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Kanawha County String Partnership

Kanawha County String Partnership

Materials to bring to every class or private lesson

Instrument and bow.

Pencil. Keep a pencil handy in your instrument case. Sometimes you will be asked to mark special notes or words to go with the music like the reminder of a note name, or style of playing. Sometimes you may need to note when the next performance or rehearsal will happen.

Music. Students in the Kanawha County Schools program use Essential Elements for Strings 2000 series. Make sure if you are playing violin, you have the violin edition, etc. You should bring your book to class every meeting.

Other items. Some teachers will ask you to bring an empty paper towel roll to use as you learn how to use the bow. Check with your teacher.

How often will I need to practice in the beginning?

About 15-20 minutes daily will help develop muscle between your ears as well as the muscles in your body that you use to hold the instrument and produce pleasing sounds.

Buying or renting an instrument

Deal with a reputable music store. An entry level student instrument should be solidly built. All instruments should be sized to fit the student—a fourth grader can play a fourth grader-sized bass, which can be traded up for a larger bass as the student grows.

Ask questions about the rental program.

  • Am I paying interest?
  • What is your repair policy?
  • Do you have a qualified repair person?
  • Can I trade up in quality later?  If so, do I keep all equity in current instrument?
  • Can I trade in size if I start on a smaller instrument?
  • Does this instrument meet MENC standards for string instruments?

Check with your student’s string teacher before making a purchase. Buying a string instrument can a big investment, so choose carefully. If you are purchasing, you should try several instruments in the price range before you buy.

Ballpark figures for purchasing student instruments $600 for violin, $900 for viola, $1600 for cello, $2000 for bass.

Where to look?   (alphabetical listing)

Gorby’s Music, Inc. in South Charleston, WV       Phone (304) 744-9452
Violin, viola, cello

The Loft Violin Shop in Columbus, OH       Phone (800) 728-9440
Full service string instrument only shop
Violin, viola, cello, bass
An explanation of the rental plan:
Violin/viola care and feeding:
Cello/bass care and feeding: for article on “Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Cheap Violin on the Internet”   and “What to Look for in Cellos and Basses.”

Music and Arts in Charleston, WV       Phone (304) 345-3011
Violin, viola, cello, bass
Rapid Rental:  text 3020rent to (844) 872-0023

Old Town Violins in Lexington, KY       Phone (859) 226-5015
Violin, viola, cello, bass

Kanawha County Schools that offer strings programs


Alum Creek Elementary, Bridgeview Elementary, Chamberlain Elementary, Elk Center, Grandview Elementary, Holz Elementary, Kanawha City Elementary, Kenna Elementary, Montrose Elementary, Overbrook Elementary, Piedmont Elementary, Pinch Elementary, Ruffner Elementary, Ruthlawn Elementary, Shoals Elementary, Weberwood Elementary


Dunbar Middle School, Elkview Middle School, Horace Mann Middle School, John Adams Middle School, South Charleston Middle School


Capital High School, George Washington High School, Herbert Hoover High School, South Charleston High School


Sacred Heart Grade School, Charleston Catholic High School