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I recently moved to South Korea and was able to continue my music passions by volunteering for the community symphony orchestra in my city. I became the concert master, so I had a lot of musician's parents and other fellow violinists ask me for advice (because I come from the U.S. with musical education). I have been asked many times by those daring enough, how much my violin is, and I have learned that in Korea it's expected that you must have a very good instrument in your hands. The impression I was given was that Korean parents are willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars ($10,000+) for a violin for their kid. When my violin student asked me how much my violin was because she too was hoping to get a new violin, I told her my honest answer ($4,000) and she was incredibly surprised that "such a sound could come from a *cheap* violin." As a musician since the age of 6, I have never felt that it was necessary to buy a $10,000 violin to become a great violinist as a student or serious hobbyist. Perhaps if I was planning on becoming the next Sarah Chang and was going out for competitions then yes, that investment would be reasonable... I think one of the reasons for this sort of reaction in Korea is because there have been many stories where students buy violins that are incredibly inflated. Thus once these students go abroad to study their craft further, they become disappointed to know that their instrument is not worth the amount they have paid for it sometimes to devastating proportions. The reason I am writing this post is because, serious Korean musicians seem to want violins from abroad such as the U.S. and they have asked me if I do any sort of "dealing" where I bring instruments back to Korea and sell them. I have traveled with my violin back and fourth from the U.S. and South Korea, and have done that with a cello as well at one point, but... this is the first time I've been getting inquires on whether I will 1. physically go to the U.S. 2. use my network to find a good violin then 3. bring it back for a client in Korea. Does such a job even exist? Is that even reasonable or possible? I do not own a violin store. I am Korean, 25 years old, a passionate violinist, and speak fluent English. I think fellow musicians in Korea seem to trust my opinion and think that I am capable of such a thing because I have been to Cremona, Italy for a music retreat and have studied in Boston where I was involved with the NEC and Longy School of Music programs growing up. After college, I started getting requests to teach violin even though I was never a music major, just always very involved in the music program and community in college. Do people do this sort of "private violin dealing?" Sorry for the long post. Very interested to read the responses and whatever insight there is from the music community.
Hi guys, I am about to embark on my 2nd violin build after a relatively successful first build (see ). I really enjoyed my first and plan to work hard on making my second instrument one that I am proud enough to stamp with my name and put it up for sale. If you have sold an instrument, where did you sell your first? A violin trader or classifieds ad? Music shop? Realistically I am not looking to make a profit, but if I can sell it for enough to cover costs, I can continue to make them as I have time and keep this hobby going. This way I can keep improving my craft. I figure for myself as a player, I'd much rather take a well built hand-crafted instrument than a chinese CNC'd template that someone varnished for similar money. Surely there are some players out there with the same mindset? Appreciate any wisdom, you've all been doing this for a lot longer than I!