Posting Date: September 23, 2010

Kennesaw State provides high-quality violin to music student

Highlights need for more quality instruments for students

By Andrea C. Kirwan


Adam von Housen

Photos by Sarah Singleton


Despite his talent, Kennesaw State University violin student Adam von Housen hit a roadblock that could have potentially stunted his future success—he needed a better violin. Von Housen began attending KSU in spring 2008 and is one of this year’s KSU Concerto Competition winners, but he had reached the peak of what he could do with the instrument he had.

Assistant Professor Helen Kim, his individual instructor says, “Adam is an exceptional violinist, he has demonstrated his talents through his performances on campus numerous times. However, advanced music cannot be communicated properly with a bad violin.”

Von Housen says that as he advances and performs more difficult pieces, “the construction of the instrument won’t allow the piece to be executed as well as it could be.”

The School of Music recognized that need and lent a higher quality violin to von Housen. The level of sound quality on a violin depends on its quality of materials, including graduation, shape, type of wood and varnish. Von Housen’s new violin greatly increases the acoustic volume of its voice allowing it to audibly project more. In addition to sound quality, he explains that, “the consistency of the finger board is a lot better” allowing for more technical pieces to be played with less difficulty. Also, unlike some instruments which depreciate over time, decent violins improve with playing and are a good investment.

Von Housen has been lent the best violin KSU owns to match the talent and level he possesses. Kim highlights the importance of obtaining good instruments for the advancement and success of each KSU musician. Better instruments are also important for special events such as competitions and graduate school auditions. Kim says, “just as we would not have our sports team play with inferior equipment, we want to treat our music students in the same way. A good instrument is essential to demonstrate Adam’s talent.”

The KSU School of Music has high quality Steinway & Sons pianos thanks to the generosity of Dr. Bobbie Bailey. Now, it is seeking to build its inventory of top-level instruments in other areas to help students like Adam von Housen. If you would like to help in this effort, please contact Cheryl Brown at or 770-499-3129.





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