I was able to find a reputable music shop that rents violins (and 100% of the rental price goes towards the purchase of a violin), so on Friday, Jamie and I went down and got him a violin. Despite the fact that he has not had a single lesson, he insisted on trying it out. Now, I kept trying to tell him he needs to wait until he actually has some lessons before he starts playing because he doesn't want to develop any bad habits or accidentally damage the violin or bow.... to no avail. He's so excited about this that he insisted on digging out the DVD and CD that came with his lesson book and dove right in. The dog ran from the room and hid in his crate; the neighbor's cat that is always in our yard started yowling; and Jamie sawed away with a huge grin on his face. I finally convinced him to put it away, his first lesson was only a few days away, he could wait that long without dying, etc. etc. etc.
I now feel sympathy for what my mother went through when I first started learning the flute at my older sister's knee. Please, let us all pray he improves with practice! LOL