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On the same theme as @Plunderpuss’s admonition about bad “brushes”:

If you wish to encourage a child or loved one to pick up a musical instrument, please do not do it by buying a $90 “violin” from walmart or the like

These things are NOT musical instruments. They’re known among musicians and luthiers as “VSOs” – Violin Shaped Objects – and they’re a sure ticket to convincing someone that they cannot play, will never be able to play, and should give up music entirely. That’s because those things are UNPLAYABLE. 

If you have no money an actual violin shop is HELLA INTIMIDATING. I get that. My parents had no money, and they almost turned around and walked out of the violin shop before purchasing my first (half size, so adorbs) violin. Instead, they told the owner “We have $200 dollars and a little girl who wants to play. We can’t afford the monthly cost of renting. Is that totally unreasonable? Should we just leave?” And Carl, bless his heart, found me my first violin. 

If $200 is too much, there are music teachers and school who will loan instruments and luthiers who will do payment plans. The point isn’t the exact amount spent; the point is that musical instruments are specialty equipment and there are unfortunately people out there looking to make a buck selling things that LOOK like instruments but aren’t, so ESPECIALLY if you’re not a musician yourself, you need to go to a specialist. Or, if you know someone who plays, bring them with you! Seriously, it’s not an imposition. Basically every musicker I know LOVES to be invited to test drive instruments. 

I’ve been playing violin/fiddle for twenty four years. If I can’t get a halfway decent tone out of a violin, it is not actually a violin. It’s a VSO. And I get seriously worked up about the idea that there are kids out there convinced they can’t play because they were given garbage and expected to make music out of it.