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New to the violin world?

If you or your child have decided to take up the violin, we can provide an instrument, or suit your instrument to your needs. Two things come up with the decision to invest in an instrument. How much will it cost? And what happens if you want a new violin?

At Peter Prier and Sons we want to help you maintain your investment. The money that you spend on your instrument can be traded in toward your next, going up in size and value accordingly. If you outgrow your violin we will gladly place it on consignment to help you recover a good amount of your original investment. Student instruments range in size and price, and we are here to help you learn what is appropriate for you as a player. We welcome the opportunity to meet your teachers and have them help you decide on your purchase. Violin sizes start at 1/32, and end with 4/4, or a full size violin. We carry student instruments in the range from $500 - $5,000, and players and teachers come to us to ensure they get an instrument that is playing at its potential. We also have a wide selection of handmade violins, violas, and cellos from the students studying next door at the Violin Making School of America.

Things you need to go along with your violin:


  • The bow can be fiberglass, Carbon Composite, or Wood
  • The best bows are made of Pernambuco Brazil wood
  • Make sure that the stick is straight and that the horsehair is in good condition
  • Always loosen the bow a few turns before putting it away in your case. releasing that tension will help your bow stay in its best condition


  • Your basic choice is between light and dark rosin
  • All rosin is melted down pine tree sap, the longer it cooks, the darker in color
  • Dark rosin is usually better for a climate with low humidity while light rosin is more suited for a high humidity climate
  • Make sure to use a clean dry cloth to wipe off any excess rosin powder that gets on the violin and the strings

Shoulder Rest

  • There are many shapes and styles of shoulder rests that attach to the violin to ease in comfort and playability
  • The main goal is to take up the space between the shoulder and the underside of the violin
  • Shoulder rests can be as simple as a foam pad and as complex as the Bon Musica which form fits to follow the curve of your shoulder and collar bone


  • Cases can be used or new, you just want to make sure that you have something that will protect your instrument
  • Whichever case you use, it is best if the interior of the case has a suspension system. A suspension case has built in cushions that keep the violin centered or “suspended” so that any impact to the instrument is less
  • Shaped cases (shaped like a violin) are usually lightweight and made with a foam core support and have a zipper closure
  • "Square" or oblong cases are sometimes a bit heavier but have more interior room for accessories such as rosin and shoulder rests. Oblong cases zip up as well as having a locking mechanism. They are usually made with a thin plywood shell with an outer cover that repels water and has a music pocket on the outside of the case
  • Fiberglass hard-shell cases are also available. These have 2 to 3 latches that close the case and are often not suspension cases


  • Polish and a polishing cloth are always good accessories, but they shouldn’t be used excessively, so they are not a necessity
  • A spare set of strings might be just the thing to have in case one breaks.
  • Mutes are used to lessen the vibrations of the string and quiet the sound. They range from concert mutes which take the sound down only a little bit, to practice mutes which quiet the sound enough to not disturb others around you