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February 16, 2011

Selecting a violin is much like choosing a magic wand.

You drive to the middle of Diagon Alley (or in this case, Mac-Groveland in St. Paul). A picture of a violin hangs above the front of a tiny shop. The door creaks open. Inside the shop the walls are Kelly green and lined with ebony-colored instruments: cellos, basses, violas, and violins hanging from the ceiling. There’s a workbench by the window littered with glue, polishes, and wood shavings.

From the back emerges a tall, thin man in a worker’s apron. He is quite obviously a wizard who left his cloak and hat in the back room.

He studies your son. Which instrument will be best? Only the violin knows.

He brings one out from the back room.

“Curl your fingers around the scroll,” he says. The fingers don’t reach. The wizard shakes his head and carries the violin away.

He emerges a moment later with an old, tattered case. He clicks open the latch and pulls out a violin so small it must have been made by fairies.

Preston curls his fingers. A perfect fit. This is the one. The violin and the boy know. There is a mutual language here.

And the boys walks out of the magic shop with a song in his heart and music in his hands.

  1. Katherine permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:31 am

    It’s so tiny! I was so excited to hear about him getting his violin that I was inspired to practice mine for a whole hour.

  2. Jill Turner permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:43 am

    Such a familiar story! And I love those tiny violins. Prepare your ears Mama! But one day it will all be worth it. Violins have the amazing capability of making the worst goose-bump screeches ever (the kind that make you want to hide in a sound-proof room) while at the same time making the most beautiful good-goose-bump melodies. I know you’ll be proud of your little guy whatever songs he plays. It is so fun to see kiddos progress and really learn to play the violin well.

  3. Amber permalink
    February 16, 2011 9:58 am

    You’re so brave for entering the world of strings! I still have battle scars (on my ears) from middle school and high school orchestra. I’m pretty sure those early teachers of music are destine for sainthood.

  4. Rachel permalink
    February 16, 2011 8:17 pm

    Love the imagery. When can I expect your book???
    Good luck with the practicing. Lance thinks Beth should dive into the violin. I tell him when HE’S the one at home listening to it being practiced and I’M the one at the quiet office we’ll talk.

    • February 16, 2011 10:01 pm

      Beth + Violin = Positively adorable. Plus, then she and Preston can play duets when they’re married, a la the Bradys.

  5. February 16, 2011 10:00 pm

    You all crack me up! I know, we’re definitely going out on a limb here. Piano has been nice and safe and pleasant, but this guy needed something different. My mom used to send my brother out the garage to play the trumpet. So we could always try that technique. Except not in February.

  6. Vivienne Lewis permalink
    February 19, 2011 9:51 pm

    Darling picture of Preston with that tiny violin! So cute! Congratulations on more music in your home.

  7. Randy Smith permalink
    February 20, 2011 8:10 am

    Like you I was warned that the violin is the hardest instrument…on the family. However, I didn’t find it that way. In our family our four violinists have not only filled our home with music but the discipline, memorization, dedication, tears, joy, frustration…has positively impacted almost every aspect of our children’s lifes. Good luck. Your in for a fabulous adventure.

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