FAQ

Antonio Strad Violin offers the most competitive, convenient, affordable and high quality orchestral rentals in the state of Texas. We designed our rental program to grow with you and your student, allowing you to prepare for the future as a progressing musician.
How do I choose the right Instrument for my child?
Our Studio models are ideal for students that have never before played an instrument. We professionally adjust our beginner models to help achieve a more orchestral sound (meaning fuller and louder) in an effort to help the student develop their ear faster. One of the benefits of our rental program is the ability to upgrade at any time, so if unsure about playing long-term and 10 years old, renting is a good option.

The better quality instrument, the easier it is to learn and develop. Often a child becomes unhappy with their instrument, primarily because of its sound quality. If your child has more than a year experience, consider one of our Standard models.

Regardless of experience, the better the instrument, the better the chances are a student can fully realize their potential. Our Standard+ models are essential for someone with more than several years experience, such as a middle or high-school student. Our advanced models are more responsive and have a bigger sound, warmer tones and high quality woods. Our rental program allows the parent to continually upgrade while earning credit and minimize the out-of-pocket expenses when looking to buy an advanced instrument.
Why rent an instrument?
Renting reduces financial risk by investing only a small monthly fee for a top-quality instrument. If the student does not show long-term interest, renting eliminates the possible burden of paying the complete price for an instrument and trying to sell it when it is not being used anymore.

Under our unique rental program, students may upgrade to a larger or better instrument as often as necessary. 100% of rental fees (excluding the Protection Plan and Tax) may be applied to the purchase of a higher quality instrument at any time. Renting from Antonio Strad Violin allows you to leverage your rental payments for a more advanced instrument without a high out-of-pocket expense.
Why rent from Antonio Strad Violin?
• We professionally shop adjust all our instruments in San Antonio, Texas for fast learning and better development.
• We install ebony fingerboards on all our student-level instruments and plane them to exacting specifications, making it easier to play in tune.
• We use only name brand strings, like Pro Arte, Helicore, and Dominant for a richer, more responsive experience.
• We hand-carve every bridge: the feet to match the face of the instrument and the curve to offset string thickness for ease of finer movement.
• We install ebony pegs and teacher approved tailpieces so instruments are easily tuned—and stay that way.
• All bows are equipped with real horse hair.
• New or used, all student instrument outfits are guaranteed to be in excellent playing condition.
• Instruments come with a full year warranty against defects in craftsmanship.
• We have a vast selection from which to choose.
• Earn up to 120% credit that can be applied towards your purchase of an instrument.
My child is a beginner. Shouldn’t I buy a cheap Instrument elsewhere?
You can find cheap violins and other string instruments on the internet, at flea markets or even in some music stores. They are cheap because they are made by unskilled workers instead of highly trained professional luthiers. Such instruments are often made from unseasoned, poor quality wood or a laminate wood (which is essentially plywood). As a result, these instruments are hard to tune, hard to play and sound bad. The frustrations of playing an inferior instrument often lead to a lack of interest in playing and in most cases the cost of suitable replacement parts may be higher than the cost of the cheap instrument itself.

It takes much less time and effort to make progress on a good instrument. Your child’s success depends on it, along with good teaching, efficient practice and parent encouragement. It requires a serious effort to produce a beautiful sound on a stringed instrument.We want your student to be successful. We select, prepare and adjust each instrument according to professional standards while keeping the cost to our customers low. These quality instruments are much easier to learn to play and we stand behind our instruments with unmatched customer service.

Still not keen on renting? Ask about our sale prices. You will be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable buying a quality instrument can be.
What should I know about Instrument quality?
Spruce wood is used for the top of the instrument, maple for the back, sides and neck, and natural ebony fittings are the most common materials for the violin family of instruments. Many instruments on the market are NOT made with these special woods and are nothing more than violin imitations. Even with the right kinds of wood, a real violin can be only be made by a highly-trained maker, called a luthier, who possesses special knowledge and skills. The surface of the fingerboard, the height of both bridge/nut and the arch of the bridge are all crucial in the construction of a quality instrument. A fine quality instrument can improve your playing significantly.

Higher quality instruments are being made today by skilled artisans, exhibiting unique craftsmanship in the art of making quality string instruments. These superb artists and craftsmen pay careful attention to every detail, requiring hundred of hours to create an instrument. They put their names on the labels inside violins. Instruments like these can be quite expensive.

Here at Antonio Strad Violin, you will find new and used, quality instruments from the best workshops in Europe and China. Gold-medal winning (in international competitions) Chinese makers are producing string instruments exclusively for us. We also carry contemporary and older fine instruments from around the world, which are standard for competitions, scholarship auditions and professional performances.
Should I continue to rent through the summer?
Yes, for two very important reasons.

First, private lessons in the summer can provide both the novice and experienced musicians with opportunities for personal advancement. When school is out, students usually have more time and energy to devote to practice. In addition, many universities, some school districts, and the San Antonio Youth Orchestras offer orchestra summer camps which combine recreation with an intense orchestra agenda, including chamber music and private tutoring from campus faculty members. The more you practice, the better you play and the more you enjoy the music. The summer break is too long to go without playing, especially if you want to be a skilled player and be competitive in the school's orchestra.

Second, as you continue to practice through the summer on your rental instrument, you continue to accumulate rental credit towards the purchase of a larger or better quality instrument. If you stop renting in the summer, the rental credit already earned is lost. Then in the fall you have to start over again.
Where can I find a private instructor?
Antonio Strad Violin offers private lessons for students of all playing level. Lessons are a wonderful way of supplementing your child's current musical curriculum and allows one-on-one time with students who might prefer a more personal setting.

Click Here to read more about our Lesson programs and instructors.
What happens if my rental instrument is accidentally damaged?
Under our worry-free protection plan (usually already included in your monthly payment), accidental damage, loss in fire, and forced theft is covered with no deductible.

If you suspect or know your instrument rental is damaged, bring it in for repair. Our system will automatically assign a 4-5 day lead time for all repairs, however, for a nominal fee we offer same and next day rush services as well.

Knowing your instrument is covered gives you the peace-of-mind to nurture and encourage practicing and playing often.


1. Rental Info 
Antonio Strad Violin offers you the convenience of renting online. Simply choose your instrument rental below and fill in the required information. We will deliver to your child’s school – FREE! We service the San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley and Austin areas. Your billing cycle will start on the date of delivery.

2. Measurements 

How To Measure for your child’s Instrument

Violins and violin-family instruments are available in smaller sizes to make it easier for children to learn to play. Getting the right size is even more important than getting the correct size of clothes. An instrument that is too big can be nearly impossible to play, while one that is too small may not produce the best tone and technique. Determining the size of the instrument is important and easy.

THE BEST METHOD
Ask your teacher or a professional string musician to measure the student with actual instruments. We are happy to measure when you visit our store!

A GOOD METHOD
Determine the size on your own using our guidelines below:

MEASURING WITH A YARDSTICK (or stiff measuring tape)
If you don’t have access to an instrument, use a yardstick. Lift the left arm and extend it fully to the side, palm facing upward, fingers flat and straight out. Place the yardstick under the chin, touching the neck (you are going to measure from neck to palm (as this is where the violin will sit), and then determine the measurement from the neck to the center of the palm. Don’t allow for any slack. Once you have the size in inches, use the size chart, below, to determine the child’s size.

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Violin sizes
Arm length measurements in inches
Approximate age
1/16
14” ………15 3/8”
3-5 years
1/10
15 3/8” ….16 7/8”
3-5 years
1/8
16 7/8” ….18 1/2”
3-5 years
1/4
18 1/2” ….20 3/8”
4-7 years
1/2
20 3/8” ….22 1/4”
6-10 years
3/4
22 1/4”….23 5/8”
9-11 years
4/4 (full size)
23 5/8” …………….
12 years to adult


Viola sizes

Arm length measurements in inches
Approximate age
13”   Jr. Viola
21 5/8” ….23 1/4”
9-11 years
14” Intermediate
23 1/4” ….24 7/8”
12 years to adult
15”
24 7/8” ….25 7/8”
13 years adult
15 1/2”
25 7/8” ….26 5/8”
13 years adult
16”
26 5/8” ….27 1/4”
13 years adult
16 1/2”
1/2” 27 1/4” …28”
13 years adult

MEASURING WITH AN INSTRUMENT
If you already have an instrument, you can determine if it’s the right fit by fully extending the arm to the side and ensuring the instrument hits the center of the palm when the base of the violin is resting on the neck with the child’s chin in the chinrest. It’s a simple and quick method, but there are other factors that can determine the right fit. Generally, it’s a good idea to play on an instrument that is a bit smaller than one that is bigger, especially for beginners. An experienced player may choose to go for a bigger tone, but often sacrifice technique for a larger instrument of better quality. The length of the fingers can also indicate whether the student is ready for a larger size or whether it is best to wait for the arm to grow. Regardless, remember that it is easier to learn on an instrument that too small than one that is too big if you aren’t able to have the exact proper size.

MEASURING WITH A CELLO
Seat the child (or yourself) so that the knees are bent at a ninety-degree angle. The upper rim of the cello body should rest on the sternum (breast bone) and the left knee should contact the curve below the lower bout corner. The C string peg (for the thickest string) should be near the left ear, with the neck of the cello a few inches away from the shoulder. The left hand should be able to reach both ends of the fingerboard with ease.
3. Choose A Different Instrument