Please don’t bring me an instrument you have bought off the internet, sight unseen (sound unheard). The “cheap” building of this type of stringed instrument precludes decent tone or ease of tuning, and creates many other problems. Almost always, these “good deal” instruments turn out to be, well… rather expensive firewood. There are several fine instrument dealers in the area who compete with each other for the best prices, so we are fortunate indeed to be able to rent or purchase fine-working and -sounding instruments for the lowest possible price. I recommend Charles Liu 1-800-260-5818; tell him Catherine Willey sent you, and he will set up your instrument the way I require (and has even been known to give an even better deal).
Be sure to label cases, music, and other equipment with your name and phone number. Before leaving, double check to make sure you have gathered all of your belongings before you go. (I try to keep track, but I don’t have an official lost-and-found box.)
How do you know if your child is ready for a bigger size of instrument? I, as his teacher, will tell you he is! Please have the instrument sized by me before you buy or rent. There is nothing I like less than feeling forced to work around a child’s ill-sized instrument because his mother (or worse the child himself) decided he was “ready” for the next size bigger.