My kids' school has an ear-splitting program in which they provide music instruction for certain stringed instruments in primary school. It used to be mandatory and The Princess played cello for two or three years (it is too painful to recall), and promptly dropped it when the program became optional. They are always touting some study about the connection between music instruction and increased academic prowess, but, sheesh, is there anything more excruciating than the beginner screech of violins and cellos?
Crash decided he wanted to participate, and thus I found myself purchasing a half-sized violin (same price as a one year rental, and I don't have to worry about him damaging a loaner instrument). Crash came home with it yesterday and has been plucking away happily, while I count the days until the bow is introduced and I live in my noise cancelling headphones.
When we went to have him fitted for the instrument, I referred to it as a 'fiddle', which spurred a conversation about the difference. There isn't any, really. The moniker changes dependent on the genre of music being played on it, and the instrument is set up differently (action, bridge, string type), accordingly.
Crash hasn't decided what he wants to call his instrument, torn between the school and teacher's intentional use of 'violin', and mom's contrarian use of 'fiddle'. While he has been exposed to both violin music and fiddle music, there is an argument to be made for what category 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' falls into, and whether it is more appropriately played on a fiddle or a violin.
I say we should scrap both titles and give the thing a name we can all agree on; Squeaky.