Violin Purse -un 35, Susan Shor, Finds Parallels with Hobby and Livelihood
This entry was posted on January 15, 2016.
Do You Think Dogs when Searching for
"Gift for Music Lover"?
Ms. Susan Shor is a staunch supporter of Violettes. She owns a handmade black Violin Purse (or Viola for her sake) which she uses during concerts to hold spare strings, her wallet.... She uses her own artsy pin for the "chin rest". She's not afraid to say it's a great "gift for music lover" and string player. She asks to borrow an assortment of Violin Bags to bring with her when she goes to music conventions, to wear a different one every day and pass out our cards!!! Thank you Susan!! (Our handmade violin purses are in the Violin Gifts section.)
Her own black viola purse is featured below on the cat's lap in this video by her talented son, Alex.
Violia/Violin lessons are time consuming and expensive. It is hard to keep up the practicing. However, getting children started and seeing them light up when they can play a song or join an orchestra is rewarding. Giving the students groups to learn and practice with helps the children develop friendships and prevents quitting. Performing with them in the community (old folks homes) teaches them that they can "give back". Seeing a dog or cat very scared of its environment, scared to be put in a car and to be on a leash, change to be happy and comfortable and finally adopted into a caring home is equally rewarding. Susan says it all feels like you are transforming lives.
About Ms. Shor's Music (Education - a Gift for Music Lover):
Susan was introduced to music in the public school program in 4rth grade in Philadelphia. She picked Viola to be different because all the other girls wanted flute or violin. She loves to play the supporting parts. In college she started majoring in art, but became intrigued with music teacher Mimi Zweig and her husband who were teaching classes about how to teach children music. She followed Ms. Zweig from Carnegie Melon to Indiana University and changed her major to music. When she saw a young 3rd grade boy come into the class and perform the Vivaldi Concerto in A Minor from the Suzuki Books with so much heart, she was hooked. Well, it happened that that boy's name was Joshua Bell! She moved back to Philadelphia after graduating certified to teach both Violin and Viola in the Suzuki Books. When a friend got pregnant and gave Susan her studio to take over, she loved teaching students and never looked back. She ended up moving to Oak Ridge (after meeting her husband from Oak Ridge) and becoming very involved with the classical music scene.
Susan has been in the Knoxville and Oak Ridge Symphonies, assistant orchestra director for Oak Ridge High School for the past 12 years (until funds dried up last year) and helping the Youth Aliyah (Music) Competition by rounding up judges for over 15 years. She also runs the Oak Ridge Coffee Concert series featuring usually local classical musicians in an informal setting. The concerts are free with refreshments after the performance. There are usually 4 concerts per year. She has played in some of these concerts. And of course she has her private teaching studio.
Susan loves to help with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra with its annual free family concert. (One is this Sunday Jan. 24 at 3PM at the Oak Ridge Center of Performing Arts (Oak Ridge High School Auditorium). There are crafts for children and "an instrument petting zoo" after the performance.
Most rewarding about raising her musical children? It was tough keeping them going, and at one point the very talented Alex threatened to run away from home. Now he is playing literally side by side with her in the Oak Ridge Symphony. Alex plays piano, cello and Accordion. Her daughter, Emilie, plays violin and piano and is majoring in that in college. When Susan was able to play the Double Bach Concerto with Emilie - that was a high. (Special Gift for Music Lover)
About Ms. Shor's Love and Fostering of Animals:
Her parents would never let her and her 3 sisters have the dog they wanted. When she was 12, her family was at an auction in Vermont and valuable dog, an American Foxhound, was auctioned with a starting bid at $200 which was a lot back then. No one purchased it, so her family got it for about $15. She and her sisters took good care of the dog. First thing Susan did when she got married, was get a cat, even before furniture! When her daughter was 12, and had to do a "Mitzvah Project" (a community service project), she decided to foster dogs.Susan is still fostering dogs 8 years later even though her daughter has gone off to college. She is on dog number 43. She just started taking in cats and is on cat number 3. They get the animals from the Oak Ridge Shelter Animal Rescue Group (SARG).