Building a box violin is often the first step parents take towards working with their children to learn the violin. I don’t do this in the lesson as parents can work with their children solo on this lesson. It is useful to look at the picture of the violin in Suzuki book one to identify and name the parts of the violin first, and then draw in the parts listed when decorating the violin.
There are a few youtube videos about building a box violin.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUnoImDah78 (fancy, using a cigar box for parents with real woodworking skills)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzKOsIcuz5w (realistic instructions).
and here’s another teachers’ blog post on topic: http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-make-box-violin.html
Here are written instructions for a simple violin to use for your child’s first lesson:
- Get a box out of the recycling. Mac ‘n cheese and Grape Nuts cereal boxes work well. A cigar box works well too.
- Cover the box with paper. Brown paper from a super market paper bag works great.
- Glue or tape a paint stirrer stick to the top of the box (7-8 inches works best).
- Run a few longish rubber bands over the ruler to the short end of the box as “strings”. You may need to figure out a way to add notches to the top of the paint stirrer for the bands to stay in place.
- Decorate the box! Add some f holes to begin with. Get carried away from there!
- Make a “bow” out of 5/8″ dowel cut down to about 20-23 inches.
Voila, you have the violin for your first lesson ready.