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Hi there,

I'm a professional musician and piano teacher. And though I am no string player, I have to second Miranda's post. Any musical instrument bought for $30 will not have the sound necessary to learn on. You are far better to rent, than to waste $30 on such an instrument.

When people ask me about pianos for young children, I tell them that if they want to wait to see if their child will like piano first, go buy a cheap keyboard from Costco, then in a year you can think about investing in a real or good digital piano. However you cannot compare piano to string instruments. For piano, the first things you learn is about the keys, about where your fingers go etc... You don't learn about creating good tone for years.

On the Violin, you have to learn to develop the ear right away, and to create good tone.... so you need an instrument that can do this.

I will put my daughter in Suzuki violin in a year or so. There are two programs here. One through a local community college and another through a music conservatory.

I second the opinion of a pp who said find a good teacher. It's good to meet with a teacher. I know for piano in any case, there are all types of teachers, and all different abilities. There are many piano teachers who can barely play themselves, let alone teach. Each music teacher has his own way of teaching and philosophy on how music is taught. Some are very strict, some are not.

Personally my philosophy is that with children at a young age, the prime importance is to make music enjoyable. Not to create a trained monkey.

So interview your music teacher, make sure your child likes him/her, most especially if this is to be a private lesson.

I have seen children in the Suzuki method in some of the conservatories I've taught in and think it's a great way of teaching music to young children.
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