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Lex Luthor

Violin for my student daughter

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29 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

 

ABRSM grade 6 is the level.

If this is indeed the grade 6 the OP is referring to (6 of 8, according to the website), the player is advanced and probably should be looking for a fine instrument. In that case, the suggestion of finding an old German or French violin really doesn’t strike me as out of line. The price range will just need to be raised somewhat to make it attainable. 

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2 hours ago, reg said:

This is surely unethical and illegal?

From my point of view, it is certainly unethical.

Legally, based on past court decisions, it can be decided either way. And sometimes the outcome of a court decision will come down to how much money each party can throw into the game.

But with the recent higher emphasis on "power disparities",  including using positions of power for sex, I question why a teacher or dealer would want to be involved in any such a thing anymore.

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I thank you all for taking the time to reply the advice is invaluable. The teacher is not involved apart from approval of violins we wish to purchase, her advice was well meant and she is not charging for approval.

The price is for Violin only and daughter has tried a few new ones from Yamaha that she liked the playability and tone. Price can go up if the Violin is worth it. The idea of an older instrument I feel is a good path her first 3 violins 1/4 stentor student 1/2 stentor student 2 and 3/4 Hidersine Venezia where all new from shops and set up. But they depreciate and older one should at least keep its value. 

The Bow I understand needs to be trialled on purchased Violin, will look at £250 + budget.peopke have suggested two different bows one for practise one for performances and exams. 

Again I thank you for your advice. There is so much to learn about Violins.

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19 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

To my mind it is certainly unethical but here in the US laws about this vary from state to state. Unfortunately in my home state of Maine there are no laws against it. Even where the law prohibits these kind of kickbacks it is almost impossible to prosecute because the whole thing is done in secret. Unfortunately this practice is very common world wide and I am sure will  remain so until teachers have the courage to ask their students to pay for this consulting service and the buyers realize the money is well spent.

I think you totally have the wrong end of this thread. The violin I am going to purchase has nothing to do with the teacher apart from her approval. She is both Royal academy and Guild hall trained, a professional violinist who tours the world with orchestras. Her own violin cost £15,000. Her advice was not to buy anything from an auction site, to visit several shops, but she also said the older the better and French or German because she understands my lack of knowledge on this subject and that daughter plays a lot so is looking for her next violin as "the one" at least as much as her Daddy can afford and given the advice I might have to dig a lot deeper. 

I wish she had taken up kntting now 

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21 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

I doubt it has anything to do with courage. It would seem fairly straightforward to use the time of a lesson, or lessons to cover the search, and be paid as usual. Most people would value the teachers input and be happy to pay for their advice and knowledge. They would be less happy knowing that the more an instrument cost, the more the teacher got paid to stitch them up.

It is done in secret because it is unethical, and the revenue service never know about the envelope of cash the teacher gets.

I certainly agree with what you say and have suffered financially because of not participating in these practices which I find highly objectionable.

I do however think that being able to help students find good instruments is a different skill than teaching and if some one wants to charge a consulting fee above the lesson rate there is nothing wrong with that if it happens as an open negotiation between the consultant and their client. Asking teachers to reduce their income from commissions which they have come to count on is unrealistic. Asking them to come out of the closet and admit to their students (or student's parents) that they want to be paid for their service is not. Bringing the whole process out into the light would result in the dealers having to compete on quality, price and service, the buyer getting the most suitable instrument and the teacher free to sell their expertise in the free market. The economics would not have to change at all since the seller would no longer have to add the teacher's commission to their price and the buyer would receive the honest, unbiased opinion of their teacher and the instrument for the same combined price that they would have paid before.

 

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2 hours ago, Lex Luthor said:

I think you totally have the wrong end of this thread. The violin I am going to purchase has nothing to do with the teacher apart from her approval. She is both Royal academy and Guild hall trained, a professional violinist who tours the world with orchestras. Her own violin cost £15,000. Her advice was not to buy anything from an auction site, to visit several shops, but she also said the older the better and French or German because she understands my lack of knowledge on this subject and that daughter plays a lot so is looking for her next violin as "the one" at least as much as her Daddy can afford and given the advice I might have to dig a lot deeper. 

I wish she had taken up kntting now 

Lex.,

I apologize for hijacking this thread and have no idea if your teacher was expecting a commision from the dealer. None the less this is something to consider when asking a teachers advice about a purchase.

If any one else wants to comment further on MY topic perhaps another thread could be started to do so and others could continue to try and offer useful advice more pertinent to your original question.

Nate

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2 hours ago, Lex Luthor said:

...The violin I am going to purchase has nothing to do with the teacher apart from her approval.

...Her advice was not to buy anything from an auction site, to visit several shops, but she also said the older the better...

I wish she had taken up kntting now 

I'm glad the teacher is being open and giving good advice, although "old, and French or German" is too broad. People are charging a lot for antique mass-produced "junk" and it's hard to sort the wheat from the chaff with no experience.

As for knitting - it is an expensive hobby/career especially when you reach advanced levels...ask me how I know. Gotta go feed the goats now...

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4 hours ago, Lex Luthor said:

Sorry forgot yes my daughter is grade 6 ABRSM so quite advanced for an 11 year old who practises every day. 

That's what I was wondering - let's up the ante some.  get her a good one.

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4 hours ago, Lex Luthor said:

The idea of an older instrument I feel is a good path

If you look around you can still find a good reconditioned 'Saxon' violin for around £1000!

That said I prefer to sell a better new Chinese or German (Conrad Gotz for example) which could sound as good or better than an old German

You can even get a 'distressed German' which looks old and sound good :rolleyes:

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Personally I steer my students away from Stentor because the ones I've tried were terrible and without doubt detrimental to student's technique. For anything but 4/4th cello I advise renting because fractional size instrument is are very hard to sell. This and the fact that the setup suffers from use  are the reasons why you have the impression newly made instruments depreciate more than old ones. This is really not necessarily the case. No honest private person manages to sell student violins at the retail price. Shops offer newly setup instruments with a warranty, only that makes a shop bought cheap violin twice as expensive as 2nd hand (an its worth it, usually).

If she is as dedicated as you describe, please try to increase the budget. Because your daughter has played on not so great instruments, it is likely that she will not recognize a good instrument when she plays one. Usually players get used to their instrument and find something that sounds similar to what they have. In your case, if the teacher really isn't doing more than just that, I wonder if it would not be a good idea to first rent a good 4/4 violin from a good lutier, so that your daughter gets used to a good instrument therefore is more prepared for picking an instrument herself. And you have some time to up your budget. 

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