Cami Shaskin

Violin Blog


About


This blog is about all things violin. It is meant to educate, inspire, and provide resources for parents, teachers, and students. The author takes full responsibility for the viewpoints expressed here. In instances where she quotes ideas from others, she pledges to cite her sources as fully, responsibly, and accurately as possible. Topics will include book reviews, technique tips, entertaining anecdotes, quotes, jokes, educational findings, instrument care suggestions, violin in the news, repertoire lists, etc.

Cami J. Shaskin graduated with her master's degree in Music Education in 2008. Violin has always been her primary instrument, since beginning private lessons at age five. See camishaskinviolin.com/info for her music résumé, or click on Spotlights for historical recordings. Cami has enjoyed an array of experiences in writing, from penning award-winning articles as a journalism staff writer in high school, tutoring peers at BYU's Writing Center, earning a Writing Fellows scholarship and a minor in Language and Computers, and later becoming a published author. She recently picked up web programming as a hobby, earning a certificate in Web Programming and Development from the local community college. This blog has been a collaborative effort between her and her husband, who is a Web Developer by profession. Together, they designed and coded this blog and its original content "from scratch."

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2021
    Jan
        16 - Welcome to My Blog
        23 - Violin Teaching Kits
        30 - The Power of Inspiration
    Feb
        06 - Valuable Techniques
        07 - From the Top
        13 - In Honor of Valentine's Day
        20 - Violin Jokes
        28 - Beginning Orchestra Teaching
    Mar
        06 - Singing in Orchestra
        13 - Nurtured by Love
        21 - Helpful Websites
        27 - Unique Case Uses
    Apr
        02 - Favorite Music Quotes
        10 - All About Tone
        17 - Unique Composer Stories
        24 - Teaching Values
    May
        02 - Believing Teachers?
        15 - Violin in Art & Architecture
        23 - A Solo Repertoire List
        29 - Our Quartet
    Jun
        20 - Theft and Other Lessons
        26 - Violin Bridge Tips
    Jul
        07 - Clever Violin Memes
        20 - Horses and Lions
    Aug
        04 - Music During Covid
        16 - Favorite Music
    Sep
        12 - Being There
    Oct
        16 - Sight Reading Tips
    Nov
        05 - Why It's the Frog
    Dec
        20 - Bach on the Brain
        30 - Impact for Life
2022
    Jan
        23 - Tendonitis Helps
    Feb
        21 - An Old Performance
    Mar
        23 - Cars3 & Coaching
    Apr
        28 - Buying a Violin for Dummies
        29 - Preferred Brands
    May
        27 - Love: A Calling
    Jun
        20 - Gratitude for Idaho Shop
    Jul
        19 - Violinist Interviews Books
    Aug
        08 - Music Opens Doors
        23 - Top Classical Tunes for Violin
    Sep
    Oct
        11 - 100 Days of Listening
    Nov
        27 - Useful Analogies
    Dec
        28 - A Humorous Anecdote
2023
    Jan
        14 - Favorite Concertos & Sonatas
    Feb
        15 - Our Commonality
    Mar
        10 - Extras
        18 - Autopilot
    Apr
    May
    Jun
        06 - Motivation
        07 - Starting Lessons Again
    Jul
        08 - A Tale of Three Cloths
    Aug
        26 - The Ink
    Sep
        23 - Raw and Real Recital Reactions
    Oct
        18 - In Honor of Halloween
    Nov
        26 - Music Copyright
    Dec
        13 - Memes: Fun Facebook Finds
2024
    Jan
        15 - Fame and Fortune
    Feb
        05 - Details and the Big Picture
    Mar
        14 - Intermission
    Apr
        18 - A Day in the Life
    May
        02 - Oops!
    Jun
        14 - A Science or an Art?
    Jul
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Posts


Oops!
02 May 2024

It was a beautiful, cool May evening on Temple Square. I had made the trip in perfect timing from Tooele. I greeted friends on my walk towards the downstairs case room of the Tabernacle, still affectionately referred to as the “horseshoe.” I settled my case—which happens to look like a gray, miniature, lightweight version of a cello case—down next to two friends who were discussing their graduation with their music degrees ten years prior. I took out my phone from my purse and snapped their picture when asked, and then proceeded to open my case to get my instrument out. Only, upon opening the latches, I immediately busted out laughing at the sight that met my eyes. No violin. No bow, no shoulder rest, no nothing! After many merry chuckles, and thinking back on the only other time in my life that had happened, when I was about seven years old at a violin lesson and received a stern reprimand from my mother for forgetting my instrument on the piano at home, I showed my friends the empty case and decided to immediately come clean to the orchestra manager. Luckily, my heart was calm, as my violin wasn’t entirely missing. I knew exactly where it was: on my violin stand at home, where I frequently leave it out so I’ll be more prone to practice. And if you're wondering, that strategy actually works for me!

I brought my case to Bro. Saville, who was catching up with some friends, for a little Show and Tell. I decided to let him discover the dilemma in the same way I had, so in great ceremony, I simply prefaced my demonstration with, “I have something to show you.” I undid the latches and showed him the empty interior. Afterward, he confessed that he had been very cautious to see what I was about to pull out of there. Together, we ascertained that there was no extra violin (not surprisingly) in the orchestra storage area. I asked, in essence, “What now?” I even offered to stay and watch the rehearsal to show my contrition and satisfy any attendance expectations to the full possible extent. But he immediately dismissed that idea. He said, “Well, at least you made the drive out here,” and told me I could go home early. And then in a subdued tone, he let me know I could come play the broadcast on Sunday. I reassured him that, provided there was no new piece, I had almost certainly played the repertoire multiple times before. He said, “Actually, there is a new piece,” so we agreed that I’d get there at least fifteen minutes early to look it over before the Sunday rehearsal. I felt a little like Bob Cratchit from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, who bravely pled for grace from a strict employer and was unexpectedly given the day off for the upcoming holiday. Relieved, I’m sure, Cratchit was almost certainly eager to agree to the stipulation to “be here all the earlier the next morning!” I was agreeable, too! Except that in my case (haha, no pun intended), I felt a little guilty for getting time off, as it was in response to a silly error of my own. I had a lot of explaining to do to the curious crowds of singers and instrumentalists trickling in to the building as I headed back to the parking garage. Carrying my case, I was clearly and unexpectedly going the opposite and “wrong” direction.

I was amused. Honestly, as I thought about it, this wasn’t the end of the world. It had been too long since peals of laughter rang out in the horseshoe, and hearing my reaction spilling happily from my own vocal cords had done my body a world of good. As I explained the unexpected situation to others, their reactions ranged from “Oh no! Are you serious?” and “This is the stuff my nightmares are made up of,” to a myriad of other suggestions, such as “Use the Think System!" (Think Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.) Someone else quipped, with a wink and a smile, “You could always air bow, right?” I told one curious onlooker as she was rosining up her bow, “Well, that was the shortest rehearsal ever! See you Sunday.” But I don’t think she was aware of the situation or that I wasn’t just being sarcastic. (Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I tend to only ever NOT be serious with my husband . . . .)

I joked to another friend on the staircase on my way out, “Hey, you don’t happen to have an extra violin in your back pocket, do you?” as I continued to chuckle and shake my head at my forgetfulness and the unfortunate and inevitable consequences of the situation. At least if I got shifted to the back of the orchestra as a result of missing rehearsal, that wasn’t very different from my regular place.

I may never live this down. This is the kind of occurrence people talk about for months. I could imagine people years from now saying, “Hey, remember the time that violinist forgot her instrument at home?” But at least I’d be remembered for something!

At any rate, lesson learned. I suppose a punk kid out there, who is looking for a strategy to get out of a rehearsal she doesn’t want to be at, might be tempted to use a “forgotten instrument” as a handy excuse. But knowing in the depth of my heart that this was a complete accident, and luckily hadn’t happened to me before in the entire twenty-four years I had been a part of the Tabernacle Choir Organization, my conscience was completely clear, aside from the slight guilt that I was the lucky one getting an undeserved break (giving me just enough time to write this blog post, coincidentally), and the momentary regret that I had unnecessarily spent $7 on dinner on my way into town.

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