Your child wants to take Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass lessons, but where to start?
How much should you spend? What if they change their mind? What happens when they need a larger size? Adults picking up or returning to any of these instruments have similar concerns. This FAQ attempts to anticipate your questions, but as always, we're here to answer the call should you need more assistance.
We've Got Answers!
Can't find answers in our F.A.Q.? Please feel free to call us at (855) 343 - 3535 and one of our pros will assist you.
LIVS Is Different
We're not a mega-store; the Long Island Violin Shop is a full service Violin Studio that sells, services, repairs and rents superior instruments and accessories. We specialize in the Violin family, and nothing else. Our passionate staff are professional players and skilled luthiers. We give honest consultation, and treat your instruments with utmost care.
Should I rent or purchase?
If you have never played before there are many advantages to renting from the Long Island Violin Shop including: rent-to-own credit, playing on a great instrument for a low monthly cost as well as our zero-deductible Protection Plan.
What is rent-to-own credit?
Your monthly payment can be broken into three parts:
1) Instrument, case and bow
2) Protection Plan
3) Tax (if applicable)
The rent-to-own credit means that the full amount you are paying for part 1 (instrument, case and bow) gets put into your account every month that you pay your bill. You can then use this rent-to-own credit to pay up to 50% the cost of a brand new instrument from either location of the Long Island Violin Shop.
What is your protection plan?
Our zero-deductible Protection Plan covers wear and tear, broken strings, and minor accidental damage. This saves you money on routine maintenance. In the case of more severe damages there may be a co-pay.
How do I choose the right size instrument?
You can ask your child's teacher what size they prefer, or use the chart below. Measure the distance between your child's neck and the center of their palm. When in doubt, always choose the smaller size.
Up to 15 1/4" : order 1/16 size violin or cello
15 1/4" up to 16 3/4" : order 1/10 size violin or cello
16 3/4" up to 17 1/2" : order 1/8 size violin or cello
17 1/2" up to 18 3/4" : order 1/4 size violin or cello, 11" viola
18 3/4" up to 20 1/4" : order 1/2 size violin or cello, 12" viola
20 1/4" up to 22 1/8" : order 3/4 size violin or cello, 13" viola
22 1/8" and up : order 4/4 (full-size) violin or cello
23 1/4" up to 24 7/8" : order 14" viola
24 7/8" up to 25 5/8" : order 15" viola
25 7/8" up to 26 3/8" : order 15.5" viola
26 3/8" up to 27 1/8" : order 16" viola
Over 27 1/4" : order 16" or 16.5" viola
Do you ship rental instruments?
We ship instruments all over the continental United States. You are responsible for outbound and inbound shipping costs. Instruments are generally shipped within 48 hours. You will have one week to try it out and may ship the instrument back in a week for a full refund of the rental charges. Your only charges will be the shipping, both ways. When you are ready for the next size we will send it with a pre-paid shipping label to return the smaller instrument. You will find full rental shipping instructions here.
Can I rent an instrument if I live outside of the United States?
Rentals are available only within the continental United States.
Can I rent a wooden or carbon fiber bow?
Wooden and carbon fiber bows come with our Scholastic Strings outfits. Standard instruments come with a fiberglass bow. No substitutions are possible.
What do I do if my rental instrument breaks a string or is damaged?
All of our instruments are covered by our Protection Plan, so minor damage is repaired for free. If you break a string, bring your rental instrument in to our shop and we will replace it at no charge while you wait. If you feel confident about replacing it yourself, call us and we'll mail you a new string, free of charge. For other damage (broken bridges, problems with pegs, etc.) please call us at once. In many cases we will try to fix it while you wait or exchange it for a new instrument. If you cannot come to the shop, we will ship you a replacement instrument, and you can ship the damaged one back to us in the same box; all you have to pay are the shipping costs. This applies to bow repairs as well.
What do I do when I need to change my instrument to a larger size?
You can exchange your rental for a larger instrument of the same type at any time. Exchanges will not interrupt your rental payment, or the terms of your rental agreement.
What if I want to rent more than one instrument?
Each rental is treated as a separate transaction, whether online or in person. If you have registered an account with us, additional transactions will be much quicker.
What happens if I want to exchange my rental for a different kind of rental?
You can change from our Standard to Scholastic plans (or vice versa) at any time at no additional charge. Changes to your rental fees will be adjusted for the next billing cycle.
What happens if I want to stop renting?
Please return your instrument at least 4 days before the renewal date to give us time to close your account and make sure you are not charged. You can return a rental instrument to our Huntington or East Setauket shops anytime during business hours. If you need to ship an instrument, please contact us to make arrangements.
Why are your prices higher than other renters?
We provide the finest quality instruments, rent-to-own credit, and great service. No matter how cheaply you can rent an instrument, if you build no equity after years of renting, the savings can seem very small indeed. Many clients have come to us from low price programs where they built no equity and complained that they wished they had known about us sooner. Teachers know that paying less for an inferior instrument is false economy; your child will never get anywhere on an instrument that is unpleasant to play. Our prices are in line with other nationally recognized renters of quality instruments, and our additional terms (100% equity no matter how long you rent, etc) are much more generous.
I never bought an instrument. How will I know how much to spend when I want to use my Rental Credit?
It depends on the individual. We suggest an instrument of sufficient quality to let the student progress for the next 3 to 5 years. The input of your teacher is invaluable, and our staff is adept at gauging the needs of students and determining a reasonable budget.
What does the Protection Plan cover?
Our Protection Plan covers all minor damage such as broken strings, bridges, bows, etc, which are repaired at zero cost to you. Shipping for damaged instruments, bows, or cases is not covered, nor are instruments, bows, or cases in the custody of shipping companies or delivery services. Very infrequently instruments are severely damaged, stolen, or destroyed and rental clients are liable for a 30% co-pay in these cases. This has happened only a few times since 1984, and the co-pay has rarely exceeded several hundred dollars. It has just not been a big issue and we hope it stays that way! Nevertheless, you and your children should be aware that these are valuable instruments, not toys, and should be treated with respect. The full details of the Protection Plan are explained in the Rental Agreement.