Printer-friendly version
jennifer steinfeldt  warren

Yet another article...

June 1, 2007 at 6:25 PM

I know this is a long url...but...

There is an interesting article in the health section of the NYT online about "essential tremours". It is a biological disorder that involves shaking and tremour in the hands and sometimes the head or neck or legs.

The treatment is Beta Blockers, an epilepsy drug, etc. etc.

I really was surprised that many of the situations that are uncomfortable because of shaking hands are well as those little things used to cope or make it not so noticeable.

THis is relevant to because there have been many discussions as to the moral or ethic argument of beta blockers for performance, lessons, auditions...

Some people have really uncomfortable nervous problems, anxiety, and get the shakes. But some people shake daily or off and on for no apparent reason. And THEN get nervous on top of it and as a musician this can be a very hard thing to deal with. Beta blockers have made it possible for me to pursue a career in what I love. It made the difference between being able to continue as a violinist/violist...and having to put aside me dreams and goals and focus on something academic. Maybe playing my instrument for fun when I could.

I can't imagine what my life would be like had that second been the case. I don't know whether the "disorder" mentioned in this article has anything to do with me or not. Quite possibly. But the point isn't that anyway. It is that for some people this is a very real and challenging problem. I'm sure some of them are musicians. Violinists. There are solutions!


From Ben Clapton
Posted on June 1, 2007 at 10:31 PM
I'm not against Beta Blockers, I'm sure for some people they are useful. What I am against is people who turn to Beta Blockers after one bad performance, without exploring the other options. Meditation, The Inner Game of Music, experience, there are plenty of other options before resorting to drugs. Sure, if none of them work, then try Beta Blockers, but I'd rather have exhausted all other options before turning to drugs.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 5, 2007 at 1:49 PM
I once tried beta blockers once for public-speaking-related nervousness. Unfortunately, they didn't really help me.

It has helped me to take ADD medication, though, and I think that is an issue with some similarities. A person can feel like the medication is a crutch or that they should have been able to overcome the problem through effort of will. I think we will be better off both as individuals and as a society to the extent we can move beyond that type of thinking. Good for you that you've found a way to make medication work for you and help you reach your goals!


This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Colburn School: Chamber Music Intensive
Colburn School: Chamber Music Intensive

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Bein & Company

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

String Masters

Bobelock Cases

Things 4 Strings LLC



Sleepy Puppy Press

Jargar Strings

J.R. Judd Violins, LLC

Southwest Strings

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine