Please enjoy searching this list of great resources for all orchestra members!

Here is a list of recommended items that will make your orchestra experience more enjoyable.  


Your MBRSD string teachers recommend that you have an extra set of spare strings in your case, especially if you own your own instrument.

Make sure you order the correct size, and check to see if you need

ball-end or loop-end strings.

Our recommended brands:

Grades 4-6  Supersensitive Red Label (least expensive)

Grades 7-12  Thomastik “Dominant”  The improved tone is worth the

extra money.  (We recommend that all students who own instruments at this age level get Dominant strings installed)


Grades 4-6 Light rosin in a rectangular wooden

    holder is recommended.

Grades 7-12 Same as above (or dark) ~ For a

    higher quality consider purchasing a more

    fragile cake of either light or dark rosin.


We recommend that you rehair your bow once per year.

Robert Beacham is a great resource in Farmington.  See link below.

New Bows:

Least expensive bow option would be a fiberglass bow, get real horsehair.  There are many, many options for upgraded bows (remember bows give your instrument a “voice”)  You

can purchase carbon fiber bows, and high-end hand carved bows.  Bows also come in a variety of styles and colors now, you can even get colored horsehair!  See the below resources for more information.

Suggested Accessories:

We recommend that every violin / viola player have a good shoulder rest.  Sponges help, but a proper shoulder rest will help improve instrument position, and playing ability.  Shoulder rests help with shifting and vibrato.  A good shoulder rest is an inexpensive way to really improve posture, comfort and ability.  The most widely used, and recommended shoulder rest is “Kun”.  Please be wary of cheap imitations.  (See image of Kun shoulder rest below left)

•Cello and bass students may want an end-pin stopper.  

•You may want to invest in an electronic tuner. (we use the Intelli IMT-500 clip-on tuners in grade 6 and at the middle school and high school)  Other items that may come in handy:  music stand, metronome (you can get tuner/metronome combinations)  sheet music, mutes, and more.   See the “Tuning” page on this website for tips.

    See the resources list below for shopping.

Instrument Care:

Which violin is mine?  The MBRSD orchestra teachers recommend that each student puts some kind of removable “tag” on their case for easy identification.  A key ring, or string would work well. 

Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. . . Please remember to always loosen your bow when putting it back in the case.  This will prolong the life of the horsehair, and release the pressure on the bow.

Rosin dust All students should keep a small rag in their case to clean

the rosin dust off off their instruments.

most of the below are links, try clicking for information!

SHAR Music - a great store with a great catalog from Ann Arbor, MI

Southwest Stringed Instruments - another great store from AZ

Johnson Stringed Instruments - another great store from Newton, MA

Robert Beacham - Master violin maker, and repair person

(in Farmington, ME)  Robert is a gifted craftsman.  778-6997

Orion Music- formerly Sirius Music (rental provider for MBRSD Orch.)

    Andy Buckland   491-7690 Click for Andy’s email


Larry Siegler - Instruments and repairs, Farmington, Maine  778-0735

Everyday Music -   778-3483

Frost Gully Violins - Freeport, Maine

Somerset Violins - Waterville, Maine

Jonathan Cooper Violins - Portland, Maine


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updated on 11/2/11