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We purchased a 15” viola and 3/4 cello at a pawnshop and are donating to a school. General talk and a question about a bow for the viola.
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June 12, 2019 - 8:53 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 4171
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I started a thread in viola talk about 15” viola strings. It also included a statement about my donating this 15” viola purchased at (rescued from) a pawnshop to a school. It does not have a bow. This is an addition to the talk about donating that viola. Added info about a cello and question about bow for viola.

We rescued (purchased) a 15” viola at a pawnshop and will donate it to a local school that has an orchestra.

We are also donating the 3/4 cello we rescued from the pawnshop the same day. Nothing wrong with it. It has been there at least 8 months. They did nothing in all that time to get it ready for the floor. It was waiting for their luthier’s attention, like other string instruments they have. Pretty sure it was going to be tinder wood because how long can they afford to allow it to use up space? It is not a large pawnshop. I put new Jargar Student strings for a 3/4 cello on it. No marks or anything on the cello. Pegs turn nicely. Seams are all in tact.  Bought $200 at the pawnshop, and then about $100 for the strings. Better than it being unused at the pawnshop or destroyed.

The cello did come with a bow (not great, but straight) and padded case. I washed the case twice in my washer. Once right side out, then inside out and then dried it in the dryer. Whomever used it, took very good care of it. It was actually sold years ago at violin shop not far from the pawnshop. That violin shop changed brands for their student cello years ago. This is the original brand they sold. This is not the violin shop we go to. 

I cannot afford to do a lot of rescuing of these instruments, but this viola and this cello did not have anything really wrong with them. Some student will be able to use them.

QUESTION: Not sure if I should put one of my not-so-straight viola bows with the viola, just so the student has a bow. I have a couple that came with cheap violas that have just an ever so slight curve. I did not notice at first. The hairs kind of go ooff center just a tad when rosining. That is when I got suspicious after I learned more about bows and bowing. I looked down the bows at that time and noticed the ever so slight curve.

I have the rosin that came with the cheap violas to include. One will go with the viola, the other with the cello.

Any thoughts on including the not-quite-straight bow? 

The Bumblebee Flies!


June 13, 2019 - 9:47 am
Member Since: March 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 334
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Mack has donated quite a few instruments to her local school program.  I would send the bow, probably still usable.  Usually the school has a budget and if the bow isn’t going to work they can just get a bow.. it is still a very nice gesture.

Trondheim, Norway

June 13, 2019 - 10:00 am
Member Since: October 11, 2012
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Slightly off center bow is better than no bow at all. My first bow have a slight curve, it worked well then, and I still play with it from time to time. I'm sure the school will find a good use for it. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

June 13, 2019 - 12:48 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 4171
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Thanks. That is what I thought, but I wanted to make sure. I will include the straightest one. Save the other in case I am able to rescue another.

Thanks, again.

The Bumblebee Flies!

Fort Lauderdale
June 17, 2019 - 1:47 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16062

CID, and anyone else who wants to donate an instrument, we donate instruments to poor schools in Haiti and in Cuba.
If ever you have trouble finding a place who wants to take it, let us know and we'll help out. We usually also improve on the setup before sending or delivering the instruments.

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

June 17, 2019 - 2:14 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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@Fiddlerman Good to know. If the schools cannot use them, I will definitely let you know.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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