More than an ideal age, what is necessary is that the child is both potty trained and familiar with some kind of schooling routine where he/she has learned to follow directions, to work cooperatively and to manage transitions.
An average 4- to 6-year old child would need a 1/8 size instrument. An average 5- to 7-year old child would need a ¼ size instrument. An average 7- to 11-year old child would need a ½ size instrument. Most 11- to 14-year olds would need a ¾ size instrument. By age 15, most people need a full size instrument.
Several stores in our area have excellent rent-to-own programs for string instruments. We recommend The Violin Shoppe http://www.theviolinshoppe.net and Davidson Violins with several locations in the area: http://www.davidsonviolins.com
For online shopping, we recommend Johnson String http://johnsonstring.com/rental/,
Above all, stay clear of CSOs or "Cello Shaped Objects.” These are underpriced instruments for sale (under $1000), which are a waste of money since a poor quality instrument hinders a student's learning. This is the equivalent to learning to play basketball with a deflated ball! It's better to rent while you take the time to shop around for a decent instrument.
No. A student just needs family support and a good environment to practice daily.
Yes, our cello teacher will arrange small ensembles with other string players.
Yes, Southern Park will provide an accompanist for the recital, dress rehearsal, and one private rehearsal. The student may contract privately with an accompanist for additional rehearsals.