LOS ANGELES — Dr. Daniel Lu, professor and vice chair of neurosurgery at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, started playing violin as a child and became fascinated with how instruments are constructed and what goes into their sound.

Eight years ago, Lu started to make his own violins after meeting Jeff Muller, a local luthier — or maker of stringed instruments.

Lu's experience as a neurosurgeon in many ways gave him skills that translated to violin making. He donates his violins to local music schools and promising violin students.