Yep, we have rented our violin and even though mummy (who still can’t believe how trusting they are here) told him he won’t be able to bring it home till August when he does start lessons, the violin is now sitting in it’s case, lying next to the now unused child-sized guitar (mummy is still sad about that but hopeful that he will pick it up again).
That’s correct, you read right – we rented the violin and brought it home with us. Did we have to start paying from July, instead of August? Nope. And the contract for rental was also very simple; it just states what was rented, what’s the value of each item, name, address and contact number of renter (that’s us), how much is rental fees each month and that was it. There wasn’t even a start date or any long conditions of rental. There was just a few lines at the bottom of the A5 sheet (ya, not even an A4 official looking sheet) which states that if rental is for less than 3 months we have to pay for at least 3 months and if we return the violin after 3 months of use, we would have to pay for new strings to be fitted for the next renter. i asked her (the violin shop lady) how she knows when we start – she said she will just make a note, where i’m not sure. Also she did not say that we must pay our fees every month, she did not even note down how often we should or would be paying the fees. She just gave us a few payment slips and told us to pay regularly; how often is up to us. They trust us to pay regularly on our own accord, starting in August.
Where i come from, that’s just not the way things are done. If you did business this way, you would most definitely be taken advantage of and make a loss. But here things are soooo different – there is a trust between service/goods provider and customer. People expect that you would be honest and civil and hold up your part of the deal. In German, i believe it is called “anständig”, which dict.leo.org translate to be fair, becoming, decent, honest, modest, proper, self-respecting, square. i don’t think there is a single word in English which fully describes what this German word means.
Anyhow, i’m getting carried away here. Back to the violin rental.
So we went with a friend whose little girl also chose to play the violin. It was a great time of trying out different violins (so many sizes and tones). i am so happy to have gone with someone who has a music background and get some help on picking a good violin and she also asked questions i would not have think to ask. Thanks my dear.
Here are a few photos:
For the last week or so, since we got the violin at home, he has been taking it out of its case and “playing” it (ok, so he is just running the bow over the strings at the moment – but still 😀 ). He is just as excited to start lesson as he was when he made his choice a month ago. i’m excited for him too.
Now this is not a cheap instrument so i wanted to be sure that we took good care of it. Where do i go for help on this? Well, the internet, of course 😉
There are so very many website and Youtube videos which teach everything from how to store your violin properly to caring for the strings and telling you about things like dampits (the use of which is debated among musicians). The one very important thing i have learnt is that the instrument must not be subjected to extremes of temperatures and humidity. This can potientally cause irreparable damage to the very expensive wood body of your instrument. So we now are on a new journey to learn as much as we can. Hopefully the teacher will give us more guidance along the way.
i leave you with these 2 websites which i found helpful about the care and maintenance of violins; The Sound Post and ViolinOnline.