December 23, 2011 at 1:57 PMLet’s face it, folks, most non-musicians have absolutely no idea about the value of musical instruments, both economic and sentimental – it is fully unfathomable to them why people like us carry around equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars. To them, it is a pretentious waste of money to have such “frivolities” like an expensive violin or two lessons a week, and it is rather sad to realize this.
At first, the boy who knocked the case off my shoulder was incredibly apologetic and assured me that he and his family would pay for any damage. However, he changed his tune when he found out the price of the instrument, and, as I thought he would, he and his parents started vehemently denying any involvement and blamed the incident on my own negligence as a student; their opinion was that even if he himself caused the case to fall, the fact that it belonged to me and that it was on my shoulder therefore made the incident my doing.
Despite the drama and idiocy, I took a day off from school to rush the instrument back to Staten Island to get it checked out. Thankfully, Bill Monical found absolutely nothing wrong besides the surface crack and the knocked-off bridge, and we got the instrument back in working order and sounding beautifully in less than an hour. The damage could have been far worse, but the Musafia case did its job, providing the air-cushion needed to prevent any serious long term and devaluing damage to my instrument.
It seemed like such an inconsequential moment to that boy at school – he merely stuck out his arm and in the next second the violin case was on the floor. However, such a quick moment could have cost both parties tens of thousands of dollars. I feel sincerely lucky that my instrument is safe and sound, and I have Mr. Musafia and his Master Series case to thank for it.
So, folks, you never know what might happen to your precious equipment, and where it might occur. In my opinion, it is fully worth investing in a fine case like a Musafia that provides optimal protection (besides also looking beautiful!), because it is never quite clear when someone else’s negligence will cost you a good chunk of green.
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I have currently got a 110 year old French violin on trial. If I decide to invest in it, I am sure I'll be considering a case like a Musafia to go along with it. One of the great things about being in a music school for me is that everyone has a high respect for one another's instruments and music - much better than my old school!
That said, I really feel that I must make a disclaimer. It's true that I have spent years, or indeed - my life, trying to make progress in the field of instrument safety. However, no instrument is 100% safe in any case, not in mine, not in others. It's like saying that airbags and crumple zones will protect you from harm if you drive head-on against a Mack truck. Certainly safety features are important, but they can't guarantee 100% survival in every situation.
In my opinion, the point is to try to make progress in the direction of instrument protection, to consider it a must, and to make ALL case makers concentrate on this. Only in this fashion can the great instruments of the past hope to survive for the enjoyment of future generations of players and listeners.
I have to admit, I think about the safety of my violin when traveling at high speeds in my car more than I do my own. In a symbolic way, it's my child, since I have none of my own. I try to remember though, it's just stuff. People are most important. Make sure you are reimbursed for the accident, but also do your best to make amends and forgive his foolishness.
To Mr. Kim, and also those who were wondering, yes my instrument is insured, and yes we did pursue this with the school administration. Not that they were able to do much but we were able to get third party statements, and the school will file a report.
However, the damage is literally zero cost to repair...Mr. Monical was so kind to cover up the nicks and the crack for free, plus do another full adjustment.
To Mr. Musafia, you bring up a great point; no case will protect a violin 100%. However, your cases protect 99% :)
I'm still saving up for an Enigma ;)
There's only one way I will carry my instruments and cases -- right in my hand, with a firm grip on the case handle. This way, the lower edge of the case is only about 15 inches from the ground -- I just measured. I recommend we all consider doing it this way.
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Joshua wrote: "People these days are so ignorant!"
Yes, some of them are -- but not just these days. It's an old story, part of the human condition. That's why we have moms and dads to train us. From what Brian says about the jokester's parents, I sense that they are falling down on the job.
I might well have turned out like the jokester myself. Fortunately, I was never big for my age -- that, in itself, was a good deterrent; but the main factor was that my parents wouldn't allow it.
Sam sent me the link to your post here and 1st. I am sorry to hear about all this. Sam and I wonder, with lessons learned... what are your thoughts as to how you will carry your violin case from now on? Basically... what preventitive action(s) could you or any of us do to avoid having this happen? Like when driving, keeping an eye out for others stupidity that will cost "us" dearly.
Always your friend,
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