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Pauline Lerner

Violin shopping is fun

December 12, 2009 at 8:25 AM

Violin shopping is fun, especially when the violin is for someone else and someone else is paying the bill. In the last month, I've enjoyed shopping for violins with three of my students. There are stories for each of them, and I will tell them later. For now, I'd like to share my feeling of excitement at my favorite local luthier's in a photo blog.


From Violin Shopping, November, 2009


I get such a strong feeling of excitement when I see so many riches hung together in one room. I know that the more expensive violins are kept in cases elsewhere, but that doesn't change my feeling of excitement.


From Violin Shopping, November, 2009



These violins remind me of ripe fruit on the vine, just ready to be picked.



From Violin Shopping, November, 2009



We've narrowed our selection down from eight to these five.



Here is something interesting but not for sale: a viola d'amore.


From Violin Shopping, November, 2009

Here you can see the viola d'amore's two sets of strings. The upper ones are bowed, and the lower ones resonate.

From Violin Shopping, November, 2009

I had so much fun looking at these violins, giving my students information and advice about them, listening to my students play them, and playing them myself.

The decision process and the outcome were different for each student.

To be continued


P.S.  Check out my website, at

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 12, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Very exciting photos indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


From Margaret Lee
Posted on December 14, 2009 at 4:55 AM

I think of my visits to museums, when we see the handcrafts that the people long ago put their time and passions into. In this age of silicon and steel, we are so privileged as string players to be able to handle instruments that bring us back to those times.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 14, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I agree Margaret! In addition, I'm also very against "mass" teaching and don't think it is possible to be a good musician when you are trained in "mass" institutions.  (ok if you have some private lessons in the mass institution I know what is so sad is when some are restricted to take private lessons because of money issues and this is another debate...).  Music must be tough in real from one person to another. (exactly like in the old time when you went with a carpenter to learn the job if you wanted to be a carpenter or followed a cook if you wanted to become a cook etc.)  So this too is quite of "old fashioned" and not really in style today.  

Have a nice day,


From Margaret Lee
Posted on December 14, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Thanks for your response, Anne-Marie!  Playing the violin, honing the art in a personal, painstaking way (now I must admit that for me with my limited time it is just a hobby)-  seeking to excel in such an area (even if it is a hobby, maybe the point is even stronger, as there's no other motivation)-- I'd like to think that these are noble values.  It does go against the tide of mass production, quick and easy gratification, etc. 

From David Allen
Posted on December 15, 2009 at 2:15 AM


I've always thought of them as candy stores for musicians. "Fruit on the vine!" What outstanding imagery you give us.

As well, what a great learning experience for your students.



From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 16, 2009 at 3:31 AM

Thank you all for your comments.

We violinists are fortunate that we often use instruments that are hand crafted by people who care about their work.  Every violin has its own personality.  They're not like the mass produced coffee pot I bought a few months ago which is already falling apart and can't be repaired.

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