My principal hobby is music.  I play violin, viola, guitar and piano and also make and repair stringed instruments.  

For 9 years I played viola with the Rowan University/Community Orchestra, conducted by Salvatore Scarpa. Rowan is the former Glassboro State College in Glassboro, NJ.

Until recently, I played with the Philadelphia Doctors Chamber Orchestra

I came to string playing later than most, picking-up a violin for the first time at the age of 40, then switching to viola about 4 years later.



One of the most intimidating tasks for the parents of a string player is finding the right instrument for their child. Most parents don't play the instrument themselves, and the child never really knows what he or she is looking for. The parents must depend on the child's teacher for advice and for the evaluation of the instruments.

A few years ago, my younger daughter was ready for her first full-size cello. As an amateur violinist/violist, I knew a bit more about string instruments than most parents, but I still didn't play the cello. After a three month search, trying one or two instruments at a time, there came one fateful weekend when we had six instruments at once.

I had brought home two cellos from a Philadelphia wholesaler who imports and finishes white instruments; my older daughter's cello teacher gave me two cellos which one of her students had just returned after a trial; and finally, the owner of another shop, which had previously not had any instruments in our price range, called with two more cellos available immediately.

When the smoke cleared that Friday night, we had six instruments to try over the weekend. I lined up all the cellos in the living room before my daughter started playing them and shot the above picture which has since become one of my favorite photos and a well-used piece of Windows wallpaper as well.

Of course, none of these six cellos turned out to be the one we were looking for; they all went back to their respective owners on Monday. We spent another month looking before we found the cello that my daughter wanted. The final count was over 20 cellos (I lost count, so I'm not sure of the exact number) tried in four months, looking for "Mr. Right."

The moral of the story, for all you parents of string players is, "keep looking; you'll find it eventually!"




To My Music Pages:

The String Player's Resource Page -- Where to find what you need

The Music Links Page -- Links to a lot of good music sites on the web

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