V.com weekend vote: When you go on vacation, do you bring your violin or other instrument?

August 11, 2018, 2:20 PM · This can be a difficult decision: To take the violin (or viola or cello) on vacation, or not to?


Depending on your instrument, the logistics of bringing the instrument can be difficult. If you play the cello, for example, there are continual issues with fitting it into cars and restaurants, and having to buy a plane ticket for the instrument. For the violin or viola, there are also issues with any kind of travel. Will it be allowed on the plane or will someone try to classify it as cargo? If you are driving, will there be times when you will have to remove it from the car to keep it safe from heat or theft? Will you be backpacking or doing other outdoor activities, and is there a place to store the fiddle while doing so?

For some, a vacation can actually be the perfect time to get in a bit of extra, low-pressure practice, especially if your lodging situation allows it. For others, that might negate the purpose of a vacation!

So please answer the poll, and then share your thoughts in the comments. When you go on vacation, or when you went on a recent vacation, did you bring your violin? If you did bring it, were you able to practice? Was it worth the possible inconvenience of having to carry it and protect it while traveling? If not, do you wish you had? Or were you just glad to have the break and relieved to keep the instrument safe?

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August 11, 2018 at 07:42 PM · I have only brought my violin on vacation if I had music I needed to work on for an upcoming concert. When I did, I was glad of it, because I was able to get in some serious work on the music. However, I have only, I will only, bring it if I am driving. And I bring a less expensive, backup violin.

August 11, 2018 at 08:19 PM · If Irish vacation then opportunities for folk music, so #2 violin. General vacations elsewhere, no violin.

August 11, 2018 at 09:16 PM · I read an account of a very well known violinist in Europe. He was the first violinist of a famous quartet in Vienna, I believe, and I'm almost certain the time period was the 1800s. Unfortunately it was a while ago and I can't remember exactly where I found it. It may have been in the biography of a famous composer (I used to read them almost constantly).

After the final performance of the season he would put his violin in it's case, stash it away, and travel to the country with his family for the Summer. He wouldn't touch a violin until they returned in late Summer/early Fall.

This is a guy after my own heart. I haven't taken my violin with me on a non-musical vacation in a very long time.

August 11, 2018 at 09:17 PM · Since a lot of my holidays in the past few years are planned around workshops or festivals, my violin (and often also my viola) nearly always come with me. On hiking trips there's usually a plastic descant recorder somewhere in my pack, though it might stay there

She also came with on long service interstate when i needed to reconnect with long avoided (for good reason) family, and an aunt in a hospice, who thpugh it was great and addled me to play irish jigs (not sure what everyone else in the hospice felt about about that though!)

When I worked in europe for a year as a nanny my violin and clarinet both went with me, even though I wasn't very good at them.

August 11, 2018 at 11:23 PM · Ryan, I think this was Louis Spohr. His autobiography is well worth reading as a source about musical life in the early 19th century though he was'nt a particularly skilled writer (for that read Berlioz's autobiography--since we are talking about vacations).

Personally I take the violin if and only if it is at least part of the vacation activity I am going to engage in, say a chamber music camp.

August 11, 2018 at 11:40 PM · I would love to bring my violin with me on vacation. But I promised my husband not to play those 2 weeks. He doesn't play music and I spend already so much time with my violin during the year. He doesn't want to share me on our holidays:)

August 12, 2018 at 01:56 AM · Not anymore. I did while I was in school and then up to 7 years afterward -- especially if I was getting together with musical friends in a distant town for some small-chamber playing.

August 12, 2018 at 02:43 AM · I rarely take a vacation that isn't a music camp, so vacation time is when I get to do the most playing.

August 12, 2018 at 03:38 AM · I voted "occasionally". I don't go on vacation that often, but if I go on a vacation that gives me the time and space to play the violin or viola, I will bring it. Otherwise, I don't bring an instrument with me on vacations.

August 12, 2018 at 06:39 PM · We just recently flew for a destination wedding in Mexico. I had considered taking it, but knew that I wouldn't get much playing time as we hadn't see people in a while and would be mostly visiting. Had it been a musical group of friends I most certainly would have taken it! When I go on a road trip (in my truck) the violin is always with me!

August 12, 2018 at 07:47 PM · And then there's the story of the String Quartet that play'd a New Year's Party gig....the crowd loved 'em, owner loved 'em and asked if he could book them for next year. They agree'd with one proviso: Could they leave their instruments there until then ?? ba-da-boom

August 12, 2018 at 08:46 PM · If it's possible without a hassle, I will certainly bring one of my violins. There's always time where I wish I had it when I didn't. I'm just a hobbyist so it's not a chore to me, like some of the professionals make it sound.

August 12, 2018 at 09:34 PM · I think I took a vacation in 2007, and before that, maybe 1991? Did not take the violin either time. Most of my travel is either work-related or for family reasons. When I go to see my mother in Virginia, I leave my violin at home and use my sister's VSO while I'm there.

August 12, 2018 at 09:56 PM · My thermoplastic Cricket fits nicely inside a Tran 26 x 4.5 cylinder case, along with a 1/2 size bow and the cricket shoulder rest. The case itself fits, on the diagonal, inside checkable luggage. This, in combination with mutes, makes it easy to practice when visiting and traveling.

Thinking ahead to times that I might want to take a full size violin with me: I recently purchased a carbon fiber violin (which in theory is not subject to damage by heat, cold and pressure changes in airplane holds) and am looking at the Trinity case/ suitcase set as a way to transport it.

August 13, 2018 at 01:06 AM · If there's a chance I'll be with musical friends, I'll take my violin, but if it's just a hiking vacation, in the last few years, when I had it, I would take my Yamaha silent violin (I practice it without the batteries in - basically using it as a practice muted violin). I don't have to worry about theft, or temperature extremes if I have it in the trunk. One of my students who liked to take her violin on vacation bought a cheap electric for the same reasons. I also would use my carbon fiber bow at those times.

August 13, 2018 at 10:01 AM · Almost always I bring my violin and viola with me, sometimes because I play in Christian meetings (including open air), but also because I hope to get a little practice in. I do, but a good deal less than hoped (The exception was several years ago when I performed Bach unaccompanied at a wedding shortly afterwards - on both instruments, because I'm not good enough to do the whole programme on the violin).

August 13, 2018 at 04:54 PM · I took my violin in my Christmas vacations to my sister's home (300 km from here). That was just to play some tunes for Christmas eve, but the hassle with transport and the lack of time for practice were to much, I don't think I'll repeat the experience this year.

August 14, 2018 at 05:59 PM · I fear burglary during my absence, so I always take them.

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