Talk

Advanced search

Grade 6 violin and beyond - how much did you pay for your child's instrument?

(30 Posts)
AgonyBeetle Fri 08-Jan-16 07:52:08

Am interested to know, because my child's teacher has just informed me that our current instrument (which is a Gliga Gama) is not good enough.

Any thoughts? The Gamas are very well reviewed, and I've had quite a few favourable comments from people who know what they are talkign about. They are a bit chunkier than most violins, but I think the sound is good.

Am I being unrealistic about how much it's necessary to spend to get a child beyond Grade VI? Child is 12, at good county youth orchestra standard, plays well and enjoys it, but not to the level that it's going to be a career.

disorganisedmummy Fri 08-Jan-16 09:02:43

I can't help I'm afraid but I would also be interested to know for my son. He is a bit younger at 9 and plays a 3/4 size but it's only a student violin (stentor). Ds also plays in 2 county orchestras and this is his passion. He wants to do GCSEs and A level music and go to Royal College Of Music. He is about to start working on grade 4. He turns 10 in the summer and I've been told he will probably need a full size violin by then and I will need to spend a fair bit which is fine but not really sure what I need to be looking for and would he need to upgrade again?
Thanks for reading.

ealingwestmum Fri 08-Jan-16 12:45:20

Hi, we bought our daughter a 1890s german school violin 2 years ago (she was then 10 yrs) when she was doing G6. We know she probably won't take music beyond HE level but is a strong violinist/scholar, and therefore was happy to pay £800. This was much cheaper than the main retail stockists (we bought from a local violin restorer/maker). He said it should take her through her senior years and he'd take it back at same price if and when we wanted to upgrade. I thought this was a good deal, and the sound from her instrument now gets lots of compliments. Added a new quality bow, but didn't stretch to the £800+ her then teacher was recommending...£400 paid on top, and took out insurance for the first time!

This was her 2nd 4/4 violin (she's tall), previous had a stentor which was great up to G4, but was advised to upgrade by her junior school for higher grades.

I know many do spend more, but thought this was ok for where her music career was at this stage...

Attached a link the the on-going music thread that is really well run by teachers/parents/musicians etc if you need any more advice. Hope it helps.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/extra_curricular_activities/2541092-New-Year-Music-and-Musicians-Thread

AgonyBeetle Fri 08-Jan-16 14:37:43

Ah, £800 would be within my pain threshold (the Gliga was £600 iirc), but her teacher has suggested we need to think in terms of £1500-2000, which is more than I really want to pay. The teacher has a couple of specialists she uses and recommends, so I don't think it's about finding a better deal elsewhere, I suspect those sellers will be offering a good deal but that's just how much she wants us to spend. [wince]

Her current is a full-size one, but she's only been playing full-size for about 6 months. We'd need to hang onto it anyway, because she takes a violin into school several times a week for orchestra and chamber group, and there's nfw I'm letting her take £2k's worth of violin into school on a regular basis.

ealingwestmum Fri 08-Jan-16 16:05:08

That's a decent budget Agony, and you should pick up a really nice one for that when you're ready to change.

Great point on theft - If I had the money and thought ahead, I would have kept one at school in the music locker as right now due to tube commute and lots of bags, the violin stays at school during the week (safely) and therefore never gets practiced on unless she makes it in for 7.30am (I know, wishful thinking). All because of after school club swimming where she'll get the violin lifted from the swim baths for sure...

ealingwestmum Fri 08-Jan-16 16:05:08

That's a decent budget Agony, and you should pick up a really nice one for that when you're ready to change.

Great point on theft - If I had the money and thought ahead, I would have kept one at school in the music locker as right now due to tube commute and lots of bags, the violin stays at school during the week (safely) and therefore never gets practiced on unless she makes it in for 7.30am (I know, wishful thinking). All because of after school club swimming where she'll get the violin lifted from the swim baths for sure...

ealingwestmum Fri 08-Jan-16 16:07:23

That's a decent budget Agony, and you should pick up a really nice one for that when you're ready to change.

Great point on theft - If I had the money and thought ahead, I would have kept one at school in the music locker as right now due to tube commute and lots of bags, the violin stays at school during the week (safely) and therefore never gets practiced on unless she makes it in for 7.30am (I know, wishful thinking). All because of after school club swimming where she'll get the violin lifted from the swim baths for sure...

ealingwestmum Fri 08-Jan-16 16:10:34

aargh! sorry blush

Pradaqueen Fri 08-Jan-16 17:10:30

Also watching with interest...DD (9) is very tiny for her age and is using a 1/2 Stentor Conservatoire which she got this time last year. She has just passed the Gd3 really well in December and is now doing her Gd 5 this term but her new Russian Violinist teacher (who we only started with in July) is in a different league of teaching/Knowledge etc and is pushing for us to invest in a better instrument (fair enough). She has tried DD with an 18thC 3/4 violin that one of her other students has outgrown and is a 'slim' one but it was slightly too big and the sound not that much better so I think we will be off to her teachers recommended places of Stringers in London and Woodbridge Violins and likely to end up in the £1500-1800 camp.... :-( she does want to go to the RCM or Guildhall so I am happy to invest to help her get there. Happy to hear of any reviews of these places or any other places to go and visit if anyone has any opinions?

Lancelottie Fri 08-Jan-16 17:18:31

Just be glad they don't play tuba.
A grade 8 standard one of those can set you back £8000.

disorganisedmummy Fri 08-Jan-16 17:27:22

Bloody hell,I was expecting to pay about £500 for a decent violin. Am I being unrealistic? Would we need to upgrade and then upgrade again? Pradaqueen,my ds like your dd wants to go all the way so happy to invest and very well done to her for passing grade 3. It's interesting that she's skipped to grade 5. Ds doesn't t want to do the exams at the mo as he has Aspergers and gets very stressed but is working through the books with his teacher along with other stuff to expand his repertoire Sorry to hijack your thread Agony. blush.

ealingwestmum Fri 08-Jan-16 18:00:23

wow Lancelottie. That's an awesome cost investment! shock

NewLife4Me Fri 08-Jan-16 18:08:42

My dd has been gifted an old bavarian violin with a full history of it's origins.
We have recently insured it for 15k and she doesn't play anymore.
I couldn't sell it, but it sits here in an old case waiting for her to play sad she really doesn't have the time though.

NewLife4Me Fri 08-Jan-16 18:12:17

Prada and disorganised

Come and chat on the music thread, there's lots of us on there and so many helpful friendly advice too.

GeoffreysGoat Fri 08-Jan-16 18:18:56

Set a budget then go to somewhere like Hamilton Caswell for a day of playing everything that you can afford

AgonyBeetle Fri 08-Jan-16 18:31:35

Yikes at the £8k tuba! shock I am currently thanking my lucky stars she plays violin rather than cello, as I suspect you'd have to triple the violin budget to get an equivalent cello...

Disorganised - we've had good experience with the gliga ones, they are the £500 kind of price bracket. The company that import them in the UK are called Elida trading - they are lovely, will chat to you about what you need adn will send the instruments out on approval, so your teacher can say yay or nay. Up to G6 I think they are fine, much better than most of the competition.

But clearly now it's time for an upgrade. Sigh. No doubt we will go to the dealer the teacher recommends, and dd will try out everythign in the price bracket and fall in love with one, so I will have to buy it for her. She is my youngest, so I can't even flog a spare child on ebay to offset the cost. confused

disorganisedmummy Fri 08-Jan-16 18:38:13

Thanks for the info Agony. Is it the norm to upgrade and then upgrade again for the top grades and then college?

Pradaqueen Fri 08-Jan-16 19:12:58

shock at the Tuba! Can anyone recommend stringers as a reputable source? I need to be thinking about biting the bullet... Agony - can you ebay your DP instead? grin

Disorganised - I've joined the musician thread smile so see you there!

Icouldbeknitting Sat 09-Jan-16 09:43:01

For parents with children in state schools can I flag up the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme. If it's a portable instrument that they play in a school or local authority ensemble or they have lessons at school from a LEA teacher then you can get the instrument VAT free.

Helenluvsrob Sat 09-Jan-16 09:47:44

Lancelotte beat me too it. 2.5k for a respectable French horn here ! Which he then left on the bus.

I did suggest if he ever did it again an ear ring with a chair to clip to the horn so he couldn't forget it !

Icouldbeknitting Sat 09-Jan-16 11:23:04

I'll see you your french horn left on the bus and raise you a euphonium left on the bus (4.5k). When we insured it we made sure that they knew it was in sole possession of a (then) 11 year old and that it went to school on the bus once a week. We were lucky that it was a dedicated school bus so when the driver got back to the garage he knew which school it belonged to and as there was only one child in school with a sizeable instrument I was quickly tracked down.

After that I fastened on a luggage label with my phone number on it but he never did it again. He didn't forget it - he was swept up in the exiting horde and the doors shut before he could get back on. Well that's all right then.

Lancelottie Sat 09-Jan-16 12:58:16

Don't worry,we haven't actually paid for the tuba, it belongs to the local youth orchestra but I found out how much it cost when I had to insure it.

ealingwestmum Sat 09-Jan-16 18:09:43

Gives me hope hearing stories of returned stuff from well meaning drivers.

Makes me shudder thinking of the £2.5M stradivarius last week left on a train...but ended well like the french horn grin

howabout Wed 13-Jan-16 14:59:25

My DD (working towards grade 7) borrows my violin but didn't want me to spend too much on one for her which she would be taking about and leaving in school. Hers cost £250 for the entire outfit and now her technique is more solid she can make it sound great. A good instrument can cover up bad playing a bit but a good player can make a decent student model sound good. Don't compromise on good strings though.

On the VAT scheme bear in mind VAT only applies to new instruments and you will probably get a better instrument second hand. Highly recommend finding a good dealer and trying things out (make sure the bow is well rosined when trying out) as different instruments suit different people.

kippersyllabub Wed 13-Jan-16 19:02:47

Smug vibes here: recorder suitable for grade 6 and 7 set us back £70 new...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now