Welcome to The Violin Shop
We specialize in all sizes of violins, violas and cellos. Our sales and rentals are backed by our world class workshop.

Sales, Rentals, Lessons & Repairs

Violins, Violas, Cellos, Bows and Accessories

The Violin Shop works by appointment to ensure that we can meet each client's needs to the best of our ability with undivided attention.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment to try-out any of our instruments.
  • Wednesday - Saturday
  • by appointment

call us


Schedule An Appointment


Learning to play a stringed instrument is a challenging endeavor. Quality instruments with the correct setup will make a substantial difference in a beginner’s ability to develop strong fundamental technique. Set-up includes planing the fingerboard, fitting the pegs, acoustically cutting the bridge, fitting the sound post, and installing top quality strings on a Whittner tailpiece that has four built-in fine tuners.

Schedule An Appointment

Whether you are looking for a first-time purchase or upgrading, we offer an ever-expanding line of instruments, bows and accessories. We have both modern and old world instruments from Europe, Asia and America as well as handcrafted violins and violas by Luthier Kevin Smith.


Our Rental Outfits include:
The instrument, bow & shoulder rest.
Rosin & cleaning cloths.
Case or bag & identification tags.


We are a full service shop unafraid of standing behind our work.
All repair work on instruments purchased through the Violin Shop will receive a 25% discount and priority scheduling.
Extensive restorations are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

For starters, pick up and hold an instrument by the neck. That's its handle. You avoid putting fingerprints all over the varnish. Wipe the perspiration and rosin off your instrument, strings and bow each time after playing. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Read Kein's articles Inside-the-Shop for additional information.



Kevin Smith is a Luthier and his handcrafted violins and violas are crafted with an understanding of the instrument, its voice, and the musician. His unique blend of skill and experience create an instrument that feels like a seamless extension of the player, allowing a passionate musician to experience a dynamic range of sound intuitively.

In 2008, Kevin completed two 16 1/8" Tertis model violas. Each instrument was tailored to fit the demanding requirements of accomplished musicians. He has recently completed a Del Gesu model violin. To try this instrument or one of his recent violas please let us know.

Kevin brings a lifetime of experience to The Violin Shop. He received his Luthier degree from The Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1976. He went on to continue his violin, viola and cello education at William Moennig & Son in Philadelphia where he trained with Robert Cauer for over 2 years. From there he went on to train under Roland Feller in San Francisco for an additional 2 years. Kevin has been in the business of building custom made violins and violas as well as restoring and repairing instruments and bows since 1972.

About Us

The co-owners of The Violin Shop Paula Simmons and Kevin Smith had known each other professionally for over fifteen years. In 2006, they decided to put their multitude of talents and years of string instrument experience together to create The Violin Shop. They had no idea at the time what a wonderful world would emerge.

Their goal was to build a high quality string shop in San Diego. They leased out 1,200 square feet and the next thing they knew, they were expanding the size of the workshop to accommodate the growing demand of players and for fine instruments.

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith


Paula Simmons
Paula Simmons


Sharon Taylor
Sharon Taylor

Office Support/ Cellist & Cello Instructor

Bows, etc.

Carlos Romero

Please call Bow Specialist Carlos Romero directly to schedule drop-offs and pick-ups at the shop Thursday and Saturday.

Carlos Romero
Bow Specialist

phone: 619-312-7892

Carlos specializes in complete restoration, repair and custom rehairing of all string instrument bows. Carlos Romero has joined their team of specialized craftsmen. Carlos' services include bow rehair, repairs and restoration.

Carlos Romero, a Luthier, specializes in complete restoration, repair and custom rehairing of all string instrument bows. He was educated with the world renown master William Salchow in Banff, Canada and Michael Vann at his classes in Victoria, BC, Canada both Federation members. With over 20 years of experience on all types of restoration and repair, Carlos will bring your bows to their finest playing ability. An accomplished violinist for over 35 years, Carlos currently is playing with Symphony Orchestras and understands the importance of a properly maintained bow. Each bow is personally played by Carlos and "fine tuned" for any adjustments prior to returning to the client. With professional associations of Hannings-Rubino Repair Shop, Kloss Violin, both Federation Shops, and Johnson String Instrument, his vast experience will give you the results that only a professional can do.


Strings are expensive, no getting around it. Odds are you've checked out a few of the on-line string sellers and have purchased strings from them. But there are times when it simply isn't convenient, or even wise. For instance, if you have difficulty putting strings on yourself, you can buy them from us and Kevin will professionally install them without charge. So in an effort to balance the need of having them in your hands now and better pricing, we're taking 30% off all our strings!


You'll find us at:

10505 Sorrentto Valley Rd., Ste 400, San Diego, CA 92121

PARKING: All parking spaces are available for use.

The Violin Shop

From Orange & No. County Coastal

I-5 South to the I-805 South Take 1st Exit (Mira Mesa Blvd.) and SORRENTO VALLEY RD. At traffic light at end of exit, turn RIGHT, go 1/2 mile straight ahead. Watch for UC Davis Veterinary Hospital sign, turn RIGHT into the 2nd driveway at 10505. The Violin Shop is on the 4th floor.

From No. County Inland

I-15 South to 56 West. 56 West merges into Carmel Mountain Road/ I-5 /I-805 bypass. Take 805 SOUTH , stay in the far right lane and Take the 1st Exit (Mira Mesa Blvd.) and SORRENTO VALLEY RD. At traffic light at end of exit, turn RIGHT, go 1/2 mile straight ahead. Watch for UC Davis Veterinary Hospital sign, turn RIGHT into the 2nd driveway at 10505. The Violin Shop is on the 4th floor.

From San Diego via I-805 North

From I-805 North, exit Sorrento Valley Rd, RIGHT at traffic light, at the end of exit. RIGHT again at next traffic light and move to either of left two lanes. Straight thru 3rd traffic light, 1/2 mile. Watch for U.C. Davis Animal Hospital sign, turn RIGHT into the 2nd driveway at 10505. The Violin Shop is on the 4th floor.

From San Diego via I-805 North

Sorrento Valley Rd exit, LEFT at the end of exit. RIGHT over the R.R. tracks, another RIGHT immediately at traffic light. Take third legal U-Turn at the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital sign, Turn RIGHT into driveway at 10505. The Violin Shop is on the 4th floor.

Quartetto Sorrento

Quartetto Sorrento

Ondrej Lewit, violin I
Jorge Soto, violin II
Paula Simmons, viola
Gordon Grubbs, cello

The group is available for private performances and in-home concerts. Please contact Paula at 858-909-0319.

Quartetto Sorrento

The sound of unity. In a fraying world Quartetto Sorrento weaves the threads of four musical lines into a lush fabric.
It's four diverse musicians bring the complexity of their individual histories, educations, opinions and goals into a fabric of existential harmony. And it's beautiful.
First violinist Ondrei Lewitt spent 2 decades, after escaping Soviet occupied Czechoslovakia, making a living playing 1st violin in quartets based in Spain.
Second violinist Michael Dvoskin immigrated from Moscow in 2007 with a desire to bring the Russian school of violin playing to San Diego.
Violist Paula Simmons, bridging the musical divide between upper and lower voices, fittingly hails from the banks of the Mississippi...her musical skills having been filtered through the likes of William Prucell Sr.
Cellist Gordon Grubbs, another heartland gem, plays the low voice the quartet rests on. As a composer his work has been played across the country. Having overcome physical issues that would have stopped almost anyone else, his playing has emerged with a unique depth of expression.
Individually they are all passionate about promoting music making in the community. Each maintaining a teaching studio of their own, they understand the significance of learning and playing music as a tool for human development. Teaching the young and old, beginners to advanced players, they are true ambassadors of music.
With projects and endeavors ranging from The Violin Shop (Paula Simmons), to North Coast Strings adult beginner/intermediate orchestra (Paula Simmons and Gordon Grubbs), to Grossmont Orchestra and beyond (Ondrei Lewitt, Michael Dvoskin and Gordon Grubbs) San Diego is a much better place for having these 4 musicians as residents and musical advocates.
Individually they are diverse. Together they are Quartetto Sorrento. The sound of unity.




Sunday, December 8th @ 3:00 PM

VENUE: The Merc
40251 Main St
Temecula, CA 92590

Call the box office (866) 653-8696

or Purchase tickets online:


The Violin Shop has accomplished instructors for violin, viola, cello & bass for all ages and abilities. Please contact the instructors directly for availability and rates.

Violin and stand


Paula Simmons
Viola, & Chamber Music

phone: 858-909-0319

email: paula@theviolinshopsandiego.com

Paula Simmons received her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Viterbo College, a fine arts college in La Crosse, Wisconsin. And her Master of Music in Viola Performance from Florida State University in Tallahassee. Before moving to San Diego, she performed with the El Paso Symphony, the Pro Musica Chamber Ensemble in El Paso Texas, and the Jacksonville Symphony in Jacksonville Florida. Since moving to California, Ms. Simmons has freelanced extensively in the San Diego area and the Baja with a variety of orchestras, chamber ensembles and guest performers including Starlight Theatre, San Diego Comic Opera, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra de Baja, Camarata de Ensenada, the Bolshoi and San Francisco Ballet, The Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Burt Bacharach, Dion Warwick, Natalie Cole, and Michael Crawford. For several years Paula was also the primary orchestra conductor of the Civic Youth Orchestra Organization. In November 2008, she became the founding conductor for the North Coast Strings, an adult beginners orchestra, sponsored by The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad. It is the goal of this nationwide adult program to welcome complete beginners to string performance as well as those that have returned to their instruments after a number of years. Starting in Jan 2016, she will be the director of a chamber music program for adults hosted at the Violin Shop.

Sharon TaylorA resident of San Diego, Sharon has created a great foundation as a cellist and instructor with a degree in Cello Performance from San Diego State University. She can be seen around San Diego performing with local musical theatres, orchestras, and string ensembles. Along with performing and teaching she began working with The Violin Shop in 2013 where she enjoys managing keeping the shop organized and helping clients with their instruments. Sharon hopes to continue keeping her clients happy and performing around San Diego.

Sharon Taylor

phone: 619-540-6949

email: staylor0486@yahoo.com

Victoria BietzVictoria Bietz studied with Mark Kaplan at University of California, Los Angeles where she received her B.A in Violin Performance. In order to explore life outside of sunny Southern California, she went to The Boston Conservatory for her Masters in Music. After two years enduring the cold, Victoria moved back to San Diego as a freelance violinist. She has played with San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Luscious Noise, Classics for Kids, Orchestra Nova, California Chamber Orchestra, Starlight Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Opera Pacific, among others. Victoria grew up in the Eastern San Diego mountains of Jamul. Her musical family fostered her interest in the violin and she became heavily involved in San Diego Youth Symphony for ten years, and was Concertmaster for three. Victoria has been teaching in San Diego since 2005 and uses Suzuki and Mark O'Connor books combined with traditional teaching. She is currently accepting students of all ages and all levels. Most recently, Victoria became a member of the Suzuki Association and became certified in Suzuki Book 1.
Contact Victoria to schedule a trial lesson, rates & other information.

Victoria Bietz

phone: 617-519-9849

email: vbietz80@yahoo.com

website: www.victoriabietz.com

Adult String Programs
Paula conducting

Adult String Programs

There are three groups available. Participants can join one or both groups.

North Coast Strings Fall 2019 Session

North Coast Strings Adult Orchestra Program is an educational program of the Museum of Making Music. It is open to adults (21 and over) who would like to learn, refresh their skills, or advance on violin, viola, cello, or bass. It offers three distinct groups (beginner-intermediate-advanced) and provides a non-competitive yet motivating environment. Weekly rehearsals culminate in an end-of-session performance for all groups.

Rehearsal Schedule for the Fall 2019 Session:
September 3, 10, 17, 24
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
November 5,19, 26
December 3

Tuesday, December 10th @ 7:00 PM
Carlsbad Community Church
3175 Harding Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008


Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Rehearsal Rooms A and B

This group is for players of violin, viola, cello, or bass who are comfortable with their instrument after having played for several years either recently or in the past, and who have solid music reading and rhythmic skills. Much of the repertoire is learned in its original unarranged form (not simplified) although is it not as advanced as one would find in a community orchestra. The goal of this orchestra is to perform a concert at the end of the session. A group of professional musician section coaches joins this group at each rehearsal and provides support through suggesting fingerings, bowings and technique.

Enrollment is limited to 50 people.
Cost: $195
Conductor: Alyze Dreiling


Tuesdays 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Rehearsal Room A

This group is geared to the adult beginner and focuses on elementary skill building on violin, viola, cello, and bass. A focus on technique is accompanied by a limited selection of repertoire. This group is invited to perform a few short pieces at the end-of-session concert.

Enrollment limited to 20 people.
Cost: $175
Instructor: Judy Coker


Tuesdays 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Rehearsal Room B

This group is geared to the adult intermediate player who has played violin, viola, cello, or bass for at least 2 years either recently or sometime in the past. Ability to read music is a must. Repertoire is in the intermediate student range. Focus is on learning repertoire, with limited time spent on technique. This group performs as part of the end-of-session concert.

Enrollment is limited to 30 people.
Cost: $175
Conductor: Alyze Dreiling

Accessories & Specialty Products

Necessary, New, Interesting and Hard-to-find products.

The Violin Shop

10505 Sorrento Valley Rd., Suite 400

San Diego, CA 92121

Telephone: 858-909-0319