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How To Choose The Right Size Violin or Viola

Student quality string instruments come in a number of different sizes so that instruction may be introduced at any age (or size!).

The arm length chart below is used when measuring from the side of the neck to the middle of the palm when the arm is extended out to the side. It will often yield the most accurate results but the age chart can be used to confirm the results found with the arm length chart

The charts below show instrument recommendations for a given arm length measurement for a child of average height for their age. Your child’s own height should be taken into consideration when using this table as a guide.

If in doubt, it is usually better to get a smaller size as the instrument will be easier to play.

Violin Chart

Violin Size Arm Length* Student Age
4/4 (Full Size) 23” 12 year and older
3/4 22" 10-11
1/2 20” 8-9
1/4 18.5” 6-7

 

Viola Chart

Viola Size Arm Length* Student Age
16 Inch 26.5” 12 year and older
15 Inch 25.5” 10-11
14 Inch 24” 8-9
13 Inch 23” 6-7

 

* Measurement from the side of the neck to the middle of the palm when the arm is extended