Learning the violin ticked all the boxes I was aiming for. Also, I had previous experience with learning an instrument (I played first place clarinet in high school), so I already had some basic musical skills. Half inspired by the book The art of the east, through improvisation violinist Stephen Nachmanovich, and half inspired by my favorite fictional violinist detective, Sherlock Holmes, I set about my task.
After first checking out retail sites like Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay, I quickly realized that I had to do some research before buying an instrument. To find out how to choose the right violin, I spoke with Ellen Silver, director of the New York-based association. Silver music school; Charles Avsharian, CEO of SHAR Music, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based stringed instrument and accessory retailer for nearly 60 years; and Joseph Tanen, a luthier (or manufacturer of stringed instruments) in New York with over 30 years of experience. I also spoke with two violin teachers: New York-based Meredith Ezinma Ramsay, known as Ezinma, who has been teaching for over nine years, and Los Angeles-based Leslie Gonzalez, who has been teaching for six years. and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the University of Redlands.