Because there are only 6 levels, I was very anxious during the preceding week. This, coincidentally, was not helped by the breaking of my E string, two nights prior to the exam. I wasn’t in a panic, but my mother was. Not knowing what to do, she called up my friend’s mother. After a quick, ten minute conversation, it was arranged that I would borrow my friend’s violin, specifically for the exam. My dad, currently on his way back from his office, was able to pick it up and bring it home.
Now, those of you who are musicians know that every instrument has a certain feel, especially one belonging to you. No matter how good the quality of the instrument is, you will always want your own. I knew it would be difficult, and I would never get it to the level of proficiency of which I had with my original instrument, but because nothing else was a possibility, I decided to just go with it.
So the next day, the day of the exam, I had to take the borrowed violin to school. I took it, played in orchestra, and brought it home. As soon as I walked in, we had to rush off, for my time was at 5:45 and I didn’t have time to spare. We arrived at about 4:50, and registered, after which I went to practice a couple more times and check the tuning.
I opened the violin and the first thing I saw was the broken bow. But the next thing was worse: I had no shoulder rest. The shoulder rest is an extremely important item for correct posture, and so the violin doesn’t slip during play. Combining these two occurrences led me to the fact that I picked up the wrong violin from school with the exact same case. Even though I was able to borrow a shoulder rest, I ended up playing the exam with a violin that I had never seen before in my life. But despite all of this, I was able to play confidently and with a clear head. This was definitely on purpose.