Kansas to Oz
September 17, 2010 at 10:21 AM
After a week or two of nasty encounters with various uncooperative violins--violins in name only, I might add--I found a light at the end of the tunnel. Two of my students heeded my advice and called the Wyatt Violin Shop to set up a future with a happy, much obliging violin for a change. Upon opening the case of the first arrival, I caught my breath. If you could imagine Dorothy stepping out of her black and white farmhouse from the aftermath of a tornado, you'd be close to seeing how it felt to step away from the Violin-Shaped-Object into the world of color and sound. I had to shuffle back a tear, actually, it was so beautiful. Voices sang, "You're out of the woods, you're out of the dark, you're out of the night; step into the sun, step into the light..." The mom and daughter may have a small idea, but they probably won't ever fully appreciate the many disasters they narrowly avoided by sparing their money from a VSO.
And then, I received a gift from a previously unknown reader who'd felt for my plight and wanted to offer his unused beginner model violin as an example of the productive possibility available in an affordable price bracket. I received the violin in the mail today, and when I opened it, I was immediately giddy at the sight of something so absolutely playable for just $400. I would have guessed it easily at $800, but these Chinese violins have such a competitive market, it's possible to walk away with an absolute steal of a bargain when it comes to cheap playable instruments. I revel at the thought of introducing it to a needy beginner. I revel at the thought of dispelling the cheap, soul-less pieces of garbage once and for all. No one deserves the punishment of a Violin-Shaped-Object. I will see to it that none of my students suffer needlessly.
From Tom Holzman
Posted on September 17, 2010 at 2:01 PM
As Dorothy and her friends found out, there is nothing like seeing the Wizard. Glad it worked out so well for you and your students.
You got me with the title. ; )
Your blogs are such fun to read!
If you have regular recitals and/or group lessons, maybe some of the parents will notice the difference in tone between the VSOs and the nicer instruments. There are violins out there that can strip the paint off the wall in seconds!
Lisa, I think I got my nose hairs singed by one of those! And yes, I am strategizing a Christmas recital just in time for kids to write Santa a letter...
I do hope it was on fire when it singed you.
Ah yes, got a little too close to the crackling aroma...
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