FINDING AN INSTRUMENT
Finding the Right Size for You
Unlike woodwind and brass instruments, violins can be built in child-size versions while still being tuned like the adult size. Violas and cellos also come in smaller versions.
Before spending any money on any instrument, be sure to get measured for an instrument of the correct size. Your teacher will be able to make such a measurement.
Violins and cellos use "fraction" units for size, so your teacher will say you need a "1/4-size" violin or a "3/4-size" cello and so on. For both violins and cellos, the "adult" size is called a "4/4-size" or "full-size" instrument.
Violas, confusingly, use "inch" units for size. However, beginning students on viola usually use a violin that's been strung with viola strings. Such an instrument is still called a viola, and its size is still measured in inches.
Once you've been measured for the correct size, your teacher will make a recommendation about renting versus buying, and about finding an instrument that fits your family's budget.