String Instrument Sizing


What size string instrument do I need?

With string instruments, like many other things in life, one size does not fit all. Finding the right size will set your student up for success. If you and your student can come into the store, we can measure the student to ensure the correct size of instrument.

Although you might be inclined to buy a larger instrument for your student to avoid having to trade up, you’ll actually do a disservice to the student (and you’ll frustrate their teacher) if the instrument is too large. An instrument that is too large will quickly frustrate the student and becomes a challenge to play.

Our instruments are rented through Bert Murdock Music. Their flexible rental program allows you to trade up to a larger instrument as the student grows.

When measuring for a violin or viola, what matters most is not the child’s height or age, but the length of his or her arms. Cello size is largely determined based on the student’s height. 

Here are some guidelines when it comes to size of the instrument:


Violin Measuring Chart

Up to 3 years 13.5 inches 1/32
3-4 years 14.5 inches 1/16
4-5 years 16 inches 1/10
5-6 years 17.25 inches 1/8
6-7 years 19 inches 1/4
8-9 years  20.75 inches 1/2
10-12 years 22 inches 3/4
12 years and up 23.5 inches 4/4 (full size)


Viola Measuring Chart

14″–15⅜” 1/16 size -1/10th violin strung as viola
15⅜”–18½” 1/8 size violin strung as viola
18½”–20⅜” 1/4 size violin strung as viola
20⅜”–22¼” 1/2 size violin strung as viola 
22¼”–23⅝” 14" viola
23⅝”–25″ 15" viola
25⅝”–26″ 15½” viola
26¼″–27″ 16″ viola
27½”–28″+ 16½” viola


Cello Measuring Chart


4' or shorter 1/4 size
4' to 4' 6" 1/2 size
4' 6" to 5' 3/4 size
5' or taller 4/4 size




365 N. Main Street     Bountiful, Utah  84010     (801) 292-1804     [email protected]