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What if YOU were told you couldn't play your violin?
go figure...discrimination abounds
Topic Rating: 4.7 Topic Rating: 4.7 Topic Rating: 4.7 Topic Rating: 4.7 Topic Rating: 4.7 Topic Rating: 4.7 (3 votes) 
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cdennyb
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October 9, 2012 - 6:37 pm
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http://www.daily-times.com/ci_.....-classroom

 

What would you do if this was your situation and you had to deal with it?

I know my answer! b-slap

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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DanielB
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October 9, 2012 - 7:35 pm
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I'd bet the the real key point of the matter is more the

"would have to rent one of the district's violins that is a more traditional color for $30"

... than the color or even tone.  30$ a month or whatever times several players adds up to a bit more budget to play with.

Glad to hear her mom is raising a nice parental stink over the matter.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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DanielB
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October 9, 2012 - 7:59 pm
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http://www.lcsun-news.com/new_.....-financial

 

So that's how it turned out. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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cdennyb
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October 9, 2012 - 9:13 pm
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Thank you Daniel for throwing that up to the minute info out there so no-one but you could think about the situation and comment on it.b-slap

 

You get the prize for the best "googler" out there.1st-place

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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screeeech
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October 9, 2012 - 10:07 pm
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We ALL know VSOs are REAL. 

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Fiddlerman
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October 9, 2012 - 10:09 pm
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Not taking sides but I can see the teachers point. I always tell people who ask me that if they plan on playing in an orchestra not to buy a colored instrument because they will stick out.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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October 9, 2012 - 10:34 pm
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"Some people are saying I just wanted to start drama and that wasn't the point,"
Lopez said. "I was just trying to show Camille that she could fight for what she
believes in."

I don't quite agree with Camille's mother (maybe because of where I come from): If every body fight for what they believe in then there will be no peace on earth. there should be some kind of compromise. But it doesn't mean that she is wrong and i am right, it is just that we believe in different things.

I think the district had compromised to offer Camilie to use district violin for free, may be Camille and her mom could compromise to use the violin for orchestra but practice at home and/or perform for her friends and family with her purple violin.

My question is: Whose idea it is to drop out of orchestra and join choir instead?

Sometimes loss is gain and gain is loss.

Teachers probably was right about the sound of the purple violin did not sound good enough, for example, my cvn 500 sound good to me to my untrained ears but not good to my daughter's violin teacher who has over thirty years of training and has heard many different violins. (I had a music teacher who could not stand it when instruments didn't sound right to her). (Do we all agree on the quality of painted violin here?) In addition, if she let all students to use whatever color violin they like but give up the sound quality, what would happen to that orchestra?

My question is, how did the teacher post her opinion (her attitude)? Did she explain it well? Did she try to talk to the parent and explain it to her what she thinks?

I personally think Orchestra is a team work, not to stand out (show off) unless you are the soloist, when someone has a purple violin it probably would take away all the attention.

My suggestion would be have Denny run a trace on the purple violin and the district violin, if purple sounds great then let her play in on stage, vice verse.

My last questions: What does Camille really wants? What has she learned from this incidents?

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Picklefish
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October 9, 2012 - 11:59 pm
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at my sons school the rental rate is $50 per year, so I am surprised if it is $30 per month.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlestix
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October 10, 2012 - 3:59 am
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I think a violin of color is more of a selling point, people think it's cool, especially for a child, unless it's electric, an electric violin can be made from any block of wood and painted, where as an acoustic violin should be the traditional varnished wood grain.

The school my grandaugher attend's charge's $16.96 per month for violin and viola, $33.92 for cello's. They are supplied by "Marshall Music Co." which has 6 location's throughout Michigan and have contract's with school district's in the State.

My son was paying $30.00 per month for flute rental.

So, I also tend to agree with the school policy. 

 

I can see a new violin in my near future also and not a rental.  clapdancing

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DanielB
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October 10, 2012 - 4:41 am
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Sorry Denny.  My posting that link was a result of part of my reaction which was to check the net and see if I could find that teacher's email addy. 

I don't think it is impossible that there could be such a thing as a good purple violin.  The color on most "wood colored" violins is due to some stain mixed in with a layer of the varnish, and in most cases it isn't a 100% natural stain.  Spruce is not naturally brown.  LOL  It could be purple as easily as it is brown, and if a mineral-containing ground was used, as it was even on some valuable old instruments to make an opaque layer with some reflective qualities, it could be definitely vibrant.

And life could be beautiful, but mostly it's not.  LOL

So, most likely it is a finish similar to some cheap guitar finishes, epoxy based or something similar that can often be heated a bit with an air gun and peeled off the wood like a glove.  Probably not the best tone.  But just because a finish is brown and/or sorta clear is no guarantee it is actually any better than that, either.  Epoxy does come in transparent shades of brown as well.  So as an arbitrary cut-off point in terms of tone, I do not personally believe that color is necessarily 100% reliable either way.  

But I am sure the child has begun to learn the important lesson, that one must conform or they will surely perish.  Everyone knows that especially in the arts and certainly in music in these modern times, that an unusual appearance or standing out in any way is a certain recipe for failure. 

Yes, that was intentionally sarcastic but not directed at anyone here, I just found it a bit poor journalism for a newspaper to be quoting a high school sophomore on what is "professional" in musical equipment or one of the parents whose objections might have caused the problems for this girl in the first place.  Yeah, the teacher obviously was avoiding comment, but that doesn't mean the reporters should go after just anyone who will talk.

How about if the girl had a regular looking violin, but had dyed her hair purple?  Should she be discouraged from being in the school orchestra for that?  It makes her look different.  She might stand out.  And if it was ok to discourage her for that, why should they allow kids who bleach their hair to get it a bit more blonde or tint it to get a more popular shade or red or brown than was "natural" for them? 

I just personally don't think that a kid learning music, especially at a middle school level, should be discouraged on such grounds.  At the beginner level, the finish on her violin is not likely to be the biggest tone problem she has to cope with.  

On the "VSO" issue.. Well, should somebody tell the poor kid that she doesn't actually have a violin, and that she can only be "learning to play VSO" instead?  I mean, it can't be a real violin, because it is a different color or because somebody didn't spend enough money on her, right?

Seriously, some of us here (myself included) definitely own or have owned (and played) things that at least some people would call VSOs.  I'm pretty sure that having spent 100$ more for my new violin doesn't take me out of "VSO range" so far as some people figure it. And my "old" Mendini MV300 that cost my family a whole 60$ for brand new, even though it had visible wood and wasn't purple, well it was at least a contender for the "VSO of the effin' year" award, I'm pretty sure. 

I dunno.. Maybe I should tell the buddy I gave the Mendini to that it isn't a real violin, it's a VSO.  But first off, he's the sort where if I explained all that, he'd be likely to run out and get a "VSO Player" t-shirt made or something.  Besides, like me he is somebody who always kinda wanted to own a violin and learn how to play some violin/fiddle.  Why spoil his fun?  I'm sure someone on the internet will be kind enough to inform him of the awful truth soon enough.   Right now he's kind of busy playing every day and sometimes sounding annoyingly musical for only being in his first week.

roflol

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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JaredA
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Having some insight into the state of public schools these days, i can tell you the chances that this story is as straight forward as it sounds are nearly none. I know of several situations in the school district i work in, just recently, where parents have run straight to the school board to complain about a teacher rather than talk to the teacher or work anything out. I've also seen an issue where the school board was attempting to work with the state department of education to come up with a solution to their problem and the parent went to the news and tried to raise a stink to make it seem like the big evil school corp is being mean. 

 

This would not be be the first time a parent went to the news and misrepresented their issue in order to shame a school into doing what they want, nor will it be the last time. The news reports are heavily one sided, and most likely because the school is not going to call a parent a liar in the news. They would rather just make no statement. It's like a crazy 100lb woman fighting with her 300lb husband and throwing things at him, hitting him, then calling the police. When they show up, what are the chances they're going to believe his story that she was abusing him, not the other way around? It's better to just shut up and let things play out. It's very easy for a parent to play the innocent victim of the big bad school. 

 

As much as there is a chance that the kid is being unfairly treated, there is just as much of a chance that the teacher actually inspected the instrument and found it to be unusable. If the pegs slip and it doesn't stay in tune, it actually hurts the other kids when the teacher has to stop and tune the violin several times during class. That is not fair to the other kids. The orchestra director at the middle school i'm currently working in has had several parents go out and buy a colored violin that won't stay in tune. it could all be avoided if they would go to the teacher and say "i want to buy my child x color violin, what options are there?" this problem could typically be avoided, but i can tell you, tons of parents these days are entirely irrational, and the teachers bear the brunt of this often.

 

In the comment section of that article were numerous comments from local people saying that they have known that teacher for years and they would never do what the article says. One person mentioned the teachers staying after school every day, without being paid for the extra hours, and this is not an unusual phenomenon. Band and Orchestra teachers often stay late to let kids practice or take lessons from people that come in. I personally take lessons at the school i work at, and the teacher there stays after to let people use the practice rooms. 

 

So that's my rant for the day.

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RosinedUp
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Isn't an orchestra supposed to be about people working together to produce music, to make a show of the music and of the orchestra, not mainly a show of the individuals in the orchestra?  Ideally those who have paid their dues in practice and have attained a high skill level get the attention in their orchestral performances. And since the violins tend to get a lot of attention already, I doubt that someone playing a tough subtle bassoon part, for example, is going to appreciate any distractions from the violin section, ha ha.

IMO colored violins shouldn't be allowed for the same reason one can't wear a clown suit in the orchestra or blow bubble-gum bubbles during someone's solo, or play one's part twice as loud as the sheet music and the conductor call for.  Where would it end?  Rhinestone-encrusted violas, or cellos with flashing LEDs?

@cdennyb, your question in the title "What if YOU were told you couldn't play your violin?" reminds me a of story from a guy I worked with once.  He said he was applying for a job, and his prospective boss told him, "I see you have a beard. I don't have anything against beards.  I don't mind you wearing a beard.  Just don't wear it to work."

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Kevin M.
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September 16, 2013 - 11:26 pm
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I'm staying out of this one. I have my opinion and it will continue to be my opinion.

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DanielB
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Not everyone is inclined to conformity.  With orchestral/symphony genre music, that can result in people considering it a "closed door" when it comes to their choices of how to develop musically.

In a public school, if it was the only way offered to learn instrumental music or if some of the facilities are not open to those who are doing music but not necessarily orchestral music, then I would agree with cdennyb that it could possibly become a form of discrimination.  Closing doors to those students who wish to learn shouldn't be what a public elementary/high school does, IMO.

A *professional* orchestra or symphony might be a different matter.  Clients/patrons may not be particularly interested in a certain look to the show.  Or even in a school environment, if a group of students elect to form a period chamber music group or something, it would be understandable that they might opt for clothing and instruments which keep a period appearance.

But if the only way to learn basic instrumental musical skills is via the school "orchestra", and there is more worry about what color socks everyone wears than how they play, how is that an educational advantage?

Conformity is not to everyone's nature.  And the attitude that it is an absolute "must" for some kinds of music is a large part of why some of us never even start exploring some genres.  Silly as it may seem at first, what use is there in working to learn something like classical if you'd never get to play it without having to wear a "monkey suit"?  Music should be about sound.  But whether or not you get to play it can end up being more a matter of someone else's sense of fashion and propriety.  I think that in a more perfect world, people (and especially children eager to learn music in a public school environment) shouldn't be limited by that.  IMO.

 

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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StoneDog
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@DanielB >> LIKE!!!!

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Ferret
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I've got a number ov violins and one of them is 'black' devil-violin

It sounds good to me to me.

The only problem that I've had with it is that it's hard to find and play after dark at the camp site. rofl

 

Sounds more like 'sticks in the mud' to me rather than any valid argument as to whether the colour effects the sound of the instruments. Plus some 'politics'

 

But what would I know. I'm just an old Aussie non-conformist that can't even spell 'colour' good roflol

(it's just the way we do it here)aussie_flag wink @TerryT  would spell it the same way. He's a Pommeunited_kingdom-4178

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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screeeech
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Was this really an issue 2 years in a row?

 

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coolpinkone
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Ferret you crack me up.  

 

Love the debate .... ultimately to me I think it should not matter. I would like to think that color doesn't matter.  And there should be no rules in art.  

 

Now ... That was my short version.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Crazymotive
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My preference is for natural wood violins. To me the traditional natural wood just looks more aesthetically pleasing. But my feelings are besides the point. I wuld never look down upon anyone playing a different color instrument.

On one side of the coin I can see the school's point. A purple violin will really stand out and appear awkward in an orchestral setting.  I play in an orchestra and like most orchestra's we have to adhere to standards. For instance, our concert attire is all black. I just wouldn't be right for me to walk into a concert dressed in a white or red, or purple suit when the proper attire is black and everyone else is wearing black. The colour of the instrument is a bit more subtle but again, it would look awkward and out of place if I were to show up to a concert with a purple violin. The orchestra agree on and sets certain rules and if I want to participate as a member I have an obligation, a duty, to adhere to those rules, even if I would rather not. Such is how it is when you are working with a group.

On the other hand I can see the disappointment of the member in question. In this case she is a beginner and  would like to learn on her own instrument and I see no reason why the school cannot give her lessons allowing her to use her own violin. However, when she does play in actual orchestra concerts  I don't think it is unreasonable to request that she use an instrument that fits in with what the rest of the orchestra is using. A degree of conformity is going to be something she is going to have to get used to if she plans to continue on in music and play in orchestras. At the same time I hope it doesn't discourage her from continuing on in her violin endeavors. 

In conclusion I will say that anyone who intends to be a part of an orchestra be prepared to purchase or rent a natural wood finish violin. I don't feel that that is too unreasonable a request for an orchestra requirement, much as I don;t think it is unreasonable for an orchestra to require specified attire, etc. 

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DanielB
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September 20, 2013 - 2:55 pm
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@Crazymotive:  "Natural"??  Pfffftt.   "Traditional" is not natural.  If you've seen the pics in pky's thread,

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/fi.....-has-come/

...that would be what natural would look like.  It would also stand out quite a bit, though perhaps not quite as much as purple.  LOL

"Traditional" violins are artificially coloured.  The colour is brown or reddish brown, sometimes with a little bit of yellow to.. well, make them stand out more?  LOL

But they aren't "natural" any more than your orchestra's black attire is.

And sure, instruments painted brown and black attire are not unreasonable in a professional orchestra.  But for 11 yr olds in a 6th grade school orchestra?  Sad thing to discourage a youngster over.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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