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Instrument Rental Options:

Students are free to rent an instrument from the store of their choosing. However, Antonio Violins has partnered with the NKU String Project and is available to make periodic deliveries, exchanges, and maintenance pick-ups at NKU.

If you are a new student, the NKU String Project will be facilitating rentals through Antonio Violins. Antonio Violins will be at the first NKU String Project Class to get families situated with instruments.

Instrument Sizing:
  • Adults should rent full-size instruments
  • Most children will need smaller-sized instruments
    • Children must be professionally sized by a strings-shop representative or NKU String Project Staff member.
    • Many string stores can help parents measure their child appropriately over the phone.
  • Article and chart about stringed-instrument sizing
Cello construction diagram

Instrument Care:

  • Storage
    • Always store your instrument in its case.
    • Keep your instrument out of extreme temperatures (So, don't leave your instrument in the car, next to heating/cooling vents, etc.)
  • Instrument Handling
    • Stringed instruments are fragile. Always handle your instrument with care.
    • If you have to set your instrument down:
      • Violin/Viola should lay on its back, on a flat surface, and in a safe place (not on floor).
      • Cello/Bass should lay on its side on the floor.
    • If your bridge falls over, a string breaks, or something cracks, please DO NOT try to fix it yourself. Bring the instrument to a store or teacher.
  • Cleaning
    • After practicing, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe the rosin off the strings and body of the instrument.
    • Instruments should be polished only with stringed-instrument polish. Never use household cleaners.
  • Bow
    • Avoid touching the bow hair with your fingers. (Our fingers have natural oils on them, and touching the bow makes it dirty.)
    • The bow should be loosened when you go to put it away. The hair should look just slightly floppy.
    • Be careful not to over-tighten your bow. The distance between the hair and the stick should be approximately the width of your pinky finger.
Close-up of violin f-hole

Why Rent?

We HIGHLY recommend that you RENT your instrument. Whether the student is a child (and will therefore start on a smaller size instrument and upgrade to larger instruments as they grow) or an adult (who might want to upgrade the quality of the instrument as they progress), renting is really the best option.

If you really want to buy and instrument, please do not do so without consulting with a member of the NKU String Project Staff. If you buy an instrument on your own and it is not the correct size or is of poor quality, you will be stuck with it! Especially when it comes to children, an instrument that is the wrong size will dramatically affect the child's ability to play well and play in a physically healthy manner. Instruments that are the wrong size may even cause physical pain and other problems to the player.

Local String Instrument Shops

National String Instrument Shops (especially great for music and accessories):