Robertson's Violin Shop

At the beginning of Spring Break a few weeks ago, my boyfriend James and I drove out to Albuquerque, NM. We brought my viola so that I could leave it at Roberson and Sons Violin Shop while we continued on to our Spring Break adventures. I'd never been to the shop before, but met some of its excellent employees at TMEA in February and thought it would be a good opportunity to solidify my connection with the shop. Justin Robertson took us on a tour of the amazing facility, and I was confident that I was leaving my viola in good hands.

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On our way back from Nevada-- where we camped, hiked, and climbed for a week-- we stopped back at the shop to get my instrument. Justin did some amazing work, and now my viola sounds completely wonderful. I was able to play in the beautiful Concert Hall and received individualized attention from President and Founder Don Robertson. I told him that if I had a practice space that sounded as wonderful as their Hall, I'd never stop practicing! He laughed, and after I purchased a slew of viola music, James and I drove the rest of the way home to Lubbock.

What's pretty amazing is that, even in my regular practice spaces, my viola still sounds amazing. I'm enjoying playing so much more these days. It really is imperative to take care of your instrument.

Happy practicing, indeed!


This afternoon I won the position of Principal Viola with the Lubbock Symphony. I am looking forward to this new leadership role-- it should be an interesting and rewarding challenge.

But this morning my bow decided that it would not tighten past a barely-usable tightness, and the mother-of-pearl inlay strip on the bottom of the frog popped out. So I need to get my bow serviced. Sigh.

This evening I went to the School of Music faculty and staff get together. It was wonderful. I have never worked at a place where my colleagues are so warm and inviting. I really feel as though I've been adopted in to this family, and everyone is so NICE. It's almost overwhelming! I am so excited about this year.

And tomorrow classes start! I will be listening to many string auditions in the next few days, but I'll also have time to practice recital music! Yay!

So... happy practicing!

So, which way do I go? East or west? To the east are friends and a trusted luthier, Joshua Waybright (who doesn't have a website!)... To the west is a city to which I've never been, a shop I've heard so very much about (Robertson Violins) and an hour less of driving. What would YOU do?


In the beginning...

Wow, well here I am, typing out my very first blog post. I can't help but recall the scene from "Julie and Julia" where Julie Powell sits down to write her first post. Her adventure turned into a movie! I wonder how far mine will go?

While I doubt I will ever be the topic of a movie, it will be great to share my ideas and thoughts about viola, rock climbing, yoga, and knitting... but mostly viola!

Speaking of which... I have an audition coming up for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. While practicing my Don Juan excerpt earlier this afternoon, I noticed a metallic buzzing sound in a tremolo section towards the bottom of the first page. Hum. I changed my strings a few days ago, and accidentally knocked my bridge askew! I was able to put it back into the right place, as far as I could tell, but now I have this buzz.

I have been told by my colleagues at Texas Tech University that the closest luthier is in Albuquerque NM-- more than a five hour drive! Oh dear. This whole misadventure leads me to believe it would be beneficial to know more about how to care for my instrument. I only know a handful of professional string players who know more than the bare basics (how to change strings, how to remove rosin, checking for open seams, etc.). Like most, I only know the basics.

Why is it that university music programs don't offer String Instrument Repair like they do Brass or Woodwind Repair classes? I went to three top quality music schools, and never saw a string repair class or even seminar offered. 

Apparently I can take a class in July 2013 in Wisconsin... Something to look into, for sure!

Well, that turned out to be a rather long first blog. Phew! Thanks for reading, and see you again tomorrow.

Happy practicing.