What do you learn in Violin School?


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1 hour ago, Rachell66 said:

 

I really don't understand how educated people with years of experience of this kind of highly skilled work can behave this silly. 

 

Jacob's comments may be blunt, but they're far from silly.

32 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you were to actually enrol in a violin-making school, you would lightly meet an assortment of different characters with various backgrounds. You will also most lightly meet people who think of themselves as “first class students” because of some perceived advantage from their CV to date. Within a short period you will find that there are some 16year old s, who hardly know that they're born yet, who are just as good, if not better. If you go to violin-making school as an autodidact, who thinks he can do everything already, and just needs to brush up one one aspect or other, you could well succeed in leaving unchanged.

I will decide if my comments are “appropriate” or not

This is an excellent summary of how it is. 

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30 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

Rachelle,

I think that the problem is- "I personally think you know a whole lot of it, 3 years will be a waste of time.".

I have never been to "violin school", but I do have quite a few years attending restoration workshops. From what I'm seeing of his work, he's probably not qualified to test out of the first two years. I think that he also has somewhat unrealistic views of expectations and his talents. He comments- "The last two they (his friends) commented on how well they were sounding when compared to the earlier models. ". That doesn't say much, as he comments that his one was pretty bad, and the next two were only a bit better. Perhaps a comparison to a $200 Chinese violin might be a better test.

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Just now, GerardM said:
32 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

Rachelle,

I think that the problem is- "I personally think you know a whole lot of it, 3 years will be a waste of time.".

I have never been to "violin school", but I do have quite a few years attending restoration workshops. From what I'm seeing of his work, he's probably not qualified to test out of the first two years. I think that he also has somewhat unrealistic views of expectations and his talents. He comments- "The last two they (his friends) commented on how well they were sounding when compared to the earlier models. ". That doesn't say much, as he comments that his one was pretty bad, and the next two were only a bit better. Perhaps a comparison to a $200 Chinese violin might be a better test.

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THANK you Jacob. As I stated earlier if this is fully covered in violin school then I will be enrolling. Hence what do you learn in violin school? I was thinking that if you were just given the basic skill set to make a violin and sent on your way. Then I may as well  blunder on experimenting as I am now with hastily made violins until I get to grips with what grads and arching produces a sound that’s considered good. Thank you again.

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Please make an effort to understand that making a great violin is one thing. Getting it promoted, and promoting yourself are two different things. People who lack empathy will always misunderstand others, and that will always be a deficit. One may show a perfect violin to a potential customer, but if your personality turns people off, they will go somewhere else. And the person who lacks empathy will NEVER see what he/she has done wrong. Never. He/she/him/her/they/it will blame someone else. Proper coaching of this person might help a little. Not directing this at the OP, or anyone. Just saying, those who are without empathy or social skills are at a disadvantage. Ok, maybe I am wrong. Maybe a separate thread on “successful violinmakers who have abrasive personalities” is needed. Probably not, though. 
 

You can be a “retiring personality”, but you cannot be a jerk.

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My goodness I have certainly sett you all squabbling. Calm down, the fact that at this moment in time is I am going for quantity and not quality should I be shot for taking this path. When I made the first fiddle I’d never read anything about violins ok. I spent a bit of time carving a neck for testing purposes. I then knocked out a body in a few days no purfling fitted just crash bank done. Strung it up not very good sounding. I took a hammer smashed the body off kept the neck crash bang violin number 2 different arching same grads slightly better sound. Number 3 crash bang different arching different grads very slight improvement smashed the body’s off kept the neck. The next few same process but whacked in purfling. Sound wise getting better. No fineness involved. Most of them will eventually end life in my rubbish bin. But I learned a lot during this process. The pictures reflected my crash bang approach. Had I attended violin school then there would have been no need to take this route. But that’s me an enquiring mind always experimenting. Understandably you viewing these pictures presume that this is the extent of my ability. 

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Nothing wrong with a "crash bang" approach at the beginning either. It lets one "get it out of their system" and then one can decide if the interest is enduring.

There are two kinds of experience; the "one-off" and the practiced. Both are valuable.

Well...I should amend that to three types; the third would be academic or "armchair". Also of value.

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18 minutes ago, violins88 said:

Please make an effort to understand that making a great violin is one thing. Getting it promoted, and promoting yourself are two different things. People who lack empathy will always misunderstand others, and that will always be a deficit. One may show a perfect violin to a potential customer, but if your personality turns people off, they will go somewhere else. And the person who lacks empathy will NEVER see what he/she has done wrong. Never. He/she/him/her/they/it will blame someone else. Proper coaching of this person might help a little. Not directing this at the OP, or anyone. Just saying, those who are without empathy or social skills are at a disadvantage. Ok, maybe I am wrong. Maybe a separate thread on “successful violinmakers who have abrasive personalities” is needed. Probably not, though. 
 

You can be a “retiring personality”, but you cannot be a jerk.

I agree with that.

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3 minutes ago, Rue said:

Nothing wrong with a "crash bang" approach at the beginning either. It let's one "get it out of their system" and then one can decide if the interest is enduring.

There are two kinds of experience; the "one-off" and the practiced. Both are valuable.

Well...I should amend that to three types; the third would be academic or "armchair". Also of value.

At this moment in time there is no Plan A or B regarding selling instruments not interested in that. Just me researching the effects body shape and thickness effects the sound etc etc.

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1 minute ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

With the way things are at the moment (and seem likely to continue) I think you'd have to be a complete violin obsessive to want to make this career change. Saner people are probably contemplating moves in the opposite direction.:)

Yes.... never saw a thread of how to get away from this!!!!  Dante's initial words of his "Inferno" are true: "lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate!"

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1 minute ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

With the way things are at the moment (and seem likely to continue) I think you'd have to be a complete violin obsessive to want to make this career change. Saner people are probably contemplating moves in the opposite direction.:)

Money is not an issue it’s my fascination with violins. Not concerned about making a business of it.

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2 minutes ago, GerardM said:

Money is not an issue it’s my fascination with violins. Not concerned about making a business of it.

At some point in the near future I will produce a quality looking instrument and post the pictures.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you were to actually enrol in a violin-making school, you would lightly meet an assortment of different characters with various backgrounds. You will also most lightly meet people who think of themselves as “first class students” because of some perceived advantage from their CV to date. Within a short period you will find that there are some 16year old s, who hardly know that they're born yet, who are just as good, if not better. If you go to violin-making school as an autodidact, who thinks he can do everything already, and just needs to brush up one one aspect or other, you could well succeed in leaving unchanged.

I will decide if my comments are “appropriate” or not

This seems true in most learning endeavors--the people who learn best are the ones who are full of curiosity, willing to look critically at themselves, and who unabashedly seek feedback in order to improve. Those who feel like they've already "got it" are not open to feedback--it shatters the illusion of their competency, thus they don't improve. When someone is enthusiastic and open to feedback, they are also far more likely to receive meaningful help, because they are far more enjoyable to teach. 

That 16 year old who hardly knows they are born yet might be the one who is better precisely because they also have not yet learned to protect their ego at all costs. :P

Many people don't want negative feedback, and they are really stunting their own growth. 

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2 minutes ago, GerardM said:

At some point in the near future I will produce a quality looking instrument and post the pictures.

Start a makers bench thread on the makers section of this forum. That is what I do with my bow experiments :wub:

I look forward to seeing more pictures.

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2 hours ago, Rachell66 said:

Whatever Jacob, I am getting really tired of this. Can you please keep these comments to yourself? You don't actually need to step into school to know to pick up a phone and ask for advice. I really enjoy coming on this forum but comments like these, and inappropriate comments are really ruining it for me and others. Noone is interested.

Really? I rather enjoy Jacob's cheeky comments from time to time, even when he's making fun of Americans. :)

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I know fine makers who learned within the trade, and fine makers who attended VM schools, and fine makers who have gone the Meisterbrief route... different strokes. The common thread is that all these fine makers sought and received a lot of feedback and spent thousands of hours working their asses off.

I have no idea what's good for the OP or what his hopes/plans are in the trade. From the photos, I think he could do with some guidance, but most everyone could.

I will say a few things: 

One of the finest restorers alive worked with his son as he grew up, then sent him off to violin making school. He turned in to quite a maker.

One of the students attending the school I attended was trained as a cabinetmaker before he attended, and ended up teaching at the school, starting his own school, and writing a very nice book concerning making while he continued to make very nice fiddles.

My "related" trade background before VM school was rehabbing old barns, assisting a sculptor in his studio, wood turning,  and working for a conservator... besides generally causing trouble.

BTW: I haven't made a fiddle in over two decades... much prefer restoration work. Sorry to hear Greg Bearden is apparently unhappy with his lot.

Gerard; I hope you find your way.

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Let’s see the goal in the landscape of the modern world:

In future there are two path to make a living on violin making:

1. Learn to program CNC, set up a brand name for the product and do marketing. I say this because I see that machine work and CNC technology in particular will have a big influence on our craft in the future. 

2. Become a sound maniac. Contact as many famous violinists as possible to get their opinion and work consistently on sound improvement until one of your instruments gets played by a known string player to promote the ‘GerardM-sound’.

(There might be options in between those extremes)

For both violin making school is just a prep course in a kind of competitive atmosphere.  If you like that, it’s fun. If you don’t like such an atmosphere, stay away. 
You learn the school method and if you hit a good teacher, you will get the motivation to go beyond your imagined abilities. If you hit a teacher who doesn’t suit your character, it might become a sort of frustrating nightmare.

But since you seem to pursue violin making as a hobby, maybe neither path appeals to you.

Good luck!

 

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The comment about a 16 year old who doesn't know they're alive yet LOL... definitely true and reminded me of an insanely naturally talented kid my husband went to school with. I think he was 17 and refusing "real college" but he had 1000 things he was good at. So, a real genius. And starving for someone to teach him.

No one in the history of Red Wing had ever finished a violin but both this kid and my husband did. I should say it was a healthy rivalry but also the kid was a kid. At one point my husband sat him down and told him about weed and beer and women (i.e., to avoid at all costs) and the kid swore that he saw the wisdom. But it didn't take long right out of school and into his apprenticeship that he did discover all of those things. Obviously he was going to but his dedication to his career changed after that. That's what happens.

I know that if my husband didn't have a family he would have gone to Cremona with $2 in his pocket and done whatever he had to do, although I know he's happy about having a family and everything. I'm just saying for someone who doesn't, you have to make those choices that will give you the career you want. Whether it's living  poor through school or working for $10 an hour for an established maker or whatever it is. I am sure that there is something really wrong with me that I encouraged him to go through those stages while we had a family already. It was not awesome. Awkward self-disclosure, mostly I post on here just to mind screw myself into thinking that it's awesome what he's doing. Maybe he could just make one corporate conference room table, and then get back to violins later.  Maybe he could make 2,000 cutting boards for a craft fair. I have these thoughts. So I talk myself down on the MN. 

You can't think you're better than school or an apprenticeship, because you're not. Or if you are, then I guess someone else won't be... What you don't want to do is talk about your amazing perfectly honed genius and skills and ask a question about what you need to do to get to the next level but expect everyone to tell you, "oh no, no need, you glorious genius, you're already there...in fact, would you mind teaching a master class?"

That's where the bitchy comments are coming from, and no one's even being actually bitchy yet. I could change that easily, but I am actually giving you the realest advice I can.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

What a luxury! In that case, by all means go to school. You won't regret it.

Oh crap. He has all of those incredible skills and a ton of money? I didn't see that bit. Some people have all the luck. What's he asking anything on here for?

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6 minutes ago, not telling said:

Oh crap. He has all of those incredible skills and a ton of money? I didn't see that bit. Some people have all the luck. What's he asking anything on here for?

Yep the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci and Stradivarius and money to boot. 

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Well, with money not being an issue the only real suffering you'll encounter is the truth. If you've already made 10 instruments you clearly can work hard. The part where you're struggling with puzzling out whether school would be of any use is worrisome. If you don't know the answer to that after somehow making 10 violins on your own, then why waste your fabulous wealth on something like that? But you can worry about the rest of that later.  Why would you hesitate for a second if you want this? I keep thinking you're punking these forums right now. How old are you? 

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