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We've been sampling the sounds of street musicians this summer on WEEKEND EDITION.


WERTHEIMER: Today, we hear from Alexis Dawdy in Lansing, Michigan. She's played her violin on the streets for almost a decade.

ALEXIS DAWDY: Basically, I was 14, too young for most places to hire me, and I really wanted a job. I really wanted to make some money. And so one day my mom jokingly suggested that I put on some striped stockings and open up my violin case and see if I can get some tips. And I did that.


DAWDY: I'm a student at MSU. I'm studying linguistics, and I'm 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and pays for food.


DAWDY: I have people who come by every day. There's one gentleman in particular. If my life was a story, he would be my guardian angel. I mean, he's brought me things like books, coins from different countries, maple syrup that he made himself. And every day, he tips me very generously, you know between eight and $30.


DAWDY: This is my third year I've been playing in Lansing, and I honestly think that the business district of downtown Lansing is just the perfect environment for what I do. And when I say that Lansing has been good to me, I'm talking about the businesses I've chosen to play in front of.

Weston's QP is actually an incredibly old restaurant, and many people consider it a staple of what Lansing is. It's been here forever. You see I have a pop here. Every day, a girl from QP's brings me out a coke, you know, to help keep me cool. And every day, Mr. Weston comes out and tips me a dollar, which is pretty great, I mean, to know that they like me here so much that they actually help take care of me.


WERTHEIMER: Violinist Alexis Dawdy. That was recorded in Lansing, Michigan by Scott Pohl of member station WKAR.

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