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Department of Music|College of Arts & Sciences

Instrument Purchase Suggestions

Buying an instrument a wonderful and exciting thing. Parents should view this as an investment and an educational experience. Much, if not all of the money spent should be able to recouped upon sale or trade-in of the instrument. This amount will go up as the price range goes up. Here are some guidelines to follow when buying:

  • ALWAYS consult your teacher before purchasing
  • Students should be involved in the selection of instruments and bows
  • Never buy an instrument that is too large, expecting a child to ‘grow into it.’ The correct size should last for a couple of years or longer.
  • A poor quality instrument will be the source of profound frustration for students—and their teachers!
  • DO NOT BUY INSTRUMENTS ON THE INTERNET! Check with reputable dealers that will take your instrument back in trade when you are ready to take a step up in size and/or quality.
  • A poor quality instrument has no resale or trade-in value
  • Comparative shopping is important. Go to more than one dealer.
  • Used instruments can be an excellent option. Check for used instruments at the String Academy of Wyoming.

The first step in buying an instrument is to determine your price range. Here are some very general price guidelines. The prices indicated are for violins. Add approximately 20% for violas and 40% for cellos.

  • $150+ acceptable quality used instruments in good condition
  • $250-$500 acceptable quality factory made instruments
  • $800-$2,000 mass-produced, mostly hand made instruments
  • $2,000-$5,000 student level hand made instruments
  • $6,000-$10,000 good quality hand-made instruments
  • $10,000+ entry-level professional caliber instruments

The following shops are excellent places to purchase instruments. They are reliable with fair prices, will give excellent service and will stand behind and service what they sell. There are many other fine dealers around the country, so it is not necessary to limit yourself to these. The Wyoming music stores will tend to have beginner and intermediate level instruments. The others have handle instruments in all price ranges from beginning to artist level.

D & L Music, Dave Rickard, Proprietor
114 E. Grand Avenue
Laramie, WY 82070
742-9279

Yocum Music
1708 Central Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001
877-638-7755

Hill Music Company
245 S. Montana Ave.
Casper, WY 82609
800-265-5044
http://www.hillmusicco.com/

Wyoming Music
330 S. Walsh, #204
Casper, WY 82609
877-237-7322

Rock Eggen Violins
150 W. 5th Ave.
Denver, Colorado 80204
303-777-6908

William Harris Lee
410 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60605
800-447-4533
http://www.whlee.com

Robertson and Sons Violin Shop
3201 Carlisle NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
800-A-VIOLIN
http://www.robertsonviolins.com/

Claire Givens Violins, Inc.
1004 Marquette Avenue, Suite 205
Minneapolis, MN 55403
800-279-4323
http://www.givensviolins.com/

Shar Products Company
P.O. Box 1411
Ann Arbor, Michigan 10648
800-248-SHAR
http://www.sharmusic.com

Discount String Centre
(A division of The Woodwind and the Brasswind)
4004 Technology Drive
South Bend, IN 46628
886-849-3477
http://www.wwbw.com

Lemur Music (DOUBLE BASSES ONLY!)
32238 Paseo Adelanto, Suite B
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
800-246-BASS
http://www.lemur-music.com/

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