Finding an instrument
When starting out with a new instrument it is sometimes wise to hire an instrument at first. With string instruments this can be particularly sensible with children as they might need to start with a different sized instrument. As a rough guide anyone over 5 foot should be able to play on a 4/4 cello but it also depends on hand size and arm length. 3/4 and 1/2 sizes are quite common and you can get even smaller sizes. Many music shops operate a hire service where you can later buy the instrument at a reduced rate if you wish. If you wish to buy it is wise to try – or at least have heard played by someone you trust – the instrument first. The quality of cellos can vary a great deal and to keep someone interested in playing they need to be able to make a good sound on the instrument. A starter or student model cello can cost from around £350 upwards to buy. It is possible to find cheaper instruments online, however these are likely to arrive ‘flat packed’ and would need to be set up by a luthier. This could cost £200 – enough to make it worthwhile buying in person where you can see what you are getting in advance.
It is important to ensure that your instrument is insured against damage and theft as these can be very valuable and fragile instruments. They can be insured under household insurance but it is important to check the details as they will be taken out of the house more often than other items of a similar value. They will probably need to be listed as an individual item. For more valuble instruments it is wise to look at specialist instrument insurance.