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  • Writer's pictureMicaela Murphy

The Box Violin – Why little violinist don’t start on a real violin

When a young child is starting their first lesson on violin or viola, you might think that the first step as the parent is to get them the actual instrument. But stop right there! The first step of a child learning violin or viola is actually to start on a box/ foam violin and not the real, beautiful wooden instrument. It might seem strange at first to think that the first lessons are not with the real thing and you would be right. Whenever a child starts a new activity, they have to have the actual equipment first, but the string instruments are slightly different.

The box violin allows students to understand the basics of how to hold, handle and care for a violin, before they actually start working with such a delicate instrument. Here are the several reasons that Suzuki Violin and Viola Educators at Lakewood Suzuki Strings are strong advocates of the box or foam violin:


The box or foam violin allows the student to learn how to take care of the instrument before getting a real delicate violin or viola. Musical instruments are very fragile and must be respected and handled with care. The worst thing that can happen is that a child accidentally spills milk, sits on, or drops something on their very nice violin, while they are still learning how to take care of it. By giving a young beginner student a box/foam violin, the child learns how to take care of it, without an actual instrument ever being harmed while the child is learning.


While the child is learning how to hold the instrument they don't have to worry about the weight of the instrument since the weight is almost nothing. This makes the box comfortable for the student without them ever having to strain. This allows them to associate being relaxed with the instrument from day one. Since the box doesn’t make an actual sound, it helps the student focus on their posture and form, how to hold the bow, and the rhythms with the bow arm. If they heard the sound of the instruments, it serves as a disappointing distraction because they may not like the sound that comes out at first.


Focusing only on one thing at a time without having to worry about the actual sound, helps to avoid overwhelming for the child of too many things going on at once. Breaking it down into manageable tasks, helps the child’s brain be able to focus on the task at hand and build concentration, while instilling good form.


Using the Box violin, means that the child will eventually get to the point where they will receive a real violin. This is incredibly motivational for the child since they know they will eventually graduate to the real thing. Additionally, it builds delayed gratification as an attainable goal they can easily work through. It is also a very special moment where they treat the awaited violin like the very delicate and special instrument that it is, creating a special bond where the child is excited to learn and apply all the prior skills that were created and honed.

Interested on your child's motivation and focus being developed while having fun? Contact us today at to sign up your child.

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