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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

The Shoulder Phenomenon....stress interfering with normal body movements.

September 29, 2006 at 4:08 AM

So, for the past two days I've been convinced that I'm having a bow arm crisis. One of those where all of a sudden you are conscious of something just not right, but can't remember what "natural" thing you were doing all the time and then the whole thing just becomes clumbsy and totally engrossing and frustrating as you try to imitate your own bow hold and realize you didn't really do what you thought. All of a sudden nothing is in control, and it just gets worse and worse the more you are aware and upset about it....

But then this evening I have had an acute awareness that my shoulders are raised in tension and stress...even when I consciously try to relax them and let them down, they resist and then the neck tightens blah blah blah. So I think that this particular week is making my body a tight mass of inresponsive, disconnected chords (cords?). It is no wonder that my playing is all of a sudden different. So...I don't need to spend six months re-doing my bow hold after all.

I need a hot bath, a massage, stretching, and some honest to goodness sleep. And for tomorrow to be done with. An all-day on the go from 7 a.m. until the opera thing finishes at about 9:30.

Usually I love Fridays. This week, would anyone care if we just accidentally skipped to Saturday? And the check magically appeared in my wallet anyway?

In some sense, this total collapse of the technical automatic action(s) was good for me. I got out easy things to get try to find my legato, did long slow bows and watched my hand/wrist in the mirror to see what made the bow change clunky at the frog (I felt like one of my students for real), Went over and over teleman rhythms/bows. Played Bach Air on the G string since the problem was much more pronounced on the G string than any other due to more weight transfer and gravity....

*sigh* Then I got distracted and ended up putting together the wedding folders for the 7th. My sister is getting married and I'm doing the ceremony with a cellist friend. Sometimes Finale is a wonder and joy...sometimes, I would rather use composition paper and a pen. It is so easy to spend hours caught up on how to get one minor function to work correctly...or FIND it!

Well. I listened to Dvorak 7th Symphony 4th mvt. It made me feel big. So I think I'll go do something grand in response. Like the dishes??!!


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 6:39 AM
Jennifer, I hope you get "a hot bath, a massage, stretching, and some honest to goodness sleep." Feel better soon.

Finale can really be a pain.

From jennifer steinfeldt warren
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 12:14 PM
Hi Pauline. I meant to tell you that I loved your review of Joshua BEll. Anyway. I got some sleep. GOt up to turn the heat on adn the smoke alarm went off. That woke us up in a very unpleasant way, but did the trick. brave a.m. rush-our traffice to get to the dr. on time. Ugh. It isn't normal for the smoke detector to start screaming just for turning on the heat, is is? Smelled bad, too. I hate this apartment more than the last one...YUg
Later Gator,
From Diane Lai
Posted on September 30, 2006 at 1:25 AM
Hey. I have recurring stress & tension problems in my shoulders too. One thing that's helped was for me to take 3-5 minutes stretching when it bothers me. It was quite amazing to me to find out that periodically taking a couple of minutes out of the day helped me relax: both muscularly and mentaly. No guarentees, of course, but it helped me.
From jennifer steinfeldt warren
Posted on September 30, 2006 at 5:59 PM
Thank you, Diane. I will try to remember to do that. I do stretch before playing, but perhaps it needs to be every 20 minutes in the practice day, for some weeks when this is the case.

My version of that is that I am taking a weekend. I played a gig last night. When I got home "worry about nothing do nothing" Saturday/Sunday started. I don't do this often, but sometimes it is really needed. Don't answer the phone, don't worry about a single financial thing. Be really raelly selfish and sleep and eat and watch movies or whatever I feel like. ONly practice if I want to...

I might even feel an urge coming on!
He he.

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