Smiling Strings highly discourages buying an instrument in the beginning stages (especially off the Internet) as most instruments are poor quality, not set up properly and are not covered by insurance. You are better off renting until your child "grows into" a larger size and using your rental credit to offset the purchase price. Many people do not realize that instruments at this age level come in various small sizes. That means, for example, that the violin you have up in your attic from your great grandparents probably is a full-size one and way too big! It is critical that your child be measured for the appropriate sized instrument in order to learn proper technique. The only way this can happen is by taking them to a reputable string shop or to a string teacher to have their arm measured.

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Though you are free to rent a stringed instrument wherever you wish, we recommend and have enjoyed a successful business relationship with A440 Violin Shop for 25 years. It is a highly reputable and very low-cost option for your young musician. Prices range from approximately $ 20 a month for violins to $ 35 for a cello.

A440 Violin Shop is located at 2222 W. Roscoe and is open 10-5 every day EXCEPT Wednesdays & Sundays.     773.348.4949.          Be sure to identify yourself as a Smiling Strings student!                  You will also need to purchase a sponge or shoulder rest for violin/viola or a "rock-stop" for cello students.

An additional reputable string shop serving our far northern students:

Semans Violins
4447 Oakton St. (Skokie)
(847) 674-0690


This information is coming soon.