Talented young players clearly benefit from high-quality instruments. Thinking about this led me on a quest to make small-size violins and violas which sound great, are light and easy to play, and affordable. I have developed my own special models and offer the option of rental as well as purchase.
A number of teaching institutions have bought my small-sized instruments for loan to their students, including Chetham’s School of Music, RNCM Junior Department and Benslow Loan Scheme. Individual players include members of the National Children’s Orchestra and students at Chetham’s, the Purcell School and at the junior departments of all the major UK conservatoires.
Three-quarter size violins
I developed this model for three-quarter size violins during the 1990s. The small violins I saw looked like violins, but inside the wood was too thick, the bass bar was poor, and overall the quality was low. I wanted to turn this idea on its head, to make something that didn’t necessarily look like a violin from the outside, but inside it would be made to the same high quality as all my work. So I simplified the design – keeping what was vital to the sound, but taking off the corners and making a light, unfussy head to complement the body.
Your violins tend to fly out of the door – especially the little ones! Alison Palmer, General Manager, Benslow Musical Instrument Loan Scheme.