Instrument Choices: Strings

violin-studentsViolin is one of the classic instrument choices for young children, along with Piano. Other instruments become more suitable as children grow, partly due the size of the other instruments (Viola, Cello, Double Bass). These instruments are sometimes taught in groups to younger students but generally involve private tuition.

It is possible for young school-aged children to learn guitar. Bass guitar is suitable for students from year 3 onwards. All of these instruments come in different sizes (1/2, 3/4, etc) appropriate to different children.


  • Guitar is used in guitar ensembles, jazz ensembles, rock bands and so on but generally isn’t found in a concert band or orchestra, and these ensembles are more common in Secondary School.
  • Bass guitar is used in the same ensembles as guitar, with the addition of concert band which is more common in Primary School.
  • Bowed string instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass) are used in string ensembles and orchestras but not in concert bands.

The Ukulele looks like a small guitar but is (traditionally) tuned differently and has only four strings. It is becoming more popular in schools and among adults because it is small, affordable and relatively easy to learn. Ukuleles can be played in groups but generally aren’t found in the school ensembles mentioned above.

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