Little Miss Flints New Violin & A Mission To Inspire!

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Little Miss Flint with her Tie Dye Violin

When I learned that Little Miss Flint had her pink violin stolen and when offered her pick of a replacement violin, I was both delighted and honored she would choose our Tie Dye Violin. Mari Copeni came to national attention for her passionate fight to make clean drinking water available to the citizens of Flint Michigan.  She has met President Obama and become a voice for the youth of her generation.

For most of my life, I have worked on the performance side of the music business. This enabled me to experience, first hand, the changing world of string playing. Finding our violins in the mainstream of public interest has also brought to light changes in the look and sound of violin playing. While some opportunities for players have diminished over time, in part as a result of changing societal trends, other opportunities have increased. And on a personal level I believe making a connection to the arts and engaging in the arts helps children develop into better human beings.  It may seem simplistic but to quote Daisaku Ikeda, who has been a great mentor for me on my path in life: The emotion generated by a work of art, be it poetry, painting, or music, may be that tangible, unquestionable feeling of a broadening of the self. It is a feeling of fullness, borne from a mysterious rhythm, a kind of flight toward the infinite, lived as a sharing, an exchange, whose source is our interior world. Daisaku Ikeda

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Learning values as a human being can be part of the artistic experience of a child, just as struggling to master a skill has values that are essential. As a pedagogue, I have also sensed our instruments could begin to fill a gap in a child’s education by helping them to form a connection to music on multiple sensory levels. And perhaps most importantly, we understand the importance of speaking the language of our times while appreciating the traditions of the past. Having a creative, multi-sensory experience makes sense as a means for engendering a creative life.

While it is generally considered a forgone conclusion that being creative is a natural bi product of music education, in fact creativity and playful learning are not necessarily a part of a students curriculum. Knowing how to teach and engender a creative life is a science in itself. Companies such as 3M, Pixar and Apple among others, who’s bottom line is based on coming up with great ideas for their survival, have long recognized the science of creativity – to the extent that fostering a creative work environment is a key part of their corporate culture. And while its seems obvious that creativity is an essential part of music making, it can also be a tool for survival, when navigating unexpected changes on ones career path.Screenshot 2016-06-30 23.08.17

For most of us it seems to make sense that music education would help solve these gaps in development. And yet, too often, students are given a musical program so carefully orchestrated, if gives the student little opportunity to exert their free will and creative inclinations.

While I don’t presume that creating violins with cool designs on them will automatically solve all of these issues, stimulating a child’s connection to music on multiple levels, made sense as a starting point for a creative and playful musical life.

With playfulness at the heart of a child’s experience, they can more actively engage in music making, on an instrument that resonates with their unique personalities. In short, we believe children are better able to learn music, grounded in a more immersive creative experience.

It seems our violins are gaining traction because they are, in some way, filling a void, which is the basis of any trend. Regarding the nature of trends, Music Trades, Editor, Brian Majeski commented as follows in  publication of Music Trades:

“When we talk about “shifting product trends,” we’re actually describing what happens when consumers independently decide to do things a little differently. A few thousand, or perhaps millions, of potential buyers casually opt to postpone a purchase or buy something else, and all of a sudden, there is a new “trend” that forces businesses to restructure, revamp a product line, or face possible extinction.”

The bottom line is that our violins are resonating with something that consumers need – but perhaps more importantly, it is being led by the consumer, and following a current that is shaping a new world of possibilities for the modern string player.

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1 comment

Well said! Thank you Rosie for a great blog.

Brenda Muller

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