Inspirational objects in your case

May 11, 2008 at 06:33 PM · I've been thinking a lot lately about what's in violin cases - besides the violin of course! This is partly because of the rash of stories about folks leaving their violins in taxis, etc. - which made me put a business card in my case, so that if I left it on the train there was half a chance of its return. But also, and even more, the recent thread where lots of people reported that they let their cats sit in their cases, which made me think about how much cat hair is in there and, in a bit, will be inside the violin. So I wondered why they left the cases open at all - because they need something that's in there repeatedly? Because they want to have inspirational pictures, quotations, objects, in view? I have a small case and all I've got is my rosin, my tuner, and my clean-up cloth - and now my business card. Oh, and a pencil because my teacher sometimes forgets hers. But nothing inspirational or "unnecessary." My teacher, though, has loads of photos of her family, etc.

What do you have in your case for inspiration? And what is the strangest thing you have ever seen in someone else's case?

Replies (30)

May 11, 2008 at 07:36 PM · In my case I keep several things besides the strictly practical. Not inspirational per se, but certainly comforting :)

- A photo of my older sister Elizabeth and me with our violins (she was my teacher for a long time, and I've always looked up to her)

- An old picture of Albert Einstein playing the violin

- A fortune cookie paper that says "You have a deep appreciation for the arts and music"

- Some old purple curling ribbon. I saved it from my very first year at music camp, when our group violin class performed "Jamaican Rhumba" with colored ribbons attached to our scrolls. :)

I'd like to add a few more photos, both of my favorite violinists and of teachers/friends who have inspired me.

May 11, 2008 at 07:47 PM · I have pictures of me and my horse (he passed away a few summers ago) as well as 2 pieces of jade for good luck... or so my violin professor says... ;)

I've been thinking about putting appliqu├ęs on the outside, and putting some more pictures on the inside. I used to have all my medals from solo & ensemble (all 25+ of them) hanging on a separate ribbon in there. Somehow, I managed to rig it so they didn't ding through my case's blanket to my violin...

Does everyone like personalizing their case this way?

May 11, 2008 at 08:20 PM · Pictures of my dogs. It's a good conversation starter when meeting other musicians! Never fails!

May 11, 2008 at 08:37 PM · the outside of my violin cases are loaded with decals of a musical nature.

the inside is strictly business,nothing unnecessary.

May 11, 2008 at 08:42 PM · I have a glass evil eye that my mother-in-law got me in Turkey. I used to have that same fortune as Ruth as well! Other than that, it's just the normal stuff--new strings, 1 used set of strings, rag, rosin, mutes (though I'm not sure why there are four in there!), and business cards. Oh, and I think I have a travel-sized Advil container that is full of Advil, Tylenol, and Aleve. Ready for any eventuality...

May 11, 2008 at 10:31 PM · That business card is an excellent idea, thanks for the wake up on that.

May 11, 2008 at 11:54 PM · I like the buisness card in the case idea also.

I'm in process of moving into my case. A wolf's tooth given to me by the man that adopted me as a grandson. He was a Sioux medicine man in the men's eagle pipe medicine society. Copies of encouraging scriptures from the Bible and some about music (David and his stringed instrument. Apearently he took it with him where evfer he went somewhere.) rosin, rag, etc. A picture of Neil Peart the percusionist for RUSH. He's my favorite contemporary artist/musician. I admire his strength of character, his lyrics and drumming. And a sprig of Big Sage.

May 12, 2008 at 12:12 AM · Cat hair.

May 12, 2008 at 12:20 AM · Tommy gun and a bottle of gin.

May 12, 2008 at 01:04 AM · Emily! Is that what you have for inspiration, or the strangest thing you have ever seen in someone else's case?


May 12, 2008 at 01:05 AM · Actually, I have absolutely nothing inspirational inside my case except my violin and a copy of Bach's S & P.

May 12, 2008 at 01:23 AM · No bow?

May 12, 2008 at 01:29 AM · Necessities include: rosin, cloth, pencil, strings, nail clipper and nail file, humidifier.

Non necessities include: a mother of peal pin of a dove my Grandmother brought me from Jerusalem, and a rock from the beach in my village in Krete. I don't keep pictures in there because I don't like being asked questions. Although I do have a folk bow that belongs to a Kretan folk instrument in my case that looks so much like a baroque bow that I get questions about it all the time.

May 12, 2008 at 02:12 AM · An AK-47 :-D

May 12, 2008 at 03:27 AM · I got the cat hair, and the picture of the cat sleeping in the case leaving said hair. A picture of my other cat (not in the case). A picture of me playing viola when I was 12 with my father playing accordian with my late grandmother listening. A picture of me in concert when I was 10 at Sewanee. And my grandfather's memorial card when I played Elegie for his funeral.

May 12, 2008 at 02:17 PM · Of course the ususal: rosin, numerous pencils (for those who borrow and don't return), a cloth for my chinrest, a tuner just in case, extra E string fine tuners, extra strings and that small pointy thing for tightning up my chinrest.

But I also have pictures of my Mom (who died in 03') and my family - all of whom have been so supportive of my playing. Also, pic's of my dog, cat, horse, and a tiny, little porcelein doll that was a gift from a favorite conductor.

May 12, 2008 at 05:22 PM · Lots of pics - a wedding picture, pics of me playing in significant places (senior recital, youth orchestra, swim meets, streets of Galway), and a picture of me and my violin teachers of times past. Also, I keep a couple of Far Side comics (orchestra themed) from an old page-a-day calendar. Gotta keep it light. :)

May 12, 2008 at 08:17 PM · As an addendum to my previous response, I just found a pair of fishnet stockings in my violin case. Don't ask! I think they were part of a Halloween costume and mysteriously found their way into my case.

In reference to pictures being extraneous or "unnecessary," I find they are a great conversation piece for my students - they'll ask where and when I was playing, and hopefully this will help serve as some sort of inspiration for them. :)

May 12, 2008 at 10:15 PM · when I come home from school there is suddenly cat hair everywhere, but I have pics of friends, the family, some of my pets (I practically live in a zoo) a postcard from my vln prof. and all kinds of random things that have accumulated (chalk, rubber bands, paperclips) and the usual strings, pencils, shouldrests, rags and rosins. :P my case is kinda heavy...:)

May 12, 2008 at 10:36 PM · I seem to have perspirational objects in my case...

May 12, 2008 at 11:13 PM · From Stephen Brivati

Posted on May 12, 2008 at 10:36 PM

I seem to have perspirational objects in my case...

...ick! lol

May 12, 2008 at 11:55 PM · Well, if genius is 99% perspiration, that's got to put you way ahead!


May 13, 2008 at 12:44 AM · Yep. My case is a genius...

May 13, 2008 at 01:00 AM · Hmmm, aside from the usual stuff (rosin, extra strings, electronic metronome/tuner) I also have:

-a photo of me with my grandpa

-a crocheted duck keychain given to me by my sister

-miscellaneous old IDs

-little itty bits of alien fluff that by now have developed their own advanced societies and are in the process of building their first moon rocket

May 13, 2008 at 04:59 AM · Timothy--alien fluff????

I have a small ziploc of fine tuners (don't ask why, because I really don't know why I'd need them so badly), a really small pencil, a poem, and rosin. Oh, and I also have a violin and bow. :)

I used to put a lot of random things in my case, though, like this pink bridge, and Twizzlers. :P

May 13, 2008 at 08:50 AM · Hi,

two inspirational pictures: one of Menuhin (with a conductor's baton, not as violinist) and one showing fiddlehead ferns (birthday present from my wife).

Bye, Jürgen

May 13, 2008 at 03:51 PM · When I get thinking to all the stuff I have in my case I think, golly, I have a lot of junk in there that I don't actually "need" but like having there.

Right now, my most prized possession that I have in my case is a picture of one of my former students whom I taught for almost 3 years. I met her when she wasn't quite 3 years old, raring to go with her little violin and her spunky, chatting little attitude! She wanted to play Beethoven and Vivaldi, none of this Twinkle Twinkle and Go Tell Aunt Rhody stuff would do! So the fight began to get her interested enough to learn the basics so that she could play Beethoven and Vivaldi. After about half a year with me, I even arranged the theme for "Spring" from the four seasons for her. She was one of the most interesting little kids I've ever taught and I would say the most challenging. There was a lot going on in her little life, good and bad and she seemed to have experienced far too much for a child her age and she was so incredibly bright and well spoken. Her and her mother were two of the kindest and sweetest people I've ever met in my music career (her mom even took up lessons to try and help her daughter with practicing and to understand how challenging and frustrating playing the violin could be). They included me in their family, bringing me presents back from when they'd travel, inviting me along to dance recitals or school events that she was performing in. So in my case, I have this little picture of my sweet little 5.5 year student decked out in her ballet shoes and dress and when I look at it, I remember why I play. Because somewhere in there, there's a kid who just wants to play Beethoven and Vivaldi and wants to find a place to be herself and escape the realities of life and music helps you express that and allows you to channel things in a positive and healthy way.

May 13, 2008 at 04:18 PM · I have a card with my name and phone number and a reward offer taped to the case liner...

I try to stay out of cabs, but you never know...

May 13, 2008 at 05:17 PM · I've met one violinist who had/has a "lucky rabbit's paw" in his case - yes, a real one - not sure that the rabbit would have felt it was very lucky!

May 13, 2008 at 05:22 PM · I like what you wrote, Kelsey!

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