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Kristen Stadelmaier

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Everything posted by Kristen Stadelmaier

  1. Mine doesn't make his own fittings, if I'm not mistaken, so he's happy to order some for me. I found a nice set for my new violin and he said they looked great. I would never put anything on myself, but I figured I could make his job a little easier for him. But, since I'm not as well-versed in viola fittings, I'll learn something from him when I see him next, and he can order them. When I brought my new-to-me violin for him to work on, it came from the seller with the tailpiece off, so I tried my luck at putting it on (knowing everything was going to be re-done anyway) and he said I did a half-decent job for my first time, so that was nice of him! I know I'm nowhere skilled enough to do all of that myself for real, don't you worry! I'm a naturally curious person, so learning this stuff is pretty fun for me. P.S. by "customization" I just meant having the hardware switched out from what was already on it, that's all!
  2. Hmm on Shar it says it's 125mm! I might pay my luthier a visit when I pick up the violin he's working on now. Should be done next week, woohoo! I can even have him order it for me from Southwest Strings or something so I don't get the wrong things.
  3. Oh, thank you! I didn't know a 15" is sometimes considered 3/4. I wish I could play a bigger one, but my arms and fingers are too small!
  4. Hi everyone, Dumb question from a violist who has played for awhile but has never done any customization: I want to switch out the Wittner tailpiece for a Hill style on my 15in viola. I found the one I'd like for the price I want on Shar (it's not my main instrument and I'm not going to be performing any solos; just teaching my kiddos but I want it to match my boxwood Teka chin rest, so it doesn't need to be anything crazy expensive). It says "full size", so will it be okay for my instrument? Thanks everyone! I'm learning new things every day!
  5. I'm not Suzuki certified, but have picked up some tips and tricks from colleagues who are. I teach a modified Suzuki curriculum that I created and that seems to work out splendidly, and I do not call myself a Suzuki teacher. Philip and I have had some great conversations about Suzuki and other methods, and I've learned a lot. I would love to take at least the beginning course to broaden my horizons, but, as previously mentioned, ya girl's a poor grad student and I've gotta pay for 8 grad credits in the fall. Please pray for me
  6. I agree that dispelling wisdom and experience to those less wise and less experienced is fine and encouraged, as I'm still learning too, but there is never any reason to say something nasty. Even if something was a stupid move or a dumb question, there's always a kind way to address it. There's no need to be so caustic in responses. I think you're right, a lot of people put their self-worth in their belongings, but I am not one of them. I know who I am and where my self-worth lies. I'm extremely protective of my Grandpa's violin because he and I were incredibly close, and I'm astounded that even with the knowledge that this instrument means so much to me, people will disregard it and be nasty because it's not a violin that they'd consider twice. So yes, I might get a little bit hurt when people pass judgement when they have never heard it. It's amazing to me how coarse some are in their responses. As for this new violin, I have a good feeling about it. I'm not such a newbie that I can't distinguish a poorly constructed violin from a decent one, and once I had it in my hands, I felt like it will work out just fine as a teaching and backup instrument, despite the repairs it needs. I got my viola on ebay too, and it's gorgeous. I've gotten many compliments on it from colleagues and friends, and some are of astonishment when I tell them where I got it. It's not worth a whole lot, but it's extremely resonant, responds great, and has a slightly brighter tone (not in a bad way, but I just bought some darker strings for it) for a viola. It blends with other instruments well, and I don't think I'll ever need to upgrade it. But, people on here will say it's trash just because it's an unlabelled Vogtland instrument from the late 19th century. I happen to like German instruments. Sorry for the rant, and no ill will towards those who have not been as kind on here as they could have been.
  7. Thank you, and I agree, it seems that some are more concerned about whether or not it's worth a lot, and if it isn't, that it must be trash, and no one will tell them otherwise. That makes me sad.
  8. Thank you, and I agree, it seems that some are more concerned about whether or not it's worth a lot, and if it isn't, that it must be trash, and no one will tell them otherwise. That makes me sad.
  9. It really does! It's beautiful <3 it does great in chamber and orchestral settings! I'd need brighter strings for solo work, but I don't see myself ever doing a solo with an orchestra, so dark strings are perfect for it.
  10. Yes, as a matter of fact, it is. I never said it was worth thousands and might not be something that you folks would give a second thought to, but it's very dear to me because it's all I have left of my grandfather.
  11. Yeah, in terms of resale value it's not worth much, but it was my grandfather's, so it has high sentimental value. 1880s German, and it's got this beautiful, dark, rich tone and is quite resonant. It's a little odd because it's really fat all around, is 14.25in in body length, and has a really thick neck. That causes it to be difficult sometimes to get up into higher positions with my small hands, but I'll never be at the level of playing that requires me to be in 8th position and higher, so I'm okay with it. But, it's been confirmed three times that it's not a viola but, I love it and I will never give it away. Here are some pics for ya!
  12. He even said my setup was quite good for learning on YouTube and having a bad bridge/nut! Yay!
  13. I've got a nice early 20th century Weichold pernambuco bow that I currently use for my good violin! If it sounds nice, I might just swap it out every day. I've got a heavier 1940s brazilwood bow, but it feels more like a viola bow. I use that one for my viola. It pulls a nice sound out of it
  14. Hey guys!! I took the violin to my luthier, who is very good, and he said I did a great job! He said late 1800s German "Rinaldi" copy, and he said the only thing it needs is a new fingerboard and bridge. The fingerboard had too much of a scoop to fix, and was starting to warp on the bottom. He said with what I paid and what repairs will cost, that I'll still come out under what he would sell it for, and he's extremely honest in his pricing. So, it may not be a real Rinaldi, but it'll do just fine for my kiddos.
  15. I do a modified Suzuki, and Essential Elements for my little ones, and let my kids pick fun music they want to do once they get some good fundamentals. I've got my fourth grader (age 9) whom I started last June already halfway through Suzuki 1 and EE 1, and she's doing G/A 2 octaves, and is constantly asking me for more Disney and real rep. So, I'm always on the hunt for easy versions of rep like Pachelbel (GROAN) and Eine Kleine. She's insatiable in her quest for more music. Once she gets better, I'm going to start her with Irish music. She can already do 6/8! Picked it right up in 20 minutes! The contracting job I have is Suzuki based, so I'm at least going to do the beginning course, as per requirement. It's good to be well-rounded. I'm not a huge fan of teaching REALLY young ones violin. I've got a 4 year old who can't pay attention long enough to even get through the theme of Twinkles, but she does great with writing, counting, and clapping rhythms.
  16. Wanna know something really ironic? My bf is from El Paso, and his parents are there and one of his brothers lives in Austin! We went in March for his niece's wedding and I fell in love with Austin. We're going back for Christmas hopefully! I'd love to move there, but I'm sure my mom would die if I left her LOL!
  17. Thanks Rue! I'm sort of in that limbo stage where I'm not quite there yet in terms of my career, but I still have the financial burdens of someone who IS there. I'm really blessed my parents take pity on me as the starving artist that I am and let me live there for free, especially since I'm 24. I'll try to go up on Friday before I teach! Also, I am selling my Anton Breton violin to my little cousin, but it would benefit from new pegs and a Wittner tailpiece or something similar, even if they're not high end. Is it worth it, since she's family? The pegs work, but get really swollen in the summer to the point where even my boyfriend was having trouble turning them. The tailpiece is a cheap Chinese one and the fine tuners are in rough shape. Maybe I'll order some tuners and install them myself. I'll throw some Tonicas on for her too. I figure I could get $170 or so for the violin, Holtz student bow, and the cheap oblong case.
  18. Hi! Right now, my income is extremely limited. I'm a substitute teacher, have five students in my own studio, and three students in a studio where I'm a sub-contractor. Subbing gets me $100-125 a day based on where I go, and my contractor job only gets me around $200 per month. My own studio (if I were to have each kid every week for the month) yields about $750 per month. Months with breaks at school kill me. That's up to $525 less that I make if I have the highest paying school for 5 days. I've also got grad school tuition, which I'm paying out of pocket to avoid more student loans. While I live at home with my parents still (groan), they're gracious enough to waive a rent fee. However, I have my car, estimated taxes, phone, gas (I blow through gas with my dad's Chevy equinox and drive all over kingdom come for my jobs), food, music expenses, etc. This month I had exactly the amount of cash needed to pay. There have been days where I needed to pay for gas and have had to skip meals. When I get married, my husband (boyfriend for right now, hopefully he'll upgrade soon ) will be able to help with his well-paying IT job, but for now, I'm on my own. In New York State, public school teachers make anywhere from $35k-$80k. If you're tenured with 35 years in a GREAT district, you might get more. So, yeah, this little violin was all I could afford. I think for now, it'll be alright. I'll save up to get it fixed up, which might take a bit, but that's fine. Someday I'll make it a decoration if it doesn't serve me well. I appreciate you making an effort to explain!
  19. I have a student right now, in third grade (age 8) who came to me from the local Suzuki school. She's decent, but it's evident her teacher didn't spend enough time on fundamentals. She's in book 2, but should still be in book 1. She told me in her first lesson that her teacher would demean her and tell her to "do it right" but wouldn't show her, and that she expected 5 or 6 things to be perfect each week. She must be traumatized by it, because she was so nervous about messing up in our second lesson. I've scaled everything back and we're just working on one Suzuki piece and her scale book.
  20. I appreciate this advice! However, I think it's the mark of a good teacher to demonstrate the sound and technique they want from a student, and if the student's instrument or bow can't do what is required of it, then the teacher recognizes it and modifies it so the student can perform well. Then, as the student grows in skill and upgrades equipment, to modify more towards the original technique. For example, I'll take your example. If my student was having the issues you were, I'd tell them to try it slightly lower on the bow so the notes speak, and help the student play within the limitations of his instrument. Thanks for making this point, before I read it I hadn't really thought about that, but now I'll be even more conscious of it!
  21. I'm glad you agree with me!! I wonder if I would be wise to just get a whole new bridge, but Mark (my luthier) will tell me what his best course of action will be when I go see him. I agree with the nut being too high, as well. At first I didn't quite notice, but I could definitely see it from certain angles. It seems the lower tension strings helped too. The steel ones were making the poorly cut bridge move like crazy. The end button fits nicely, and if the new one is too short and doesn't work, I'll keep this one. Unfortunately, I can't afford the geared pegs at the moment, but I've got some pretty rosewood ones that just need to be profiled and shortened for the pegbox. I have another tailpiece too, but I chose the Wittner for my first attempt at a setup (how did I do???) because of the built-in tuners. The photo above is the original tailpiece; I forgot to take a photo of the new one! The wrappings on the strings wouldn't fit in the original, so I had to get creative. Good thing I've got some random materials lying about! As for country of origin, I'm going to take a wild guess and say Germany, but we might be surprised.
  22. Another wild update! I managed to gather an EP gold G, D, and E, and stole a Dominant A from the Breton violin. It honestly doesn't sound bad, despite the hodge-podge of strings. I think the main culprit here is the bridge; the angle of the cut is way different than the angle of the fingerboard. I wish I had another one to put on (like I conveniently had a Wittner tailpiece and extraz decent strings lying around), but alas, I'm not as resourceful as I'd like. I think this violin will be fine for teaching. And, if I have to spend $170 for the fingerboard and bridge, then I'll still have spent less than I would have for a decent instrument at a shop at the same price (if I do the math with my estimate, the total would come out to right around $400). Sorry to bombard you all, I really do appreciate all your help. On Saturday, I'll be back with updates from my luthier!
  23. No, I can't send it back, but my luthier said he would be interested in old European instruments (I'm assuming this one is actually German), so if it's too much for me to repair, I'd sell it to him. Though, I wonder if the bridge is part of it. It looks crazy high compared to the fingerboard, and the nut looks a bit high too. Maybe those aren't original and were poorly done? The bridge looks big in general, as if it were poorly cut. I'm attempting to throw some extra EP golds on it instead of the super high tension steel strings that are with it (I played a little bit, even though it's grossly out of tune and won't stay in tune) and they definitely sound like steel.
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