Arts Alive is an educational non-profit 501(c)3 organization


Arts Alive provides curriculum with California and National standards.
Arts Alive offers classes in the following:

When Purchasing a Guitar
1. Size
Students from grades 1 through 4 will generally do well with a ¾ size instrument. The guitars are not very tunable if the scale is any smaller ¾. Older students will do fine with a full size guitar. It is best to have your student with you when purchasing so you can make sure that the guitar is the right fit. A guitar that is too big will be hard to play.
2. Type
Steel or Nylon String, Electric or Acoustic. I recommend starting with a steel string acoustic guitar. The sound is loud and clear and is the most functional in a class setting. The nylon stringed guitar is easier to play initially because the strings are not as taught. However, the nylon string can be harder to keep in tune and it is much softer in volume then a steel string. Electric guitars can also be easier to play initially then a steel string acoustic. Remember that with an electric guitar you will need to purchase a small amplifier. Learning on an acoustic guitar will translate to an electric later and vice versa.
3. Quality
Make sure all joints are good, sight down the neck to make sure it is mostly straight with a slight bow and that the string height is no more than 1/8 of an inch off of the fret board. This is especially important where the neck joins the body. If the strings are too high it is very hard to play and the student will not practice.Used guitars are ok, cheaper, and often preferable. They may not be shiny and have a few dings but if the guitar has a good sound and is playable the student will be inspired to practice.Before purchasing, have the sales person tune and play the instrument for you. When you buy from a store, you should ask for the guitar to be “set up.” If the instrument is purchased on-line, I will be able to help with getting the guitar set up properly. Please do not buy a cheap/toy guitar from Wal Mart or K Mart they are usually not playable.A little extra investment in a decent instrument now will help to keep the student practicing for years to come. Also, a better instrument will have a higher trade-in value when your student becomes more advanced and wants to get a better instrument. Make sure the guitar comes with a decent case.We highly recommend the “Baby” Taylor it is a very well made ¾ size guitar. Fender also makes a number of good ¾ size acoustics and electric guitars. Ibanez makes a good ¾ size bass guitar.

Where to Purchase or Rent Instruments

Morey’s Music in Lakewood – Quality violins that are both new and used

4834 Woodruff Ave  Lakewood, CA 90713
(562) 420-9532

Sam Ash in Torrance – Complete music store

19800 Hawthorne Blvd #228  Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 214-0340

Sam Ash in Cerritos – Complete music store

12651 Artesia Blvd  Cerritos, CA 90703
(562) 468-1107

Guitar Center in Redondo Beach – Complete music store

4525 Artesia Blvd, Lawndale
(310) 542-9444

John’s Music Center – Yamahas, Taylors, Fenders, and violins!

2845 West Olympic Blvd. LA, 90006
(213) 908-5767

Amuse Music – Yamahas, Taylors, Fenders, and violins!

550 Deep Valley Dr #261B, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
(310) 377-7838

Vasquez Guitar Shop

5117 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 934-0647

Purchasing a Violin

 Beware of cheap instruments for sale!  (many Internet string instruments are Very poor quality!)  When the quality of an instrument is poor, it makes it more difficult for your child to play and enjoy.

If you are purchasing an instrument it is sometimes better to buy a good quality used string instrument than a cheaper brand new one.  You may wish to rent an instrument before you decide to purchase one.

Most music stores have good quality violins on hand and can walk you through the process.  Below you will find a list of music shops in the area for purchasing or renting your instrument.

It is essential that the instrument is the correct size for the student.  An instrument that is too large or small makes learning more difficult and sometimes frustrating and the child will not be encouraged to practice!

All  string instruments should include a case, bow (rosin for the bow optional)  and fine tuners for all 4 strings.  Cellos and Bass need rock stops, and Violins and Violas will need sponges or shoulder rests.  Most often the teacher will supply sponges if students do not have shoulder rests at one of the first classes.

The shoulder rest comes in all different sizes and prices just make sure the size fits the violin!

You may wish to purchase a metal music stand, (around $15.00 Sam Ash music stores) for students to use for practice at home.  This promotes the development of proper playing position.

Premier Violin Rental Shop on line only (theme violins have been teacher approved) family owned will ship to your home. 1-888-890-0524  rent a violin from $12.95 per month also they have a rent to own program large selection of small sizes available (1/16th and 1/8th)


Opus Music Store

(310) 618-1185 rentals/purchases

2219 Torrance Blvd. Torr 90503


Amuse Palos Verdes Music Center

(310) 377-7838

43 Peninsula Center RHE 90274


Strings Connection

(310) 377-0803

Open Wednesday thru Fri 1pm-6pm Sat 1pm-4pm Family owned

or call for an appt. good quality string instruments rentals/purchases


Morey’s Music 420-9532

4834 Woodruff Ave, Lakewood 90713



Sizes of instruments:

To be clear adults use Full size written as 4/4 usually 12yrs old and up

3/4 size violin 10-11 yr olds

1/2 size 8-9yrs

1/8th size 5yr-8yr olds

violins do come in smaller sizes 1/10th and 1/16th