December 2011

The need for a quality, protective instrument case

December 23, 2011 06:57

Let’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.

Now, you may be wondering why I am having such morbid, cynical thoughts about humanity? Well, yesterday, to put two days’ worth of strife and worry in a nutshell, an acquaintance of mine at school decided to be a jokester and intentionally knocked my instrument case off my shoulder as I was walking down the hallway to perform Bach’s Ciaconna for my calculus class. My dart-shaped Musafia case made a sickening thud as it hit the concrete floor, and much like Arnold Steinhardt’s reaction in “Violin Dreams” to his priceless Storioni falling when he tripped in a subway station, I knew something had gone wrong. It was ironic that this had happened now, especially when I just got it back last week from Staten Island for a $1500, 5-day surgery and set-up. My first reaction was to run to class and check on my 110 year old Neapolitan violin. When I opened up my case, the bridge had popped off my newly renovated instrument, and there was a nasty-looking surface crack in the ribs.

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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