Can my child get away with playing on a too-big violin?

Sometimes it might be tempting to get your child a violin that is a bit too big so that they can grow into it. While this may save money in the short term, it can cause problems in their long-term playing.

If a violin is too big, a child’s left arm will need to be straighter, and their fingers will need to be unnaturally far apart. This makes it more difficult to play in tune and creates unnecessary work for the fingers. Additionally, their bow needs to be placed further away, as the bridge is further away from their body than it would be on a smaller instrument. This means that the child will end up either pushing their right shoulder forward in order to bow straight, or just bow crookedly as it’s too difficult for them to push their arm so far forward.

A too-big violin can also be too heavy for your child. Trying to hold it up for such long periods of time can cause muscle strain in the shoulder, arm and neck. Therefore, a student may start to slouch to try and be more comfortable. This slouched posture then lasts after the child has grown into the violin and can be hard to undo.

If you think your child’s instrument might be too big for them, check with their teacher! It’s always best to be playing on the correctly sized instrument.