The violin to the lower right is worth $10,000.  The one above it is $200.  The bows respectively are $2000 and $25.  Most of the value difference is how the instrument and bow can amplify and color sound.    

Neither is an antique. Like fine wines, their dramatic differences are best appreciated when compared side by side. In each case, proper adjustment is essential. 

The two to the left would be worthless discards, were it not for the St. Ignatius workshop.  The fact is professional violin luthier training takes 3 years, full time, and runs about $30,000.  Acquired skills can command a decent wage, making damaged low cost instruments un-rentable and so discarded, or worse assigned to an eager new learner.  This may appear well meaning, but it is a recipe for frustration and defeat.   

At St. Ignatius, things will be different.  Violins in this condition will be cleaned, repaired with scavenged parts, adjusted for best sound and donated to tuition free orchestras. 

Tuition free music programs serving low-income populations, struggle to afford repairs.  Because of this outreach by St. Ignatius and its student volunteers, instruments in disrepair are no longer an impediment to youth music education.  


Terry Miles

St. Ignatius, ‚Äč

Class of 1964