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Potter

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Everything posted by Potter

  1. Waking up and cheerfully wanting to practice is a lot to hope for. Our daughter still has to be reminded, prodded to brush her teeth some mornings. My daughter came back recently from a great camp, where she was surrounded by kids from Boston and NYC studying at Juilliard pre college and NEC- that has lit a fire under her. Seeing the level of "competition" out there. But also seeing that she is in reach, that her goals are realistic. At 12, though, still have to structure and prod sometimes. We try to pass that on to the teacher, though. Having her meet his demands and expectations. Having a teacher that teaches "how" to practice as much a "what" to practice is important. The kid really connecting and caring about pleasing the teacher, important. At last resort, we tell her that without special effort on the violin, she doesn't get special favors. (Again, specific to the violin). If she fails to practice, we won't be looking at the new bow, or multiple music summer camps, extra lessons, someday a better violin. These are all big sacrifices for us, and aren't going to happen if she is not reaching. Part of her really wants those things and wants to run with the big kids, part of her soon to be teen self wants to sleep in... It's ultimately her decision. But part of the value of violin thing is commitment, learning that more than half the battle, and what will serve you in life in general, is showing up every day and opening the case. At this level, 2-3 hours a day, which is a lot to ask of any kid. But would also be easily expected in our culture if your kid was a keener in soccer, swimming, basketball........
  2. The one thing I wish in retrospect when we were shopping for the daughter's full size we had considered- I like the shop where we have bought all of my daughters' violins and the people that work there. There are two shops in the city nearest us, both I would describe as small to medium size. We played everything at both shops, both offered us 100% on the 3/4 we were trading in. We chose a violin we are happy with from the original shop, based pretty much on sound and playability. If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to travel and look at places like Potter's (no relation:)), Carriage House, or Robertson and Sons. (Never been to these, just online and from reputation). If we go to upgrade again for college, I am concerned about the choice of inventory at a smaller shop. The only place that is going to give me the trade in- likely. So that might force us into keeping her current violin as a spare. Not the worst thing, but something to think about as you are shopping.
  3. By this logic you would never take the 30k car out of your driveway. I am sure that's a much higher risk, and includes life and limb. My kid is learning the value and responsibility of taking care of her violin. More risk, to me, in not trusting and disempowering her, and letting her know she is not capable of being responsible. If my kid was bragging about the cost of her violin, she would hear from me, but not because the danger of envy or bullying, but because of my expectations of simple kindness and thoughtfulness and privacy on her part. Agreed. I would guess if you went to a pre college class at Juilliard, most if not all the violins would be in the upper range of what's being discussed and many of kids would have carried them, by themselves, on the subway to class. (and not all the parents would be super well off, they would be stretching themselves to meet the needs of their talented kids.)
  4. My child is playing at a similar level. Yes, we are lucky at this point to have a good teacher an hour away. I am just pointing out that your suggestion was a relatively rare option. It would certainly be nice to live driving distance from an IU Jacobs, on many levels. There are no such options near us, but the OP would be wise to check it out.
  5. Across most of the country, there are no string programs, marginal art programs of any kind. Violin really is, for the most part, an upper class and urban pursuit. Of course, rectifying violin issues is not important concerning the general third rate education kids are getting in most of America outside wealthy suburbs and large cities. And not so much for some folks in parts of large cities, depending on the color and economics of your neighborhood. There is one music teacher here for all of elementary and High School. Strings, you gotta be kidding. And I live in the one of the bluest of blue states. Imagine Alabama. (there's a bumper sticker) This might be a piece of why my immediate rural neighbors vote in such crazy ways right now. Our family works hard, sacrifices much to let the daughter have some chance of doing what she wants. Our choice, rather than owning many things others feel necessary. I am not really arguing the OP spend more money, just that it is not absurd if the kid is highly motivated. And if future purchases are likely, the trade in and market value of this first full size can enter into that decision. Yes, we could drive an Hour and a half to rent a likely mediocre violin. Jacob, I am not the OP, my daughter already has her full size. She is in camps and online with other fairly advanced kids and it seems pretty standard for most of them of normal size, for that age, to be on full size.
  6. As you noted, NYC has little to do with the lives of kids here in flyover country.
  7. Well if your kid aspires (themselves) to be a professional violinist, whether solo or orchestra, there is very much a track to a Juilliard or NEC or other better programs. With rare exceptions, your kid needs to have started at 5, 7 at the latest and be well along by 11-12. People make fun of "Bruch level" but they need to be there (roughly) around this age. And we'll into solo Bach. They need by the end of high school have played (well) most if not all of the Paganini Caprices. Summer camps, theory, pre-college Saturdays... Deciding at 14 after finishing Book 10 Suzuki to apply to these schools- no matter how hard you work, very much a long shot, likely impossible. l'd be fine if my daughter changes her focus to something else, certainly something more financially secure. But this is what she wants. And this is coming from a very moderate income, rural parent. My kid is pretty good, we go to camps, meet families (mostly wealthy, mostly urban), there is very much a path. Likely the OP is talking about the IRC by Saint-Saens.
  8. If a kid is on a track to going to college for a performance degree, then the 3K difference we are talking about compared with the other costs- lessons, summer camps, pre-college program etc.. is negligible. It's probably true that 3-4k would buy you a violin "that would not be detrimental to the development of your daughter's technique". And if you made it your second job for a number of months, you might find the super cheap needle in the haystack at even less. I have been told by multiple current conservatory students that I should not let my daughter waste too much time doing orchestra and even chamber. Essentially, that the skill, playing level needed to get into and succeed in better programs now can only be developed if solo skills are the focus through High School. So essentially, being on solo track until college, regardless of what you see yourself doing professionally. She just got home from an amazing couple weeks at chamber camp, so we are not taking this as an absolute, but it goes to the level of play out there. Being heard gets you opportunities. Not more important than tone, but if you sound great but no one can here you..... When we were shopping last there were lots of esp. older German violins piled up in shops sounded ok to the player, but disappeared in a hall. Pretty standard for an 11-12 year old to be moving to full size. Again, the aspirations of the kid seem central- If she is already practicing and playing 3 hours a day, and dreaming of Juilliard a couple thousand either way to get a violin whose sound she loves does not seem like much.
  9. Saint-Saens and Sarasate at 11 is fairly advanced kid (if played well), certainly on track to be competitive for auditions for college if she chooses to pursue a performance degree later. So how the kid talks about her future would be part of the decision making. Buying from a large shop that gives 100% trade in covers you if she needs something better in the future. But note "large" shop as you will have to find the next violin there, or possibly lose at least half the original violin's value. My daughter is a similar age- I do think having a great sounding fiddle creates a positive feedback loop-where they and others can here the improvement. If they are going to compete at some point, projection matters, try the violins in public space, auditorium. First rule of violin is you need to be heard. Have her select by playing in shop and bring 4-6 home from a couple shops each (variety of prices) and have the teacher and others listen blind with no info about prices or makes or age. I would agree with Monian above, 6-10k If the kid is serious. But just another parent, not a luthier or a player.
  10. Isabelle Wilbaux Ulrike Dederer My daughters 2 favorite violins at 2019 Reed-Yeboah show without respect to gender. The exhibition website has a number of years list of participants that could be a source.
  11. If you watched this my kid played at the reflection pool with soloist Randall Goosby. she had a blast doing the filming!
  12. Will include Hillary Hahn, Yo Yo Ma (among others:))
  13. I would never, as a customer, buy a violin on line. But I do think IG is an effective way of reaching young players who might be in the market for a contemporary violin. A place to show workshops, awards, and other players playing your instruments. (I don’t think you could get away with tagging Ray Chen without major pushback if not true.) Also, human beings do like to see into the process of making and the lifestyle of makers who they support. It is complicated by the fact that some represent themselves less than accurately, but that has always been true. And the issue of encouraging direct sales, which puts more money in the makers pocket. Those direct sales aren’t going to be made online, but you can find players there. And players could find you. Anyway, just thoughts, as it has often been expressed here how difficult it is to make a living making violins.
  14. The broadcast is June 6 at 8 eastern on CBS, streaming on Paramount+
  15. Sent PM, we are pretty much 2 hours North and West, I think.
  16. Not sure it is worth this back and forth, but, again, I sell relatively pricey art pottery. I would say that in my field, I would have a similar place as you. Well respected and collected by people in my field, having over my career taught professional workshops at most of the universities and craft schools in North America. There are not waiting lists for what I do, but if I have an online exhibition it generally sells out within a couple hours. Selling, career building on IG, is simply posting images of the objects and the process. Along with that the occasional shot of my property gardens etc. for fun. I don’t have to say anything or make any claims, it’s just a rolling slide show of the things I make. They sell themselves. What that has allowed over the last few years is to increase direct sales which means less percentage to a third party, more income to me. That might not directly translate to luthiers, someone else can comment. Any time spent on IG is tiny compared to the packing, driving, etc. I used to do. And IG is social- fills many of the same bits as a forum like this, at least for the pottery community. It’s an oddity that I follow this site, just a parent of a pretty good 12 year old. I admire your craft and just thought my experience might be useful to the OP.
  17. on some level I agree, but declaring a waiting list, associating with a shop, declaring who plays your instruments are all on some level "utilizing human manipulation"
  18. You have a name. People are looking for you, already. The OP sounded more at an entry level. I have won NEAs, my work is in museums, the work has always come first. And Hillary and every other recognized violinst is using this tool. Don't think she (and Perlman!) are posers. If you win a VSA? medal who is going to see besides luthiers? And it eliminates the gate keeper, so if someone is making great violins out there they don't have to necessarily pay someone else a cut. And just like the NY show, yes, people with a waiting list would likely not do that show or put as much energy into self promotion, though it seems in your field the longer your waiting list, the higher price you can ask. The idea that the world is fair or that the cream will rise to the top (and be seen and noticed) is just not true in the rest of the arts. I admit up front, my lack of knowledge regarding your profession. I am also someone who grew into my profession in a different era, at least in my little world, everything has changed. Yes. it means work that I don't admire gets attention, but more people are able to do it. And a small group of experts (who often had mixed motives) don't get to totally control any market. As democrats (small d) and free marketeers we should all be happy about that. Add in universal health care and we would have a revolution in personal autonomy. I do find it a chore some days, but with a cell phone with a good camera, 10-15 minutes on average does it.
  19. Oh, I would also say my customers on IG are predominately in the 40 and up range as my work is not inexpensive. As Christopher said, especially since the pandemic, IG has expanded to take over much of what used to happen on Facebook. I personally find Facebook awful in every way. The kids are doing Snapchat and TikTok, neither of which I would think would reach my audience effectively.
  20. All good for you as a customer, but my comments were made toward the seller. Instagram links directly to other people, players, ideas, themes #luthier #contemporaryviolins #violin etc.. that let people find you in the ocean of things and ideas. How do you find a website if you have not already heard of someone? Whereas a luthier could link to all the young soloists playing his instruments..... And I don't think it is possible for a young (or any) player to have a soloist career without IG and it's relatives. Check out @violincase. (at HH's level, most surely she has others managing). And now that's true of pedagogues- check out @avaluwho or @elizabethfaidley Once you have a follower, customer you can use email and website for most sales. Really, I had to be drug into IG kicking not quite screaming. It is a job, you really need to be posting every day or two, needs to be visually thoughtful, needs to feel personal. I follow this guy @jhlviolins through which I found his podcast and realized he is relatively close by, through which I have at least got to the point of fantasizing about having him look at my daughters well used, somewhat abused 100 year old French factory violin for restoration. Don't know if that will ever happen, but is an illustration of how it works.
  21. Yes, I have resisted those, too. IG really works for the visual arts. I used to schlep work all over the country, now I put up a group of work and it's gone in an hour. It's a big world out there and IG can bypass the gate keepers and middle man of the past. My daughter and I went to the NY contemporary show before the shutdown and she had a blast playing a broad range of violins, mostly out of our price range for now. But a great day with the 12 year old hearing really great violins under her ear. Wish there were more venues like this. I could imagine a luthier organized "show" circuit that visited the top conservatories. All you need is 10 luthiers, a hotel room, and promoting through IG, teachers, school, posters..... Or partner with a local shop for a percentage.... just thinking out loud.....
  22. Just a quick non-luthier comment. (Typed this up on the phone first but realized I was not signed in, so excuse if a double post shows up). To the OP.... In my business at least, which is a higher end craft, websites are POS, route for shielded email. and a vehicle for catalogue of career and bio. Increasingly, even those uses are becoming obsolete. Instagram is where people find new, young customers and reach people in general. I think some luthiers have mined that, but if you are older and not there, or not socially inclined, you are. missing out on a powerful tool. Especially in such a visual field. Young people (I'm 60) snicker at "websites".
  23. Not advocating, just saying it works as a path, as many others would for, as you say, talented kids. Mostly, daughters beginning teacher used the books minus the dogma. I remember a teacher at camp (studied with Suzuki himself) started talking about "tonalization" and my daughter had no idea what she was talking about. Indifferent teachers should find another line of work. Playing Bruch well by 12 is pretty much the minimum for a kid wanting to go to a decent performance program at college age these days.
  24. Julia Fischer, HH, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Anne Akiko-Meyers, Brian Lewis, Leila Josefowicz, Ray Chen, Martin Chalifour, Jennifer Koh are just a quick google result for "started violin with Suzuki method".
  25. Just a couple of thoughts from a parent.... My daughter's first teacher taught using the Suzuki books. But by Book 3 or 4 was adding in etudes and scales and the occasional outside piece. This worked well for my daughter. Skipped book 8 and learned Mozart 3 and 5, which are the last 2 books. If Suzuki could have got publishing rights for Kreisler and others, the last 3 or 4 books would have been different. So the choices seem random and not pedagogical. I think HH started in Suzuki? Anyway, she is 12 and polishing her 3rd Movt. of Bruch, playing a decent Zigeunerweisen and learning her first Paganinni. And knows all her scales, arpeggios, etc..... I did find that when we attended Suzuki camp I found the "culture" odd. Lots of stories about sitting at the feet of the master. It reminded me of the romantization of Japanese culture in my own field. And I am glad my daughter was not part of a larger studio with all the group playing. But my daughter enjoyed it at camp. Like any belief system, including religion, there are those who disbelieve and disregard a system, those who pick and choose what's useful from the system. Those who need the order and regimentation of absolute belief to manage life. And those who fly planes into buildings.
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