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Violin/metronome for hard of hearing violin player

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Question
Hi, I read your expertise page, and it sounds like you may be able to help me.My mother has been playing violin for around 3 years now and is gradually getting better. This is the first time she has shown interest in anything since her breast cancer and I really would like to support her and encourage her to keep it up. She has a metronome that works on sound (which i know most do) but she is very hard of hearing, and I think that really makes it hard for her to keep the beat. I am in no way musically adept, that was on my sister's side of the family. I am trying to find her a metronome that works with light flashes, instead of sound. The only ones i find online have small led blinking lights, and i am not sure that will be bright enough for her to see. I am wanting to get this for her for her Christmas present, but the outlook is grim.I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to ready this message, if you have any advice that you could give me, I would be very much appreciative. Thanks

Sincerely,
Sean

Answer
Hi Sean
I wish i could give you the magic answer, but none of the ones that I know have a very bright light, just the small lights you mentioned or a simulated side to side swipe of bars. They used to make an electric one of exactly what you want called the Franz Electric Flash Beat and it had a bright orange strobe type bulb on the top and a very loud sound. They may occasionally go for sale on Ebay but not something to count on easily getting. Some of the electronic models have an ear plug but they change models so often and since I am no longer in the retail end of things, I don't see the new releases very often. The brand Dr. Beat is one of the best for volume, but the also have lots of features like different sound for the different beats of the measures as well as for different types of notes like triplets and so forth.

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David Lashof

Expertise

I can answer questions on violin, viola, cello and bass making, repair and maintenance as well as supply general violin value ranges and information on instrument makers’ assuming the instrument's as labeled. I don't give values for modern makers as many of these modern makers are yet unknown to me. I can only give you feedback based on what information you give me, and no authority on the instrument can know every maker's work that ever lived. I have access to many books on makers and auction prices on over 25,000 makers, as well as having 36 years of experience with selling and appraising violins. Without having the instrument in hand, any estimate over the internet is just a guess as the label inside an instrument is more often wrong than right, so just having that information is not very useful. Pictures can sometimes be helpful but only so much, as the "feel" of the instrument along with small clues in workmanship and varnish cannot be seen in pictures. Any pictures should be high quality close-ups of the top and back. Additional photos of the front and treble side of the neck are also useful. It is always best to have an instrument seen in person at a violin shop that does appraisals. I can also provide advice on bows, rosin, strings and other string instrument accessories. As I am now retired, I have no bias towards selling anything; I only wish to share my knowledge and experience by providing information for those that may be getting confused by misinformation, misdirection or conflicting statements. (While I have seen many thousands of instruments and have performed numerous appraisals; if I have not evaluated an instrument in person, any information I set forth in an opinion is just that, an opinion based solely on what you have provided. Thusly, no financial decision should be based on that opinion, but rather, further investigation should be performed by having the instrument examined in person.)

Experience

I am a retired violin maker and repairman with 35 years experience having worked in Chicago and Maryland at 5 different violin shops and music stores including the first violin repairman at William Harris Lee in Chicago, the head repairman at Weavers Violins in Maryland, and in my own shop of 25 years. I have made 160 instruments and have restored countless professional level and student grade instruments. I am an accomplished violinist having performed with semi-professional as well as amateur groups although I haven't played for years and mostly stay away from questions about playing. I have taught violin making and restoration to about 20 students; three of which have gone on professionally and now have their own shops. I know violins from playing, selling, repairing, making and teaching.

Organizations
Violin Society of America (VSA). American String Teachers Association (ASTA)

Education/Credentials
I graduated from the prestigious 4 year Chicago School of Violin Making in 1981 under Master Violin Maker Tschu Ho Lee. I also studied with violin maker Willis M. Gault in Washington DC from 1973-75, who was the former owner of the oldest known example of an instrument from the modern violin family, an Andreas Amati Viola.

Awards and Honors
2008 Chester Petranek Award for service to the music community. ASTA award for service. Top All Expert in Violin for 2014 and 2015.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked with many professional musicians from DC area Symphonies as well as players from all over the US. Here are just a few, Leonard Slatkin - Former conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. Doris Gazda - Nationally renowned string specialist and composer. Bernard Greenhouse, Tanya Anisimova - Internationally renowned Solo Cellists. Jody Gatwood, Mark Pfannschmidt, Lori Barnet, Doug Dubé, Judy Silverman - National Philharmonic Orchestra. Robert Blatt, David Hardy, Glen Garlick - National Symphony Orchestra. Eddie Stubbs, Brendan Mulvahill, Nate Leath - Professional Fiddle Players. David Basche, Pat Braunlich, John Knudson, Romano Solano, Ed Ferris, Fred Lieder - freelance musicians.

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