October 19, 2015
When Is it Time to Upgrade from a Student to an Intermediate Violin?
If your child has been learning to play the violin using a student or beginner model for some time, you may be wondering if it’s the right time to upgrade to an intermediate violin. Before you make that purchase, however, there are several things for you to consider. First, is your child ready to upgrade from a student to an intermediate violin? Second, is it necessary for your child to upgrade at this time? In other words, what are the benefits you hope to gain by upgrading? Third, does your child’s music teacher think it’s the right time to upgrade? If so, does your child’s music teacher have any recommendations or input about which violin your child should upgrade to? Finally, how much do intermediate violins cost? It’s important to understand what options you have, as well. In this article, we’ll address each of these elements so that you have a full understanding before you make the decision to buy an intermediate violin for your child.
Is Your Child Ready?
This is the most important thing to consider before purchasing a new musical instrument for a child. Unfortunately, there is no set amount of time between when you purchase your child a student or beginner violin and when you should purchase an intermediate model. It all depends on your child’s dedication to learning, their proficiency with the instrument, and their interest. If your child is practicing as often as they should be, and consistently getting better, you might start thinking about upgrading. Before rushing out to do so, however, it might be wiser to start saving at this point. If your child is demonstrating a high level of proficiency with the violin, that is an excellent sign that at some point, sooner or later, they may require an intermediate violin to continue their musical development.
Finally, if your child has expressed and demonstrated a real interest in continuing to play the violin, then you may be well-advised to start thinking about an upgrade. On the other hand, if any of these things is not true, if your child doesn’t appear to be dedicated, proficient, or interested, it might be a better idea to hold off. One thing that parents often forget is that they should be having open and honest conversations with their children about their musical development rather than assigning them an instrument. Success with a musical instrument, especially the kind that with dictate whether the instrument becomes a lifelong passion for your child, depends on their dedication, proficiency, and interest. It’s also good for parents to remember that, if your child hasn’t found their passion for the violin, there are many other instruments for them to explore their musical abilities with. It’s a mistake to think that, just because your child has invested time into learning the violin, it’s the instrument they’re stuck with. The best way to know if it’s time for your child to upgrade from a student to an intermediate violin is to take an honest measurement of their readiness by considering their dedication, proficiency, and interest.
Is It Necessary to Upgrade Now?
The next question parents need to ask themselves when considering whether to upgrade from a student to an intermediate violin is “when is the right time?” Just because your child has demonstrated dedication, proficiency, and interest doesn’t mean they need to be holding a new violin tomorrow. Upgrading only becomes necessary when the quality of their current model is impeding their development. Once your child has demonstrated their readiness, start putting a little money away for an intermediate violin, so that when the time finally comes to upgrade, you’ll be able to afford it. Aside from the obvious, one of the main benefits of saving this way is that if your child changes his or her mind about their interest or dedication to the violin, you’ll have some money available to enable them to explore other instruments. Considering the timing of an upgrade is the smart way to go.
We’d be remiss, though, if we didn’t acknowledge that sometimes circumstances get the best of us. Say, for example, that you believe your child is ready for an upgrade and so you’ve started to save. One day, something happens and your child’s student violin breaks. You’re now faced with the choice to pay to have it repaired, or spring for the upgrade before you were planning to make it. What should you do? Well, that brings us to the next element to consider before upgrading: talking to your child’s music teacher.
Talk to Your Child’s Music Teacher
You should not purchase a new instrument for your child without discussing it first with your child’s music teacher. Only your child’s teacher has a proper understanding of your child’s musical development. For this reason, the music teacher’s opinion should be the deciding factor. If your child’s music teacher believes it’s unnecessary, they will tell you so. If, on the other hand, they believe that your child has reached the point where an upgrade would be beneficial, then you know it’s time to make the purchase. Music teachers are an invaluable resource, as they have the best understanding of your child’s abilities. They can also tell you which intermediate violin they think will suit your child best. This will save you from overspending or underspending, and will ensure your child gets what he or she needs to continue to grow.
The Cost of an Intermediate Violin
If intermediate violins were a dime a dozen, then this decision wouldn’t require so much consideration. The reason to take so much time to consider and prepare for an upgrade to an intermediate violin is that they can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Most people can’t afford to make such a serious investment on a whim, which is why it’s best to have a full understanding of your child’s relationship with the instrument. Fortunately, some violin manufacturers have interest-free payment plans and trade-in options available. Still, it’s best to save up so that the cost isn’t as heavy as it otherwise would be.
When considering the best time to switch from a student to an intermediate violin, remember: it’s best to know that your child is ready, the time is right, your child’s music teacher agrees, and that you can comfortably afford to make the purchase.