upcoming news…

As a lot of my students have been seeing in their lessons, we may have a new non-human addition to the studio soon! Stay tuned…

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3D printed violin – for real.

So, we know Omaha is so lucky and tremendously grateful for the support it gives it’s non-profits to boss places (such as, oh, maybe something called the Omaha Conservatory of Music!) and so much good is coming out of it.

Last month I finally visited the Do Space, a new technology library that is FREE! Great classes, cool tech, and 3D printing for just the cost of materials. Seriously rad.

Multiple sources said I needed to attend this 3D-printed violin exhibition they were holding and it did sound cool, but I’m picky about instruments for my students. I mean, I pay decent money and have a tricky time purchasing instruments that don’t fall apart in the first year. (Stringed instruments are finicky, kids.) But I went and watched Matt and Kaitlyn Hova give their very fun and unique presentation about their journey making a 3D printed violin, the Hovalin.Hovalin .jpegTheir mission was 3 fold: create something that is better than a normal beginning violin; Sturdier. More affordable. Doesn’t screech. And you know what? They totally did it. If I’m being totally honest I was prepared for it to sound like mud, but amplified it sounded like a regular electric violin. And if played acoustically it just sounded like it had a slight mute on, which many parents of beginning strings players would find very welcome. (We don’t all sound like Yo-Yo Ma at 5 years old.)

It turns out we have mutual friends in common as the Hovas are originally from Omaha, and they couldn’t have been warmer or more hilarious individuals. If that wasn’t enough, they are giving the instructions away to make your own 3D printed violin FOR FREE. In combination with the Do Space you can use their equipment and print the entire project for around $70. That’s unreal. Katelyn hova .jpeg

I will of course keep bugging them until they make the smaller sizes of instruments so we can try these out for my kiddos. And of course I want a 3D printed cello myself.

They also just announced their new 2.0 version – check them out!

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growing pains (and excitement)

The school year is winding down, and not only does it inspire to measure ourselves with how far we have come this year but also our bodies. 

Have you outgrown your cello?

Our bodies grow at different rates, and some of us have longer torsos than legs (stop staring at me.) To ensure students have the proper size of cello, there are four main measurements needed to properly gage what size of cello is required (see diagram):


  1. from top of the head to the bottom of the tushie on the chair
  2. from the “vp bone” (bone where your neck meets the shoulders) to the bottom of the tushie
  3. from knee to the tushie
  4. from the shoulder out to the tips of the fingers.

Once these are given to me, I can get a good idea of what size of cello we need, but they will never all agree on one size. If the measurements point towards two sizes evenly, I will always recommend the smaller size of cello for ease of learning for the student. 

“Graduating” to a larger size of cello always inspires students to recommit to their music, but once they realize they must relearn how everything feels this joy becomes frustration. The cure for this is to play all their favorite easy songs each day and slowly they will adjust and forget how different it is. Fingerboard games, ski jumps, and string crossing songs are big helpers.

Should you be in this process,I hope the process is motivation and a little challenging, otherwise how boring would life be?!