Seasonal pause in violin playing

October 2, 2016 at 05:24 AM · Hello, I wanted to start a discussion regarding seasonal pause in violin playing in non-professional violin players.

As a hobbyist, my career is else than violin playing, but violin playing is very pleasurable. Now, as my seasonal busy-ness returns as my grad school continues, I am starting to find an extremely hard time finding even one hour per day to practice. In addition, my seasonal arthritis is returning, and I am unfortunately left with no other options than to stop playing until next summer.

I am still trying to make time for it. One of the biggest hindrance is that I am never home, other than to eat or sleep. Which means I can either carry the violin with me the whole day, or just leave it at home. As I have a shared office I can't just let it sit there on my desk.

I also visit clean labs, and teach, the violin clearly cannot come with me, so my compromise this weekend was to buy a metal/wood chest that is extremely awkward to carry, and have it filled with weights at the bottom, and keep my violin locked in it while I am not in my office. I keep the chest under my desk. It was hard to fit in my car, and it certainly was very awkward to carry it by myself even empty. While I trust my officemates to my locked office, I don't quite trust their visitors, and I think this chest will literally slow down any potential theft(It's a bit funny because I was comfortable leaving $7000 palm-size x-ray source lying around on my desk, but I can't bear to leave my violin alone.).

I think by doing this, I am buying myself 30 mins violin break per day in my office. However when arthritis really comes back, I will really have to stop playing.

I'm curious, have anyone else had experienced seasonal on-and-off relationship with violin playing? This year, from January to March, I played my violin only 5 times.

Replies (6)

October 2, 2016 at 06:05 AM · How about quiet exercises. Like vibrato exercises, finger independence, shifts without using the bow. And bowing in the air etc?

October 2, 2016 at 12:38 PM · Why not bring and use your $200 Yita Viola at work instead?

October 2, 2016 at 01:24 PM · Yes! you won't need to carry an 8 pound case for the Yita, which you might even leave at work, and your arthritis might improve....

October 4, 2016 at 02:46 AM · Day 4 without playing violin.

Thank you for your advice, but I have had "secondary" violins left at my office throughout the year. It always came down to one issue:

It's NOT good/satisfying enough to play a secondary or a viola. I must play my violin to feel happy.

Also, my desperate attempt to go through violin repertoire on the viola has taught me great confidence in playing in upper positions. I found also that spending 'too much' time with the viola to be messing up my fingering and shifts.

Some might find it strange, but I have been at the same repertoire, and very slowly progressing since about this time last year.

Few things that I have been focusing on:

1. Scales!

2. Aggressive bowing

3. Scales!!

4. artificial pizz(with the bow).

5. Scales!!!

October 11, 2016 at 02:00 AM · Here's an alarming thing I am noticing:

My pinky in 1st position for the 5th up from open is less accurate than my index on the 4th position.

October 12, 2016 at 03:23 PM · Like you, I'm not a full time violinist. I deal with some of the same time constraints.

Everyone is different. I would probably solve this problem in a different way because if I were to attempt practice during a midday break it would likely take me a full 15-20 minutes to get into the mental zone necessary to play my best. Barely time to warm up.

I would instead, practice in the evening. This I what I do. I make some time before bedtime to practice. Usually at least an hour. If noise to other occupants is an issue I would buy a silent electronic violin. In my case this usually isn't an issue even late at night.

Concerning the seasonal arthritis, if the pain was really intense I might take a few tylenol and keep going discomfort and all. I'm stubborn like that :) I would probably play until my fingers stopped moving. Maybe more movement would help ?

I can't imagine not playing for that long. Long times between practice would make most players start to regress backwards. Unless you've played for 30 years and can get back on the bike and ride fast.

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