceeds MENC specifications...but be careful! Some shipped items
will require setup by a professional, and not all setups will really
brand names, such as Sherl & Roth, Meisel, Knilling, Amati,
Eastman. If you have a question about a brand, do some research and/or
check with Ms. Robbins. SOME COMPANIES ARE ADVERTISING THAT THEY ARE
TEACHER APPROVED...THAT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN ANYTHING WITH REGARDS
TO QUALITY!! There is a lot of deceptive practice out there, so buyer
policy...if the company will not stand behind it's product with a full
money back return, most likely the instrument is worth less than the
cost of shipping it. Don't buy anything you can't return!
the web, go shopping, and see what's out there before you make your
decision. In these times, even a small investment of $100-$200 is too
much to waste. There are lots of places to look, too. Yard sales and
flea markets can be a gold mine of old instruments that were once played
by children now grown. If you know what to look for, you're likely to
get really lucky!
- CD Used Instrument Sale is
held every September on a Saturday after Labor Day. Instruments have been inspected by
CD teachers for quality and fair market value, and some are usually on
hand to answer questions.
Know the dealer
always best to know who you're dealing with. The vastness of the
Internet can be a very good tool, but can leave you holding the bag if
you're not savvy. Below are some links to businesses that I deal with
and feel confident in recommending to anyone. There are many others,
contact me if you want my opinions or experience with anyone.