smf

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About smf

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  1. If somebody is in need of a 3/4 size violin (Shar Beginner level, set up and plays well), I have one to give away. The deal is when you are done with it, you have to find it another home.
  2. Having a teacher helps tremendously, but paying attention to what you are doing and having an idea where you are going makes the musical journey possible. I would add that playing with other people is very important.... good food, company and music help make us all better people.
  3. Progress for me never was linear. Just try to practice in a meaningful connected way most days and one day you will be able to do things you could not do otherwise. It just happens.
  4. It worked for me... PhD in Quantitative Genetics. One of my statistics professors was really big about visualizing data. He said most folks cannot think about more than a couple things at once. He called it two dimensional thought. I had no problem thinking about several variables at once and how one thing would change the other. (Multivariate thought). Certainly the violin is a multivariate instrument that gives you instant feedback about what you are doing wrong or right. I really think the best violins and bows can give you almost too much feedback.... but it sure is fun to play such instruments.
  5. No problem, I loaded up my wife and made a long trip to grad school many years ago. They were good times. I hope your time at Indiana will be good for both of you. If you end up here on short notice, that is OK.
  6. If you wanted to change your route and go through Iowa on I-80, you could stay the night at my house in Geneseo, Illinois (Quad Cities where Illinois and Iowa meet up). We should have a nice assortment of sweet corn to eat by then. We have two golden retrievers, but they are pretty harmless unless you are a pheasant or a duck. From Geneseo, you are probably 7 hours or so from Bloomington IN. It's a very nice town.
  7. I suppose the Becker Family figured out the summer violin making vacation many years ago... It worked out pretty well for them. A few years down the road, I would like to go to Oberlin some summer and just watch, grill nice steaks for everybody and bring a couple of bottles of really good bourbon.
  8. ... A button down shirt and khakis should get you into most places during the day. Add a Blue blazer and a tie and you are good to go just about everywhere. I play violin at an assisted living home on most Sundays, many of the residents just wear sweats now. Getting dressed can be really tough when everything does not work as well as it used to. Since it's after labor day... i suppose I can't wear my white tennis shoes. Rue, If I wear a shirt, folks can't see the giant violin with flames shooting out of it I just got inked on my back.
  9. Society has become more informal, there is no doubt about it. People also work many more hours per week than 3-4 decades ago. Some families have a hard time putting together a sit down meal, let alone get everybody dressed up to go to a concert. We should be focused on instilling a love of music for people of all ages first, the formalities can come later. One day all of us may be in wheelchairs wearing sweatpants. I just hope somebody still likes me enough to take me to a concert.
  10. I agree 100%, so you are not banging on your drum alone. For the money, Karenols are great. For the same price or less than Dominants, I really enjoy their "Amber" line of strings.
  11. I thought I saw that guy in an old Starsky and Hutch rerun.... I didn't know he could make violins
  12. My youngest daughter turns 17 tomorrow. My oldest daughter turns 21 in a couple of weeks. I am so proud of them. I'm so similar to the oldest & I can just about read her mind. Along with many other things, my youngest is of all things an Athlete. She long jumps just over 19 feet (top 100 high school jumpers in the country as a Sophomore) ... watching her jump baffles me. I was just figuring things out and meeting their mother (and my wife of nearly 30 years) when I was 20. None the less, my girls honor God and love their neighbors. So far so good. I'm am so blessed, I hope you guys are too. I have no violins to show that I made, but attached are a few photos my little L Mougenot Jacquet-Gand violin. I played it at a good friends wedding this summer... good memories.
  13. When I was just finishing a grad degree, I happened to stop by Bein and Fushi in the early 90's. Embarasingly so, I told them that I was just finishing up my degree but just wanted to visit the shop I had heard so much about.... maybe I would pick up some rosin or something. Long story short, I ended up with an Amati and a Strad in my 27 year old hands. The salesman told me not to worry about wasting his time... He said "guys like you are the ones buying these violins 20 years from now". Earlier this year I was a Seman Violins to buy a bow. We spent a couple of hours looking at bows before deciding which ones to take home for a test drive. I sheepishly asked to look at something nice... He came out with a Carlo Bergonzi and a Fetique bow. I had about 20 minutes of much needed quality time. I'm 52 now, and was just as tickled as when I was 27. Most good shops do not expect you to just walk in and buy something immediately. Tire kicking is part of the business.. you actually never know who has the cash to actually buy something nice.
  14. That was my point.... in both cases, both will depreciate, so buy the one you like. I'm really happy with my german bow. I tried 20-30 bows in my price range, the one I liked and other players liked happened to be on the lower side of my price range. You should have to play quite a few instruments or bows to find a match. The fun is in the hunt and playing on the violins and bows in a shop is free.