Violins and violas-
Yes, we've heard what's been said. And we've felt it for ourselves. Tightness, tingling, numbness, outright pain, resulting in inhibited ability and finally physical (and even emotional) damage.
Our desire to make these beautiful sounds is so great, but the effort comes at such cost, that many violinists despair of ever gaining real ease on their instruments. Every day I am met with players who face disappointment in their playing, and are uncomfortable and damaged to the point of abandoning their dream of playing their beloved instruments.
So we have heard- "The violin (and viola) are unnatural instruments to play, and are necessarily accompanied by pain and difficulties".
But are they- really?
Are we destined to be relegated to a lifetime of injury, of fighting our own bodies to coax sounds out of our violins?
I am confident that the answer is a resounding NO.
I am of the opinion that these instruments are extremely natural (and by extension, easy) to play, that there are absolutely no motions required that violate principles of body mechanics, and that ease, excellence, and joy of playing can be attained by the vast majority of players.
BUT- the path to violin ease is fraught with difficulties, and forces us to re-examine many closely-held ideas, including those involving holding the violin, and the equipment used to do so.
Every day I help players understand these issues and guide them, not necessarily to the correct answers, but discover the proper questions involving the delicate integration of the instrument and the body.
I would be thrilled to discuss issues these with you. If you wish, visit me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 615.516.0316 for a free video chat consultation.
With all my best wishes for your playing-
Randall Willis Olson