Can’t find cello small enough

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Sharon said: Mar 14, 2012
 2 posts

My three-year old son was measured for a cello, and I was told he needs a cello that has a body length of 14″. I’ve made many phone calls and searched the internet, and the smallest cello I can find has a body length of 16″. (Interestingly, I’ve come across a 1/16 cello that was 18″ and a 1/10 that was 16″, so the sizes don’t necessarily correspond to universal lengths.) My son has been asking to learn cello since he was two years old, and he loves his lessons. He is making good progress and has great focus for his age (sitting through 30-minute lessons without losing focus), but we just can’t find a cello that fits him. Does anyone have advice on how to find a tiny cello? Thank you!

Melanie Drake said: Mar 15, 2012
Melanie Drake25 posts

I’m not an expert, but I have heard that there is a considerable size difference between instruments made in Japan and those made in Germany. That may explain the confusion between the 1/16 and 1/10 sizes.

Sue Hunt said: Mar 16, 2012
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
391 posts

Easy. I have seen very small children started on violas with endpins fitted. It is easy to get hold of a small 14″ student instrument. Of course, they are tuned up an octave, but it’s only for a brief spell. Music in Practice.

Maria Stefanova-Mar said: Mar 16, 2012
 Violin
Albuquerque, NM
19 posts

I have had cello students who have used violas to begin with as well.
Robertson’s Violin Shop would be a good choice to talk to. They work with student instruments a lot, they are very good about customizing student needs, and they ship. robertsonviolins.com
505-889-2999

Good luck!

Sharon said: Mar 20, 2012
 2 posts

Thank you so much for all the good advice! I appreciate all your input.

Barb said: May 12, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

I’m also looking for some small cellos… in Canada.

A 1/10 should fit one student. The other looked good with a 15 1/2 inch viola… but my husband doesn’t want to convert it (though he’s not playing it, he still has good intentions…).

The family is traveling to Calgary next month, and would prefer to rent. Any shop recommendations? (I will re-post this on the Canada forum, as well.)

Thanks.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Jennifer Visick said: May 18, 2013
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts
Barb said: May 18, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Thanks! I didn’t know those strings were available! We have found a store that says they will get a 1/16 to rent, so likely won’t convert a viola, but that’s good info to have.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Catherine said: Jun 7, 2013
Catherine Mikelson
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
8 posts

I had a 2.5 year old cellist join my studio a couple of year ago. At that time, we could not find a 1/16th cello so we went the viola aka “ciola” route. From my experience, I wouldn’t recommend it, unless there really isn’t an alternative. What I found was that the depth of the body is significantly smaller than a cello. That meant that her left hand ended up much closer to her shoulder than it would have with a real cello. This created some weird twisting in her shoulders and cello arm. We finally did find her a 1/16th cello and it was amazing to see her posture fix itself all on its own.

I shop at Perrin Violins in Baltimore. They were the ones that got the 1/16th cellos in. It might be worth calling to see where they found them.

Barb said: Jun 8, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Catherine,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience! More good info to have!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Barb said: Jun 11, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Catherine (or anyone),

Can you tell me the rib height on a 1/16 cello? I’ve been using cereal boxes for box cellos, but thought a foam cello would be good for the very young student who may not be ready for the real thing as soon. I am using the viola as a model, but of course want the ribs thicker.

Thank you.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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