Many years ago when my now grown Daughter was taking Suzuki violin lessons the parents had to bring a violin to class so they could be taught a bit, too. At that time I had a Peter Guarneri that I was selling for a friend of mine. My wife, a non player, was the parent that went to class with our Daughter.
Since I'm always on the lookout to have at least a little fun now and then I gave my wife a quick one month course in playing the Guarneri. Yup, I sent her to class with the guarneri in a cheap looking case. When the teacher asked the parents to play one at a time my wife's tone quality was right up there. A beginner couldn't help sounding good with simple things on that instrument. As the lesson progressed the teacher kept staring at the violin and finally asked where she had rented it from. Mary said that she had picked it up at a yard sale and cleaned it really well with wood cleaner and didn't it look nice? The teacher finally asked to see it and played it, mouth dropping open. "Do you know what I think this is?" She cried. My wife said she didn't, but was going to sell it for a couple hundred bucks when she was through with it.
Shortly thereafter my Daughter took up skiing and went up to the U.S. Ski Team level, but we never had a chance to tell the teacher we were jerking her chain a bit. I bet she's still telling stories about the Guarneri that, for a few hundred dollars, got away.
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