Best Violin for Beginners & Students: Our Top 10 Picks for 2021

student violin

This is our review of the best beginner violins in 2021.

Commitment, dedication, and hours of practice are the formula for becoming a successful violin player.

But even the most dedicated student needs a quality & high performing instrument on which to practice.

As a beginning violin player you want to start off with an instrument that will aide in your development without spending a fortune.

After comparing multiple options, conducting hours of research, and getting feedback from both students & violin instructors I recommend the Cecilio CVN-300 Solid Wood Violin – Complete Beginners Kit as the best violin for beginners & students.

This kit has everything you or your child need to get started with violin and comes at a reasonable price.

Of course there are countless other great beginner violins for sale with prices ranging from surprisingly affordable to shockingly expensive.

We’ll take a closer look at our top choice, plus 9 other solid options beginner violin recommendations.

Let’s get started!

2021 Beginner & Student Violin Reviews

Best Overall: Cecilio CVN-300 Ebony Solidwood Violin (4/4 Full Size)

Featuring high-quality D’Addario Prelude strings, this model and can be used for intermediate as well as entry-level users.

The violin comes with everything a first-timer would need to start learning music including a case, 2 bows with unbleached Mongolian horsehair, a tuner, rosin cake, and adjustable shoulder rest, and a bridge.

With these accessories, I believe that any student can use it comfortably. However, you won’t receive an extra set of strings so you’ll need to buy those if you need a change.

Its body is made of carved solid wood that is durable enough to withstand everyday use. The full size is still a bit heavier than other models so that is one factor to be aware of.

The combination of maple back and spruce sides offers the perfect aesthetics and sound quality that will help you improve your playing skills. The wood offers great resonance and tone so it’s suitable for rich and deep music and provides excellent responsiveness.

What We Like:

  • Budget-friendly violin with high-quality strings
  • Comes with all the accessories needed to get started
  • Hand-carved wood that provides outstanding sound quality
  • Soft & responsive feel

Best Tone: Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit

You’re going to fall in love with this violin thanks to its luxurious finish. It’s available in 4 different sizes and comes with a lightweight foam-lined case. There are four holders to hold the bow, in addition to a hygrometer.

It’s made of a solid maple body and hand-crafted spruce. The narrow-grained spruce looks expensive and has extraordinary tonal properties.

The hand-applied varnish makes it look more luxurious. It’s shaded to give the look of a vintage violin. It features Prelude strings for the best sound quality. This is a lightweight and low-profile violin that you can carry for long training sessions.

In addition to the ebony fingerboard, there’s a composite tailpiece that allows for easy tuning. I believe that even a beginner can do the job easily, so it’s an excellent choice for lessons.

However, a rookie might accidentally pop the bridge so tuning should be done under the supervision of a teacher or an adult.

The humidity affects the quality of the strings and they should be replaced after a while.

What We Like:

  • A vintage-style violin with a luxurious look.
  • Made of narrow-grained spruce wood for the best tonal qualities.
  • Lightweight violin for longer training sessions.
  • Composite tailpiece for fine-tuning.

Best Value: Mendini 1-Piece Solid Wood Violin with Case

This is recommended by teachers for adults and teens who are still starting the journey with the violin. It combines high quality with exceptional performance in a reasonably priced instrument.

At first glance, you might think that this is an expensive violin because of its look. It’s made of a one-piece of flamed solid maple wood that enhances its durability. The top is made of hand-carved spruce wood that gives this violin a distinctive look.

It comes with all the needed accessories that you’ll need as a beginner, including the bow, case, shoulder rest, bridge, tuner, rosin cake, and strings. For the price you pay, this is considered to be excellent value for money.

There are other sizes available from this Mendini violin so you can easily pick one for younger students until they’re able to advance to the full-size one. Adjusting it is quite easy as you can find the instructions online.

Read More: Mendini Violin Reviews: An In Depth Look

However, you shouldn’t expect the strings to last for long. As you get more advanced you’ll likely to have the whole set changed.

What We Like:

  • Well-made violin made of maple and spruce wood.
  • Comes in various sizes to suit kids, teens, and adult users.
  • Attractive design for an affordable price.
  • Arrives with lots of useful accessories.
  • Easy to tune and adjust.

Best Violin For Adult Beginner: Stentor Full Size 4-String Violin

This full-size violin has ebony fittings, a solid maple back, and is hand-crafted from spruce wood. The strings are very sensitive and responsive so they’ll enable you to improve your level as a violinist.

The rich reddish-brown color resembles the color of the most expensive models designed for professionals. Nevertheless, it’s more expensive than some of the violins designed for students.

It’s a very lightweight violin so I believe it’s one of the best that you can use for long training sessions. It also comes with a chinrest to reduce discomfort. The horsehair bow allows you to produce the richest sounds.

You’ll receive an oblong case with an instrument blanket and shoulder rest compartment. However, you won’t receive the other necessary accessories like a tuner that will help you play your music comfortably.

Read More: 2021 Stentor Violin Reviews

One negative to note, you won’t get an extra set of strings so you’ll need to pay for them later on.

What We Like:

  • High-quality violin made of hand-crafted wood.
  • Lightweight violin that doesn’t strain you during long practice sessions.
  • Responsive strings and bow.
  • Comes with an oblong case and instrument blanket for storage.
  • Chinrest to reduce discomfort.

Kennedy Violins Louis Carpini G2 Violin with Case & Accessories

At a higher price, this violin comes from Kennedy Violins’ professionals. It’s ready to use right of the box, so you can get started with your lessons. It’s a rather older violin, but it’s quite popular among enthusiastic violinists who can spot and appreciate high-quality.

Most beginners and hobbyists won’t hesitate to pay the price of this violin knowing that it will last for long. It features a reddish-brown finish that adds to its richness, in addition to high-quality varnish that protects it from scratches.

It has high-flamed maple back and hand-carved maple bridge. The fingerboard, chinrest, and pegs are made of ebony wood and the bow is made of Mongolian horsehair, featuring a comfortable leather grip.

Unlike other models, the quality of the sound won’t be affected by the layers of varnish. It’s oil-based and hand-applied giving your violin a distinctive feel that matches the ones designed for pro violinists.

I think this is a good choice for violinists who prefer upbeat and happy music. It comes with a set of strings made by D’Addario. You’ll receive an extra set of strings, bow rosin, and a case to help you carry it to class comfortably.

However, this violin doesn’t come with shoulder rest, so you won’t be able to use it comfortably unless you attach one. At the price range, this is definitely disappointing as you’ll have to pay for it separately.

What We Like:

  • Hand-carved violin with a luxurious finish.
  • High-quality bow for better responsiveness.
  • Suitable for upbeat tunes.
  • Sound quality isn’t diminished due to the layers of varnish.

Bunnel Pupil Student Violin Outfit

This one is specifically designed for younger learners as it doesn’t come in full size. It’s ready to use right out of the box, so it doesn’t need any adjustment or assembly.

It’s handcrafted from maple and spruce wood so it combines high-quality with impressive sound. The oil finish on the violin adds to its value and makes the sound a lot richer.

With your violin, you’ll receive a bow made of Brazilwood, a case, rosin, and a set of D’Addario Prelude strings.

Tuning this violin is easy because it’s designed for entry-level users. The bow is made of Mongolian horsehair to produce the best sounds. However, this violin is a bit heavier given its size.

The case can be used to carry notes, but the face is a bit heavier so the case might tip over.

The bow feels a bit heavier than others on the market, so you a young learner might need some time until they can use it properly.

What We Like:

  • Designed for younger learners.
  • Well-made and hand-crafted with a rich oil finish.
  • Comes with lots of useful accessories.
  • Can be easily tuned.

D Z Strad Model 101 Violin

If you’re considering the best violin for entry-level violinists, I recommend that you take look at this one. It’s not suitable for intermediate violinists but works for first-timers. The top is made of carved spruce wood while the back and sides are made of maple wood.

It’s available in several sizes so you can choose the right one for the student. However, the sound quality isn’t as impressive as what you’d get from more advanced violins. It comes with rosin, bow, and a carry case but you won’t receive an extra set of strings. This is a bit frustrating given the price of the violin.

Using this during lessons will keep you motivated because it’s responsive. It’s lightweight so it won’t affect your performance during long training sessions.

Adjusting the strings is easy thanks to the well-made tailpiece. However, there are other violins that provide better sound quality given the price of this one.

What We Like

  • Excellent entry-level violin.
  • Made of high-quality wood.
  • Comes with some accessories.
  • Responsive strings.
  • Lightweight design.

Costzon Full Size Solid Wood Violin for Beginners

This violin from Costzon is considered to be the perfect gift for anyone interested in playing the violin. It’s quite affordable and made of natural hardwood. It’s an excellent value for money because it comes with several useful accessories.

The violin comes in the full size that suits teens and adults. The transparent finish maintains its conditions for years so it’s a good investment in spite of its budget-friendly price. The wood feels smooth and the texture is visible, just like violins that cost 10 folds the price of this one.

In addition to the aesthetic value, the sound is amazing thanks to the hand-carved head of the violin. The contact point between the violin code and the surface won’t collapse in the middle of a concert.

It features good strings that will allow you to experiment with different melodies. However, they might not be of the same quality that you can find on other expensive models. This violin comes with a case, bow, rosin, and horse bridge. But you should understand that it’s not as durable as the more expensive ones.

What We Like:

  • Budget-friendly violin for first-timers.
  • Transparent finish to maintain the status of the hardwood.
  • Hand-carved head for the best sound quality.
  • Includes beginner friendly accessories

SKY Full Size Solid Maple Wood Violin (Model SKYVN201)

This violin comes in several sizes and three different finishes to suit every taste. It’s a good choice for beginner violinists but not for more advanced users. It’s affordable and comes with several accessories so it’s good value for money.

You’ll receive a high-quality and lightweight triangular case, a bow made of horsehair, and a shoulder rest to make you more comfortable. The steel strings can be easily fine-tuned. However, I wouldn’t recommend this violin to an intermediate-level violinist who needs a better sound quality.

For practice reasons, you’ll receive a rubber practice mute, shoulder rest, and rosin so you can enjoy the best sound quality. The case is also rain-proof to guarantee that your violin will be safe if you’re carrying it around.

The bridge might not be of the best quality and the strings can accidentally cut easily. You won’t receive another set of strings.

What We Like

  • Suitable for beginners.
  • Comes in three finishes and different sizes for all learners.
  • Lightweight and rain-proof case.
  • Comes with a rubber practice mute.
  • Can be easily adjusted.

Cecilio CVN-EAV+SR Full Size Violin

This violin from Cecilio is recommended for intermediate as well as entry-level students because it’s made of rugged spruce wood. This is a full-size violin so you should look for something else if you’re buying it for a young kid.

Nevertheless, it’s one of the top choices for teens and adults. It comes in 2 finishes, and both add a sense of luxury to the high-quality and well-made violin. The antique finish guarantees richer sounds while the satin finish allows for warmer and mellower sounds.

It features 4 nickel-plated tuners, besides the chinrest, fingerboard, and pegs. These parts are made of ebony wood. It comes in a high-quality oblong hard case and features a well-made bow and rosin. One of the best features of this violin is that you can easily adjust the shoulder rest thanks to the rubber feet.

The thing that I don’t like about this violin is that the strings aren’t of the best quality. The violin itself isn’t that durable so you should look for something else if you need something that would last for years.

What We Like

  • Solid spruce top.
  • Rich antique finish for vibrant sounds and satin finish for warmer and mellower sounds.
  • Adjustable shoulder rest for more comfort.
  • Comes with useful accessories.
  • Can be easily fine-tuned.

Beginner Violin Buying Guide

There are a few differences between the violins designed to suit all three levels of experience; beginner, intermediate, and expert.

Beginner

You might automatically think of these violins as low-quality and cheaply made. But this is not true, at least nowadays.

In the past, people didn’t think much about the quality of the violin unless they’re getting more serious and professional. However, today you can find many well-made products that are designed to target beginners.

These are usually less expensive than the ones made for intermediate and expert users, but they’re still well-made to withstand everyday use. Some students would be passionate about learning the violin, and then decide later on that this is not what they want to do, so you shouldn’t buy an expensive violin.

A good violin should be easy to carry, allowing the student to focus on reading the notes and playing the tunes. This will probably be the first one to buy so you can advance to a better one as your level of experience increases.

Intermediate

These violins are made for users who decided to take their violin lessons more seriously. If you’ve been practicing for a year or two, then it’s probably time to add one of those to your kit.

The main difference between intermediate-level and beginner-level violins is that they’re made of high-quality wood and strings. They’re still mass-produced just like entry-level violins but they’re designed to last a little bit longer.

Most of these models will have maple finish and would be checked by a professional violinist before being sold. You can use this violin several years because it’s well-made and will help you learn and improve your skills. It will also cost more than an entry-level instrument.

Expert

These violins are designed for graduates and professional performers who are no longer learning. They’re playing their music in shows to demonstrate their talent and character while playing their music.

These tend to be the most expensive types on the market. They’re not mass produced but each one of them is hand-fitted to guarantee exceptional quality. A violinist will enjoy the company of his favorite instrument for years because it’s designed to last for long.

It’s not recommended that you go for these expensive models if you’re not a professional violinist. It will put an unnecessary strain on your budget, and you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.

Factors To Consider When Buying Your First Violin

As a beginner, it’s helpful to have a list of the factors that will help you choose the right violins. Here are some things to think about before making a purchase.

Price Range

Setting a budget acts as a guideline so you can focus on products that fall within the price range you’ve specified. As a beginner, you don’t want to spend a huge sum of money on an instrument that you might not use much later on.

In some cases, you’ll have to buy some accessories separately. If they’re not included with your violin, you should add their costs to the price you pay.

Sound

Each violin, even the ones designed for students, has its distinctive sound. Some models are more suitable for uplifting and cheerful tunes, while others will provide more sentimental and richer ones.

Thinking about the genres that you’re likely to play will help you decide on the right violin to pick. Remember that you’ll probably use your violin for a couple of years, so you should make sure that it suits your music style.

Size

A regular 4/4 violin is probably one that you should go for as an adult. It’s quite easy to control and will help you get started with your lessons fast. There are lots of available options on the market that you can browse to find one that suits you.

For younger students, you might need to get a smaller violin. This will be easier to carry and control so they can focus on learning music. Here is a guide to help you decide on the right size for all users.

  • Less than 6 years old: 16”- 1/8 sized violin.
  • 6 to 8years old: 18”- 1/4 sized violin.
  • 8 to 10 years old: 20”- 1/2 sized violin.
  • 10 to 11 years old: 22”- 3/4 sized violin.
  • More than 12 years old: 23”- 4/4 sized violin.

Comfort

This is extremely important because if you’re unable to hold your violin comfortably, you won’t be able to play music. Make sure that your violin has a good grip so it doesn’t accidentally fall and break.

You should also buy a violin with a good rest. This will prevent shoulder pain and bruises.

Read More: Violin Shoulder Rest Reviews

This kind of pain might discourage any enthusiastic student from continuing their lessons because the violin is extremely uncomfortable to use. Investing in a good one will have a huge impact on your future as an aspiring violinist.

Wood

The kind of wood used to make the violin affects sound nature and quality. Maple and spruce solid wood are the most popular types, producing rich and deep tones.

In most cases, the back and ribs of the violin will be made of maple wood, while the spruce wood will be used for linings and top part. The fingerboard is usually made of ebony wood, while the bow will have a wooden part made of Brazilwood.

Strings

Most of the good violins will feature strings made by the biggest names in the industry. However, some companies will make their own good strings, offering more budget-friendly models. Make sure that the pegs on the violin aren’t loose and the strings are tuned properly.

As you get better, you might want to change some of the strings on your violin before going for a pro model. This will help you identify the right set of strings that suits your style as a musician.

Extra Features

Violins, especially the ones designed for first-timers, might come with some accessories that can make the life of a student much easier like an extra bow.

In some cases, you might receive an extra set of strings, a tuner to help you adjust the strings, and an extra bridge. You might also find a learning guide.

Some people even start out with an electric violin, but we typically recommend that most students, especially those in a school orchestra, go with a traditional model.

Conclusion

After reading these reviews, you’ve probably realized that finding the best violin for students & beginners is a matter of personal choice.

I think that the Cecilio CVN-300 is an excellent choice. It’s good value for money and comes with all of the necessary accessories. Moreover, it will be good enough to use as you advance and become better.

You’ll need to think about the features of every violin so you can pick the one that you prefer. Choosing your first violin is a very exciting experience and will help you improve your skills.