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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Violin-related gifts

December 15, 2007 at 9:14 PM

I could be helpful, and ask all of you what you would really want for a holiday gift so your relatives could go to and find your heart's desire. But I think it's more amusing to see just how many of us have received various kinds of violin-related gifts over the years. I've listed a good number of typical knick-knack kinds of gifts, as well as some violin accessory kinds of gifts, just to get the ball rolling.

As a youngster, I actually did not want to pin my identity on the violin, and I bristled at getting violin-related kitsch. "Do NOT get me some frog-playing violin figurine!"

Then a nice boy, not one who took music lessons, in my seventh grade class called me up one night before Christmas, "I, uh, well, have a present for you..." and he showed up on my snowy doorstep with a sweet little ceramic angel, playing the violin. It melted my heart. I came across it recently, when I was cleaning, and I was glad I'd kept that angel safe; my friend died young.

I suppose in some way, my entire life's story could be told through violin-related gifts. There's the beautiful Russian music box, which played the "Sugar Plum Fairy," given me by students who were sisters, and they'd bought it with their allowance. To my great chagrin, it was lost during a move.

My Christmas tree is full of the little ornaments given me by students, and I regularly wear the musical jewelry they have given me.

I couldn't resist including this on the list: the piano scarf, as I consider this to be THE campiest music-related item on the planet -- a true classic.

What little violin-related gifts have been given you, and what is their story?

From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 15, 2007 at 9:24 PM
I get all sorts of violiny presents from students. (I also have received two violin-playing frog figurines, and they both bow left handed. They are on the deck, enjoying the last of the 70 degree weather!)

I like the cards the best. I keep them all.
The niftiest present I got last year was an awe-inspiring, perfect, huge pine cone. My student's Mom had picked it up off the ground while she was on one of her walks, and gave it to me as a fun companion to a grocery store gift card. The gift card was awesome (Attention, parents of violin students: A grocery store gift card is the gift that keeps on giving!), but I adore this pine cone. It has a place of honor on the coffee table.

This year, I asked Santa for:

1) Permanent World Peace.
2) "The Potato Eaters" by Van Gogh.
3) The "Soil" Strad.
4) A blender. My old blender died about nine years ago...

From Valerie Coon
Posted on December 15, 2007 at 10:23 PM
My parents recently went on a trip to Europe, while in Salzburg, they were amused to find (and of course, subsequently bought) "Nannerl Schnapps". Yes, that's right. Mozart's sister is emblazoned upon the label of a tiny bottle of pear Schnapps, in a tiny glass violin-shaped bottle. The ensemble is completed by the black violin scroll lid cover. I laughed and keep it by my computer. Smells fantastic. Tastes not so much. (I tried a sip and was rather disappointed with the Schnapiness versus Pear flavor.)
From Kristin Mortenson
Posted on December 15, 2007 at 10:30 PM
At lessons on Thursday, I admired one of my students' cool Ugg-ish boots. I have real Uggs, but they're purple and, well, you can only wear purple Uggs so much. Anyway, last night I came home from an errand and there was a large bag waiting for me. Having the patience of a fruit fly (I assume they're impatient...don't know, really) I tore into it. Lo and behold, I had my very own pair of beige Ugg-ish boots from my students!! Perfect fit--I felt like Cinderella. And then it snowed. :-)
From Albert Justice
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 12:27 AM
Competency--just general competency--Jeeeezzusss, is that asking for to much! ;)
From Rich Miller
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 1:44 AM
Hi, Everyone I am new here at Violinist. I am very passionate about the violin, among other things in life. Also, an adult student. I really like this site and glad I stumble on to it. It"s has a wealth of
knowledge on it, not to mention the professionals that take their time go out of there way to help. I

I just received some early gifts, a new Coda Diamond GX bow, with two cakes of rosin, one dark, one light. This was just yesterday.

I ask for:

1. (Permanent World Peace) above all!
2. Free ad from
3. New Gamut Strings.

That all. Oh Anne, I have a new blender. I'll will trade it with you for the "The Potato Eater" by Van Gogh, if you get it.

Thank you Laurie, for this website!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
All the best!

From Mara Gerety
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 2:58 AM
I've gotten lots of recordings and the occasional kitschy violin Christmas tree ornament. No sheet music, sadly...but at least I never got a violin-playing frog.

For Christmas this year I want free tickets to the Takacs Quartet's entire next season. Or that unforgettable Storioni I played in Salt Lake City. Either one, I'm not picky. :)

From Laurie Niles
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 3:07 AM
No one has a piano scarf? Not even me!
From Tara Shaw
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 3:23 AM
I've never received anything music related for a holiday. My husband bought me a music stand for my last birthday, though, that's probably the closest I can come. (And the fact that he did shows just how well he knows me--I needed it and I love it.)

Years ago my mother gave me a violin playing porcelain doll, I think for a birthday. A friend gave me a couple of pictures of music stuff. But mostly I buy things for myself (a real pretty painting, several little glass violin figures).

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 5:07 AM
I like getting gift certificates that can be redeemed for musical things, like concert tickets or recordings at Barnes and Noble.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 12:58 PM
I have several violin-related ornaments on my tree that I've gotten over the years: an angel playing a violin, an elf playing a violin with my name engraved on the bottom panel, and a golden violin with a faux bow tied around the neck. And, I have a sterling silver violin charm that I can wear on a necklace.

I think the most useful thing I got as a gift was a zipped waterproof music folder, with music notes on the outside, for carrying music. Full-size rectangular, cloth-covered violin and viola cases like the ones I have now have functional music pockets, but the series of shaped, hard plastic, bullet-proof cases I had as a kid did not. My daughter's and her friends' don't either. So she uses it now. It's pretty old, so I've had to (discreetly) tape up the bottom corners so the pencils don't fall out.

From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 3:39 PM
More violin stuff...

-A round stoneware jar, with "Ashes of Problem Students" engraved on the front.
-Violin mugs. Many, many mugs.
-Violin bottles, 3, including the "Nannerl" bottle.
-Violin fridge magnets.
-Violin necklace charms.
-Violin pins.
-Violin stand-alone vase.
-Violin wall vase.
-Violin lamp, lights up from the inside!
-Violin-playing cat figurine.
-Violin crystal blocks, 3, laser-etched.
-Violin pencil sharpener.
-Violin pen.
-Violin candy, the Reber-Mozart Kugeln.
-Violin keychain, and it "plays" songs.
-Miniature violins, (three) in cases, with bows.
-Miniature violin, hanging on small display rack.
-Violin brass wall-hanging.
-Large angel-playing violin.
-Violin pillow.

Christmas decor:

-Red/Green metallic violin that "plays" Christmas songs.
-Crystal violin-playing snowman.
-Violin-playing snowman, battery operated.
-Nutcracker, gun removed, violin added!
-Violin embroidered Christmas stocking.
-Violin ornaments, and angel-playing violin ornaments, too big for the tree, hanging off the CD shelves.
-Christmas tree ornaments, 37 and counting...

From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 3:58 PM
Oh yes, no piano scarves...
From Laurie Niles
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 8:27 PM
Oh I have the laser-etched violin crystal too! A gift from a student. :) It sits on a light that alternates between red and blue. My students, and my kids, totally love it.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 8:35 PM
Colored lights! What a great idea!

I got my first two from my brother, when he was in Moscow. He picked them up at a street kiosk, years ago. The other one came from a student.

(Off to decorate the tchotchkes!)

From Deborah McCann
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 9:37 PM
After teaching for 29 years, I have had many figurines, ornaments and other such items from students. The most unusual gift, that is the most treasured as it came from a very poor student was a Chinese one string violin. It was given to me with a note not to open until Christmas, which I honored. The student moved over break and I never could find her to properly thank her.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 10:23 PM
Also, forgot the:

-Violin light switch plate.
-Violin sun catchers.
-Violin stained glass window, dinner plate sized. That is probably my favorite. My Dad had it custom made for me about 15 years ago. I hang it from a chain in front of the window. This hippie-type artiste named Charlie made it. Evidently, Charlie thought the violin was quite tricky to do, but it looks marvelous.

From Rick Savadow
Posted on December 16, 2007 at 10:39 PM
I have received
-Oodles of DVDs & VHS tapes of string performances & history.
-Maple syrup in various size violin bottles
-Violin tee shirts
-Violin drawings, paintings & books
among them a beautiful miniature diarama from Equador with string playing figures.
-A "The Violin King" Artist's band harmonica tin (go figure)
--Still waiting for the Strad.
From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on December 17, 2007 at 5:41 PM
My students usually give me more generic things like candles, lotion, ornaments, giftcards, etc. Since I'm addicted to iTunes, probably my favorite from this year was my iTunes giftcard. :) I've also gotten those Mozart chocolates - yum. The violin-shaped box was the coolest part.

But from my parents/family, I get musical gifts all the time. I inevitably get at least 1 CD every year. :) Last Christmas my parents gave me a shirt that said "without music life would Bb [flat]". But by far the coolest musical gift I've ever gotten is A MANDOLIN. Now if only I could actually play it . . . :) . . . someday!

From Linda L
Posted on December 17, 2007 at 8:26 PM
I just recieved a package from a good freind of mine who just recently oved to Chicago. Well, I couldn't help but peeking, and when I tore open the wrapping paper, what did I find but a roll of toilet paper. Upon closer inspection I found that it was a roll of toilet paper with sheetmusic printed on it! :) And she calls me crazy...
From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on December 17, 2007 at 8:52 PM
Linda . . . that's the most awesome present ever! Seriously.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on December 18, 2007 at 2:43 AM
I forgot another present, which is a broom. Two of my students, sisters, and their Mom, had a friend of theirs make an extra-large straw broom just for me. They painted the long handle, and included all the things I really like: violins, cats, books, plants and flowers, etc. It is utterly unique. Upon receiving it, my reaction was:

"Is this a commentary on my tidiness, or a new mode of transportation?"

Just kidding. It is terrific.

Also, I forgot to include the violin towels, and the violin plates. Very cool.

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