How long does it take before students start using a real violin?
They are playing the songs on piano / keyboard during the initial few months, so they’re making music already — just not on violin.
An astute 4-year-old whose parents have her practice piano and do all the movement building blocks daily may complete the sequence in 8 weeks. A similar 5-year-old might take as little as 6 weeks.
A student who is much younger, or has less body awareness / coordination, or whose parents are less disciplined with them, may take as long as 6 months or more, depending on the child.
Because they’re playing piano this whole time, the children are already learning the songs, and will have them internalized when they start playing. They’re making the connections of which notes go up, which go down, which ones are skips, etc., as well as independent fingering. So the students move faster on the violin once they do get there. Many parents already view piano playing as a prerequisite skill to learning other instruments, so are very supportive of the work their child is doing during this stage.