On November 24th, a group of SONG’s violin students went to Peterborough to play O Canada at the opening of a KPRD School Board meeting. Shortly before the performance, one of the violinists, Kira Schuller, who began playing last year, discovered that one of the strings on her violin – the A string – had broken. If it had been the E or G string, she could have ignored it, but she needed to play the higher notes of O Canada on the A string.

Kira could have given up, closed her case, and had a meltdown – but she chose to play. She shifted her hand higher up the D string, where the lower notes were, in order to make them sound like A string notes! I was seriously impressed by this creative (and very professional) solution to her dilemma. It signalled to me that Kira has figured out how the violin works – quite an exceptional feat for a student who has only been playing for one year.

Niccolo Paganini was a famous virtuoso violinist and composer who lived in the 19th century. He was a showman, and was known for his incredible violin technique, which included playing (and writing) pieces all on one string.

I wanted to acknowledge Kira’s exceptional resourcefulness in a performance situation and decided that a “Paganini Award” would be the perfect recognition of the occasion.


Kira now has a well earned new A string on her violin. Congratulations

  • written by Deborah Henderson, SONG’s Director of Beginner Strings