Appassionato Musical Instruments

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How to choose the right size VIOLIN or VIOLA


Student model 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 Size                             Arm Length*                           Student Age

4/4 (Full Size)                                23”                                  12 year and older

3/4                                                  22”                                   10-11 years old

1/2                                                   20”                                  8-9 years old

1/4                                                   18.5”                                6-7 years old


Viola Size                                Arm Length                           Student Age

16 Inch                                           26.5”                               12 year and older

15 Inch                                           25.5”                               10-11 years old

14 Inch                                           24”                                   8-9 years old

13 Inch                                           23”                                   6-7 years old

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




How to choose the right size CELLO or DOUBLE BASS


For Cello and Bass we suggest using the Age Chart below if your child is of normal height and weight. If the child is larger or smaller than normal for their age, simply compare them to that which is considered normal for their age group.


Cello or Bass Size                            Student Age

4/4 (Full Size)                                    12 years and older

3/4                                                       8-11 years old

1/2                                                       6-8 years old

1/4                                                       3-5 years old

* Note: Typically a 3/4 or 7/8 size Double Bass is considered full size.

** This information is courtesy of Baylor University