Many young violinists begin their journeys thanks to their junior high orchestra. However, if this is the first time your junior high schooler is picking up a violin, or if they are upgrading to a violin appropriate for their junior high level, you may not know what to look for. You’ll want a violin with a clear sound that is going to keep playing precise and in tune without being hard to play or too expensive, after all, you might need to upgrade again once you’ve advanced further (and there’s always a chance the violin might get banged up in transit). If that sounds like you, VBG has your back. We’ve been testing violins popular with music educators, so you can have a violin that suits your needs best.
Below are our top three choices for best violins for junior high students. Each of the violins listed has been personally tested by us, so we’re confident in our picks. Scroll down to see our top three choices, our reasons for choosing them, and the criteria you will want to consider when making your choice.
OUR TOP CHOICE
The best choice for the best violin for Junior High Students.
How We Chose Our Top Choice
The Antonio Strad Heritage Violin is our top choice for the best violin for junior high students. The Heritage is on the high side in terms of price, but it’s worth every penny. It’s designed for beginners who are enjoying a lot of improvement, which is often the case as a violinist gets the chance to play near-daily through a junior high music program. It has a powerful tone that allows for nuanced dynamics and musicality. Its defining feature is the brilliance of its sound — the Heritage is bright and precise, giving improving violinists a fresh voice to express themselves with and a clear tone to keep that musical ear in tip-top shape.
The beautiful, handmade quality of the Heritage can’t be beaten. Its ability to adapt to new playstyles, skills, and techniques, as well as its strength as both a solo and orchestra instrument, make this our top pick for best violins for junior high students, who will likely be introduced to a large, new variety of music styles via their education.
For a more in-depth look, please read our review of the Antonio Strad Heritage Violin.
OUR SECOND CHOICE
The next best option for the best violin for Junior High Students.
How We Chose Our Second Choice
The Antonio Strad Legacy Violin is our second choice for best violin for a junior high student. It holds this position thanks to its warm, and resonant sound. If you’re a fan of violins with rich, full-bodied voices, then you’ll love the Legacy. It’s a violin that is probably best appreciated by intermediate students growing into their musicality, but a beginner buying the Legacy in hopes of an instrument that will stick with them for a while won’t be disappointed either.
The reason that this isn’t our first choice is that the Legacy doesn’t have the same clear precision as the Antonio Strad Heritage, making it less ideal for junior high students who are often graded on preciseness. On the other hand, the Legacy has a warmer voice that some prefer over the Heritage’s power. If you’re on a tighter budget or if you like warm tones, the Antonio Strad Legacy is a great pick for a violin for a junior high student.
For a more in-depth look, please read our review of the Antonio Strad Legacy Violin.
OUR THIRD CHOICE
The last option for the best violin for Junior High Students.
How We Chose Our Third Choice
The Scott Cao STV-017E Violin is last on our list of best violins for junior high students. This Scott Cao model is the cheapest of our top 3 violins, but don’t be fooled, this is an excellent upper-beginner violin. Its outfit does not include all the bells and whistles that the Heritage and Legacy do, but you may already own most of the things you need or they may be provided to your junior high student via their school music program. It comes in every size under the sun, so regardless of what size you need there is a Scott Cao STV-017E for your student. Further, it has a great bright sound — similar to the Heritage, but more beginner-friendly so it’s slightly easier to pick up.
What differentiates this model from the other two is again, the level of player that it’s intended for as well as the price. If you are looking for a nicer beginner violin, without hoping that it’ll last you into the intermediate level, the Scott Cao STV-017E might be the best junior high violin for you!
Picking the Best Junior High Violin for You
Now that you’ve seen the models we recommend, here are some factors that are most important to consider when making your decision on what junior high violin to buy. Some may apply to you more than others, and those are the ones that will be most valuable when it comes to narrowing your options down.
When choosing the best junior high violin for you, size is often an important factor because junior high students can be a wide range in violin size. Making sure that a violinist has the correct size instrument is imperative as playing on the wrong size can damage not only your technique but also cause physical harm. If a model doesn’t carry the size you need right now, it is not worth buying. Save it for when you’ve grown into it, or find a similar model that carries your size.
You may have noticed that all of our picks are handmade or hand-carved in some capacity, this is because it makes a world of a difference over factory-made instruments. The expert touch of an experienced luthier means each instrument is optimized for its intended player. The construction, in general, will also be better; you can expect a handmade instrument to stand the test of time as long as it is maintained regularly.
A violin outfit is essentially a bundle of everything you need to start playing including, of course, the violin and bow, but also often things like mutes, tuners, rosin, and more. If you are upgrading from a previous violin, you may already have some of these things, and therefore do not need an outfit. Or if this is your first violin, you may need these things and won’t have to buy them separately thanks to the outfit. Think about what you need beyond just the violin when making your decision. Often, but not always, you can get a specific violin model with or without the outfit. Checking if an outfit is or is not available and what is included may be worth your while!