Beginner Information



     What to expect when starting a String Instrument:

    1. Students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade are eligible to begin a string instrument at either Perry or Tilden Elementary. Students will have an opportunity to try out various instruments during try-its.

    2. After that class, students will be given a registration form to fill out if they are interested in beginning an instrument. The form should be filled out by the due date.

    3. Students will be measured at lunch as there are many sizes of string instruments based on students arm length and finger length. Below is a general sizing chart.

    4. If you already have access to an instrument, you might want to bring it to the parent meeting to be looked over by Mrs. Dowd and the music store.

    5. Parents should plan on attending the beginner meeting. 


    7. Sign ups for string lessons are held in the Spring. Lessons will begin sometime during the second cycle of school of the following school year.

    8. Students who practice and show basic knowledge on their instrument are invited to participate in the Beginning Orchestra which starts in September. Those students will perform in the Winter and Spring concerts.

    Looking forward to a wonderful year!!!

    Mrs. Dowd


    Use this chart as a guideline to determine instrument size:


    Arm Length Approximate Age Instrument Size
    14" to 15 3/8" 3-5 yrs 1/16 violin
    15 3/8" to 16 7/8" 3-5 yrs 1/10 violin
    16 7/8" to 181/2" 3-5 yrs 1/8 violin
    18 1/2" to 20 3/8" 4-7 yrs 1/4 violin or 11" viola
    20 3/8" to 22 1/4" 6-10 yrs 1/2 violin or 12" viola
    22 1/4" to 23 5/8" 9-11 3/4 violin or 13" viola
    23 5/8" and up 9-Adult full size violin or 14" viola
     Measure from the neck to the center of the left hand as the left arm is extended out with palm up.
    Cello and Bass sizes are based on a student's height as well as size of hand.