About Benning Violins

Benning Violins - formerly known as Studio City Music - is a Los Angeles-area mainstay violin shop offering an extensive catalog of fine violins, violas, cellos and bows for sale crafted by old and modern masters.

We are a family-owned and operated store since 1953 and have a long tradition of expert service and meeting the needs of musicians, from the beginner to the professional.

We perform restorations and repairs on fine instruments and bows. We offer expert appraisals of instruments as well as consignment sales.

For three generations, the Benning family name has been synonymous with the making of fine, master-crafted violins, violas and cellos. Instruments crafted by Eric Benning are owned and played by a number of premier players, concert performers and recording artists.

Since the launch of our web site, we have grown into an International enterprise, shipping fine instruments and bows, accessories, as well as lesser-cost student outfits set up in our workshop, all over the world.

(818) 762-1374
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

Shoulder Rests: Do Beginning Players Need Them?

Shoulder rests. Are they necessary or are they not? This is a question that is always being asked by students, performers and teachers. Now that you've purchased a student violin for your child, it is now a question for you, the parent. The violin shoulder rest is not considered one of the essential violin accessories, like strings and rosin. But just about everyone agrees, a high quality and...
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What Do New Violins Cost?

Violins range in price according to many different factors including quality of the wood, the maker, the accessories, the country of origin and more. Typically violin shops and online violin stores will categorize their instrument offerings in three different categories: student violins, intermediate violins and professional violin models. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay between...
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Violin Strings for Beginning Players

Once the parent purchases a violin for your child who is a beginning player, the parent quickly finds out that the violin, bow and case is only the beginning. To allow one's child the richest playing experience - especially if the child is taking lessons in school or studying privately - an additional minimum investment in the proper violin accessories is necessary. Probably the single most...
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Violin Rosin: Essential for Beginning Players

So, you've purchased your child a violin. Most likely, whether you purchased the violin from a private party, online, or from a brick and mortar violin shop, you now have a violin and violin bow in a violin case. That's a great start but, unfortunately, only the beginning of acquiring the most essential violin accessories necessary to providing your child the most complete playing and learning...
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Buying a Violin Bow for Your Beginning Player

If you have purchased a student or intermediate violin outfit, the bow is included in the package along with the instrument and the case. If you purchase a stand-alone violin, however, it will become necessary to also purchase a violin bow. Once you decide to make the purchase, you have two choices: You may visit a local violin shop that sells bows or you may choose to purchase your violin bow...
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Cello Accessories for the Beginning Player

If your child is just starting out as a student cellist, you've most likely rented him or her a cello. Or if your child joined the school orchestra, he or she is using a student cello provided by the school. And if you were reasonably sure that your child is committed to playing, you might have purchased a student cello from a local violin shop. Whichever the scenario, unless the school has...
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Dampit Internal Humidifiers for Violins, Violas and Cellos

Some players of acoustic stringed instruments - violins, violas and cellos - live and work in hot, dry climates and others live in cool, dry climates. Because these instruments are crafted from wood, they need to be protected from extreme dry climates and dry environments so the wood doesn't dry out, causing cracks. Excessive dryness can also negatively affect your instrument's tone. Players...
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Jay Haide Stringed Instruments – For All Levels of Players

Jay Haide stringed instruments are well known on the market today for their high quality and affordability as lower and midrange, handcrafted instruments. But if you try to locate Jay Haide to tell the violinmaker that you appreciate his work, you’d be hard pressed to find him. This is because there is no “Jay Haide”, violinmaker. “Jay Haide” is the brand name of these instruments, taken from...
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Choosing a Violin Teacher for Your Child

If your child has expressed an interest in playing the violin (or the viola or the cello), odds are good that their school provides basic music courses, such as beginning orchestra, where a student can learn the basics of a string instrument. But typically, class instruction is rarely enough to allow a student to progress as rapidly as if he or she studies the instrument privately. This is true,...
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Renting a Violin for Your Student Violinist

Depending on your beginning violin student’s personality, level of commitment, maturity and other factors, you may decide that you would like to rent your child an instrument rather than purchasing a new one. There are pluses and minuses to both scenarios. If you do decide to go the rental route, there are very important things to know and understand before actually renting the instrument for...
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Student Violins: Mass-Produced Versus Hand Crafted

When it comes to student violins, the axiom that “you get what you pay for” has never been truer. There exist two basic types of student violins: Those that are mass-produced student violins of inferior quality and workmanship by several less-than-skilled luthiers and then there are those that are mostly handcrafted by a single, skilled maker or a small team of other skilled makers. The...
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Types of Cello Strings: An Overview

There are many, many different brands and types of cello strings for the beginner, intermediate and professional player. Some of these strings are very affordable, some less so depending on their core material as well as the material they are wound with. Cello, viola and violin strings look deceptively simple, but modern strings are actually quite complex in their technology. The story of the...
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Eastman Violins: Hand Crafted for All Playing Levels

Whether your search for a new violin has taken you to a local brick and mortar violin shop or to the Internet seeking to purchase a new violin at an online violin store, you’ve probably encountered the brand name Eastman. Eastman Music Company, formerly known as Eastman Strings, is one of the largest manufactures and suppliers of new violins in the world, creating high quality student violins,...
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Electronic Tuners: Essential Violin Accessories for Students

For the beginning violin student, there are two basic challenges to playing music well: playing in time and playing in tune. Obviously, in order to play in tune, the violin student – as well as those students who study the viola and cello – must make sure that their instrument is in tune as far as their open strings. This is a must before a single finger lands on the violin fingerboard. If the...
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Metronomes: Essential Violin Accessories for Students

There are plenty of violin accessories available for student violinists, as well as for those who play cello, viola or bass. Few, if any, of the accessories on the market are unnecessary. Most violin accessories, such as dampits, mutes and fine tuners are useful, essential even, but not vital. Then there are the vital accessories beyond shoulder rests and strings that make practice and progress...
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Intermediate and Student Violins from Snow

Over the years, many luthiers have traveled from China to Europe to learn the fine art of violinmaking from reputable schools in Germany, France and Italy. Some of the more highly trained and talented violinmakers set up workshops where they created quality instruments and trained new makers. One of these luthiers was Xueping Hu, founder of the Snow workshop in Beijing, China. Though Snow is...
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Demystifying Stringed Instrument Mutes

While not as vital as shoulder rests, chin rests and pegs, violin mutes – as well as mutes for violas and cellos, for that matter – are important instrument accessories for a number of good reasons. Mutes are small devices that are attached to a stringed instrument that alters its timbre, thereby reducing the volume that is produced. The “timbre” is just a fancy way of referring to the...
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Care and Maintenance of Student Violins – Violin Parts

Part of the joy of teaching violin students to play is to teach them how to properly care for their instrument, whether leased or owned. Properly caring for an instrument is as important an exercise as learning to play. In fact, each task goes hand in hand. Below is a summary of care and maintenance of specific parts of the violin: The Violin Bridge The bridge is a delicate but vital part of the...
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Care and Maintenance of Student Violins - Protection and Cleanliness

Part of the responsibility of the both the parent of a student violin player and the violin teacher, is to teach the student to properly care for their violin. Keeping a violin clean and protected from harsh conditions will keep the violin sounding its best and keep the student interested in playing. The violin is best protected in its case … When not being played, the violin and bow should be...
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What to Know About Violin Cases: An Overview

Choosing a violin case for a student violin is simple; but the more expensive the violin, choosing the right case can get tricky. Before any discussion about violin cases, we must face a simple fact: A violin case is a necessity for any violinist, whether beginner or professional. A violin case is required for safely transporting a violin and for keeping the instrument protected from harm as...
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Student Violin Outfits: How to Choose

Investing in a quality violin outfit for a student player could be a wise decision providing that you’re armed with the knowledge of what to look for and what questions to ask. If a parent is convinced that their student violinist is at a point where it makes sense to invest in their own violin – as opposed to spending more towards renting an instrument – purchasing a violin outfit may be the...
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Student Violin Outfits: An Overview

In the market for a good student violin? Before you buy a la carte, consider purchasing a violin outfit that includes everything a student player needs to get started. Anyone seeking to purchase a student violin or intermediate violin will usually notice that online violin stores, as well as neighborhood violin shops, offer individual violins, bows, cases and accessories sold separately, or they...
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Thomastik Infeld Strings for Violins, Violas and Cellos

Founded in Vienna by Dr. Franz Thomastik and Otto Infeld, Thomastik-Infeld has been manufacturing strings for violins, violas and cellos since 1919. Because piano strings were produced with steel, the company began manufacturing all of their stringed instrument strings with steel as well. By 1926, Tomastik-Infeld’s production methods had produced strings that were not only long lasting, but also...
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When Purchasing a Student Violin, It's All In the Setup

Everything important about the violin – from playing the violin, to making a violin – lies in the smallest details. When shopping online for student violins for your child, the rule of “small details continues to apply.” How you ask? When purchasing a violin within the $250 to $900 range, how the violin is setup by the shop selling you the violin can make more of a difference in the final sound...
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Sizes of Violins

For obvious reasons, violins (as well as violas and cellos) come in varying sizes, from full sized violins for adults to much smaller student violins for children learning to play. Obtaining the right sized violin for a child is vitally important. A too-large or too-small violin can make the instrument impossible to play and can lead to a child becoming discouraged from playing an instrument...
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Pirastro Strings: Quality & Consistency

Pirastro creates consistent and high quality strings for violins, violas and cellos as only a successful 300-year-old company can. Pirastro makes gut, synthetic and steel strings for violins, violas and cellos. Players of all levels use their strings, but the company boasts a great many renowned classical artists that use their strings exclusively. They also make strings for basses, harps and...
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Care and Maintenance of Violin Bows

caring for a violin bow, like caring for a violin, requires dedication and consistency, but can save money on expensive repairs over the long run. With so much emphasis on violin care, the proper maintenance and care of the violin bow can get lost in the shuffle. In many ways, a violin bow is much more delicate and susceptible to misuse than the violin itself. Still, many of the standard rules...
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What to do About Bow Bugs

Bugs that attack violin, viola and cello bows are a nuisance but a simple problem to treat and prevent. If you play violin or viola or cello long enough it will eventually happen. You will open your case and retrieve your bow. And even though you know for sure that you have been properly caring for and maintaining your bow, several hairs on your bow are broken off and hanging loose. This is a...
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