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School Rental

Orchestra Department

Mission Statement:

"We strive to provide quality instruments, instruction, and repairs at a fair price so people's lives will be positively changed through the experience of music."

Student to Advanced
String Instruments


Professional & Upgrade Instruments

Whether you're a beginning orchestra student or an adult, we can help find the right instrument for you!

  • Impressive selection of over 500 violins, violas, cellos, string basses, and electric violins
  • Most complete selection of bows, bridges, chin-rests, tailpieces, & shoulder rests from around the world
  • Expert Advice
  • Experienced Service Technicians
  • New & Used Instruments
  • Various Brands to fit your budget
  • Flexible Rent-to-Own Programs

We value our customers and are dedicated to helping them find the right instrument.

We feel it is important to spend the time to find you a quality instruments, whether you're at a beginner, intermediate, or professional level.

Come check out our newest addition to the orchestra department, the electric strings! We carry the largest selection of electric violins (4-string, 5-string), as well as the electric viola, cello, and bass.  


Watch Lindsey Stirling with her Mark Wood Viper!

We proudly carry Mark Wood Violins and NSDesigns electric instruments, along with several other minor brands. Stop in and electrify your strings today!     


"I want to commend Dorsey Music for their expertise in providing quality string instruments for students.  As a teacher, I have seen a huge improvement in my students interest when they have an instrument that meets their needs.  It is so important that a student has an instrument and bow that matches their level of skill.

There seems to be a misconception that "any" instrument will do for beginning students.  Students need to hear themselves making a beautiful sound -- this inspires them to keep practicing and making music.  I have experienced parents regret of purchasing an instrument that they had no knowledge of its condition.  In most of these situations, a significant amount of money is required to make the instrument playable.

I appreciate the time that Dorsey Music's string department takes to allow students to try out and find an instrument that meets their level of skill for beginning to advanced players.  Many of my students have been inspired and excited to learn their instrument once they have one that fits their needs."

     - Melanie Henry

BA music, private violin, viola & piano instructor


You can find all of your instrument needs right in one stop.

At Dorsey Music, we strive to provide quality instruments so people's lives will be positively impacted through the experience of making music.

Download Essential Playing Criteria Download Orchestra FAQ


Levels of Playing

Beginner Violinists:

In the first two years of playing, a beginner learns the basic fundamentals, which includes: note reading, bowing, fingering, tone production, dynamics, and rhythm.

Beginner instruments must meet the following criteria:

Beginner Instruments




  • Properly balanced for ease of playing in 1st position
  • Produces sound easily
  • Comfortable and enjoyable to play
  • Forgiving
  • Pleasing to the ear
  • Clear, consistent sound
  • Pegs turn, holds a tune
  • Strings are proper height
  • Wood dried properly
  • Solid body with no seam separations or cracks
  • Durable enough to handle normal use of playing


Intermediate Violinists:

The 3rd & 4th years of playing are focused more on developing a beautiful tone and working on extended techniques and vibrato. This level of playing concentrates on double stops, slurs & phrasing, and developing a broader dynamic range. An intermediate instrument is usually sufficient to last through high school and into college, unless the student is a performance major, in which case he or she will need an advancing instrument. At this point, a student will want to upgrade his bow & rosin to one that will improve not only the sound, but also the playability of the instrument.

Intermediate instruments must meet the following criteria:

Intermediate Instruments




  • Capable of playing vibrato
  • Easily plays in higher positions
  • Clear tone in higher positions
  • More complex sound
  • Broad range of tonal qualities
  • High quality, properly shaped ebony fingerboard
  • More hand labor in sculpting the top
  • Commonly made in small workshop settings
  • Higher level strings to assist with technique


Advanced Violinists:

Typically college-level and performers require this level of instrument. Advanced players have learned nearly all techniques and instead look for an instrument with particular tone colors, projection, & improved responsiveness for more confidence in playing. Generally at an advanced level, the player looks for an instrument that will give her the unique sound she is looking for. Also at this level, it becomes more important to have an instrument that projects a powerful tone in a larger setting. 

Advanced instruments must meet the following criteria:

Advancing Instruments




  • Plays all the way up the fingerboard
  • Broader dynamic range
  • Responds easily and immediately to advanced techniques
  • More depth and richness
  • More suited to players individual preferences
  • Projects to longer distance
  • More hand labor, commonly made by one maker
  • High grades of wood