Quality Stringed Instruments

CFKF provides grants for high quality instruments because of these attributes:

  • They’re easier to tune and play
  • They contribute to a better and more effective classroom
  • They’re tonally superior
  • Better durability and longevity
  • They inspire kids to practice and stay involved with their program

“The CFKF (grant supported) instruments are at a whole new level in construction, sound, beauty, tone production, the details, the case – everything.”

—Teacher, St. Louis, MO

How important is instrument sound and workmanship to children beginning their exposure to stringed instrument training?

Due to budget restraints, many schools around America have been forced to purchase poor quality instruments. Poor quality instruments are made of inferior materials, are difficult to play and keep in tune, break easily, have poor sound quality, need to be repaired often and simply do not inspire our children to learn. Many students quit out of frustration, just because the instruments are physically difficult to play.

What are the differences between high and low quality stringed instruments?

Most school instruments are purchased from commercial factories that use thin laminated woods (plywood) for the tops and backs. These are shaped with molds under high heat and pressure. While the cost is kept low to appease public school budgets, these instruments are very poor in quality from the start and tend to wear out quickly.

Stringed instruments endorsed by CFKF are all fully carved from top quality wood and are skillfully varnished. The setup has been professionally done to ensure that the instruments arrive at schools ready to play. The top, back, neck and scroll are all carved to just the right thickness from much larger pieces of wood. These parts are then hand finished. Only the sides or “ribs” are bent. This is accomplished by wetting thin strips of wood and molding them using heat. When the rib pieces cool, they remain in the desired shape.

“Two of my violin students… have been very fortunate to be using violins which you have very generously [donated] to the Settlement School. I only wish you could hear the difference this has made in their playing and in what I am able to teach them. Unfortunately, it is too often the case that talented children are held back because the quality of their instruments is well below the student’s ability…”

—Music Teacher, Philadelphia, PA