One-handed violinist gets help with new invention from BYU student

PROVO, Utah – A young Provo violinist born with only one arm can now perfect her talents further thanks to a device designed by a BYU engineering student.

Ten-year-old Adia Cardona is many things. A pianist, a violinist and a student, but there is one thing she is not: a climber.

“I don’t think I’ll forget about them anytime soon,” said Joshua Vanderpool, president of the 2ft Prosthetics Club and a student at BYU. “Adia, from the moment I met her I could tell that she was very determined.”

Cardona was born without the lower half of her right arm, a challenge that never stopped her from playing the violin.

“She told me the two things were important to her,” said Cardona’s violin teacher Madilyn Olsen in a video produced by BYU. “Can play the violin and ride a bike.”

“She actually only played with one arm,” added Vanderpool. “She would let her teacher do the strings or she would do the bow and she would switch back and forth.”

Doctors at Shriner’s Hospital in Salt Lake City fitted her with a prosthesis so she could play the violin herself, but there was still a problem.

“She couldn’t get enough pressure like she wanted, could she [the bow] the violin would slide down, “said Vanderpool.

“It was a little difficult sometimes,” Cardona said in the video.

As a determined ten-year-old, Cardona found a solution herself. She made a draft and contacted Vanderpool with the help of Olsen.

“I haven’t fixed anything wrong per se,” he added. “I made it possible for Adia to do what she wanted.”

Vanderpool used a Walmart 3D printer and craft dowel to construct a device that looks very similar to an antenna attached to her violin – all for less than $ 10.

“When we put it on and practiced today and yesterday, I was able to put it on. I just thought, ‘Wow, that’s easy,'” Cardona said in the video.

Despite the credit for developing the device, Vanderpool said the real hero of this story was Cardona.

“She’s still having fights,” he said. “And she works hard anyway, and I think that message definitely has value too.”

Comments are closed.