Recently I traveled to Ohio to visit my parents for a week, and although I wanted to practice while I was there, I did not want to travel with my violin. I was not going to play any gigs while there, so I didn't really need my nice fiddle. Also, one of my planes was to be a "puddle jumper" - a small plane with little room for overhead baggage. I didn't want anyone telling me my violin would need to go in cargo!
So thanks to my Cincy friend Suzanne Bona, host of the excellent NPR show Sunday Baroque, I was able to connect a fellow teacher and V.com reader, Laura Klein, who lent me her spare fiddle for my time there. (Thank you, Laura!) It was wonderful - I was able to serenade my parents and a few of their friends, as well as practice my scales and some new rep (Clara Schumann Romances - another blog to come on that!)
This made me think about the times when I have needed to borrow a violin, and the generosity of those who have lent one to me. Another such time was when my violin was being restored, and Dr. Bill Sloan lent me one of the four violins he has made - "Sloaneri II." I felt very honored!
As a beginner, I also benefited from the loan of a violin from my public school for a period of time, until my parents knew I was serious and got me one. I'm grateful - that borrowed instrument was certainly a factor in getting me started on the violin! I've also lent many violins - mostly to my students.
Of course, I'm not the only person who has borrowed violins -- some violin loans are very serious and can be long-lasting, such as the ones arranged by the Stradivari Society, in which an artist borrows a fine violin for a period during their career.
Have you ever borrowed a violin? Was it a long-term loan, or maybe just for a concert? Did you have it just a few weeks? What were the circumstances? And have you ever loaned out an instrument to someone else? Please participate in the vote and then tell us your stories about borrowing and/or lending violins or other instruments.
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