I think year 2 is where it finally comes together. Year 1 is full of not knowing anything, lots of squeaky bowing and so many twinkles (twinkle twinkle little star). Year 2 is when they start learning to read music and figuring out songs by ear and it begins to be a bit more fun. We used to have such a hard time getting him to practice, but now he will do it voluntarily. !!
Last year we rented a cello, but this year we decided that we could buy a beat up one for less than the cost as renting for a year. He went up a size (this is a 1/2) and he should be able to play this for several years because the end pin is all the way in right now. At first it was very awkward for him because the left hand positioning was a bit wider, but he got used to it fairly quickly. I have no idea what the brand is, I just know it was a former rental cello that had to be retired due to cosmetic damage. It has a nice quality of sound. Sometimes the real cheapie string instruments sound meh, but this instrument seems pretty good to my ears.
We finally have a bow holder and an arm for Patrick (which is a whole other post in and of itself, to come soon) so we’ll have to see if he follows in his brothers footsteps.