Renting a Viola from Top Notch in Saint Louis is Simple!

We are here to help you – which is one reason why none of our team works on a commission basis!

We are a local St. Louis stringed instrument store that specializes in renting, selling, and repairing stringed instruments. If you need a viola for yourself or your child, you are in the right place. Our viola rentals start as low as about $17 a month (when paid annually), and our top-of-the line carved violas rent for only $33 a month (when paid annually). While those prices are our annual plan (which gives you the lowest monthly cost), you can also choose a quarterly plan or even choose to pay monthly.

This page is LOADED with information about our rentals – including price details (and even your first month free). Make sure to keep scrolling down the page!

Also, we invite you to stop by one of our stores, give us a call, or send us an email (we respond to emails) if you have any questions about viola rentals! We do not work on commission: we are here to help you.

Photo of Steve, one of our owners who taught orchestra for years in the Parkway and Rockwood school districts. Steve can assist with your viola rental.
Steve is one of our owners. He's often at the Maplewood store, or perhaps visiting a St. Louis school. He taught orchestra for years in the Parkway and Rockwood school districts, and he is happy to help you!

Would you like your first month free?

Why Rent Your Viola from Top Notch Violins?

Peace of Mind

All our rentals include insurance against theft & accidental damage! You, or your child, can enjoy your instrument without being stressed or worried about it.

Save Money

3 full years’ worth of your rental payments can be applied to the purchase of your rental instrument! This means you don’t have to wrestle with the “is-it-better-to-buy-or-rent” decision when you rent from us.

Avoid Hassle

If a string breaks (and one eventually will), we do not charge labor for replacing strings AND all rentals include 50% off the cost of the replacement strings! Just stop by one of our nearby store locations and we will get your strings replaced.

Our Rental Violas Feature:

  • Ebony fingerboard, chinrest and pegs
  • High quality, American made D’Addario brand strings
  • Your choice: either a brazilwood or carbon fiber bow with real horsehair
  • Lightweight case
  • Sponge (various sizes) shoulder rest
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Rosin
  • Insurance against theft & accidental damage
  • Us! We’re here to support you!

Available Viola Sizes

11″, 12″, 13″, 14″, 15″, 15.5″, 16″, 16.5″

If you are unsure of the proper size – we’ll help make sure you, or your child, are fitted with the proper-sized viola.

Photo of a Top Notch rental viola, bow, and case that is ready to go
We carry a large selection of violins from which to choose

Select Your Viola Series

Our 1000 series entry level violas are made from aged maple sides and back with a spruce top. A good choice for a beginner’s first year as their ear and technique are developing.

Our 2000 series intermediate violas are made from properly aged, lightly flamed maple sides and back, and have a spruce top with a hand applied oil varnish. A great step-up for the progressing viola player.

Our 3000 series advanced violas are made from 5+ year old aged, heavy flamed maple sides and back. The spruce top has an antiqued oil varnish. An all-around excellent choice that you can’t go wrong with and will help you, or your child, stand out in school or community orchestras.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Viola?

1000 Series Viola Rental


  • The annual rate translates to a monthly cost of about $17 and by paying annually you are saving 33% over the monthly plan!
  • Or pay quarterly $66 and save 12%!
  • Or pay monthly $25.

2000 Series Viola Rental


  • The annual rate translates to a monthly cost of about $25 and by paying annually you are saving almost 35% over the monthly plan.
  • Or pay quarterly $95 and save 17%!
  • Or pay monthly $38.

3000 Series Viola Rental


  • Due to the value of our 3000 series violas we only offer them as a $400 yearly rental (which is about $33/month) and we do not offer a quarterly or monthly payment option.

All rentals are automatically and conveniently renewed by credit card.

How Does the Rental Process Work?

  1. Stop by one of our conveniently located stores.
  2. Size: we start by helping to select the proper-size instrument for you or your child.
  3. Series: next you pick the series (1000, 2000, or 3000) of instrument that you would like.
  4. Instrument: then you get to select the specific instrument within that series. Children LOVE picking out an instrument!
  5. Paperwork: finally a little bit of paperwork. It isn’t complex (we’re not lawyers, we’re artists and musicians) and you are all set.

The viola rental process (from start-to-finish) takes anywhere from maybe 15 minutes up to an hour. As it is, we are not in a hurry and are here to help you. Although, if you are in a hurry let us know and we’ll work to get you on your way ASAP.

How Many Strings does a Viola Have?

Answer: Four strings. The viola’s four strings are typically tuned in “fifths”: the lowest string is a C (an octave below middle C), and next is a G, D and then A. The viola’s tuning is exactly one fifth below the violin, and they have three strings which are in common—the G, D, and A—and those three strings are one octave above the cello.

Viola Care Tips

Caring for a viola is like caring for a violin:

  • While we include an instruction sheet with each rental we also want to include some care tips here on our web site.
  • The viola’s bow hair should be slightly tightened before playing, and slightly loosened after playing and for storage. The bow strings are tightened by turning the screw below the frog. Your viola instructor will help you with this, and we can also show you how to do this.
  • Viola bows need a small amount of rosin applied to the hair for sound. We include rosin with your rental. And, again, the amount of rosin is something your viola teacher can help you with – and we can also get you set with the first rosin application before you leave the store if you would like.
  • Each time you are done playing your viola we recommend gently wiping the strings and the top of the viola (with the included cleaning cloth) to remove any rosin dust. This helps to avoid a rosin build-up on the strings and the viola. As you’ll quickly find with your viola: not enough rosin has a bad sound, and too much rosin is also a problem!

We love seeing our violas being used in local St. Louis schools and community orchestras! If you have any questions about renting or buying an instrument from us, contact us today!

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