October 2013

Answer to 'Why Play the Viola?'

October 29, 2013 20:21

So you can play Viola Zombies on Halloween of course!

4 replies

Another Year Older

October 1, 2013 18:48

It started at Interlochen while rehearsing Shostakovich #8. A pain in my left first finger, down at the knuckle. I thought that maybe I had over extended or otherwise strained my first finger playing that low C# for so many measures. My remedial action was to play the note an octave higher and then ice that joint and give it a rest. Several weeks later, that joint still pained me and started affecting simple things like picking up an empty sauce pan. It was time to go see a doctor.

It turns out that it wasn't an injury that would get better with time and rest. That pain I had been experiencing was arthritis. It was a diagnosis that surprised me. I had thought that something like that would come along slowly. But no, arthritis can come on very suddenly with a flip of the switch at any age.

My doctor luckily is also a musician (flautist), and appreciated my dilemma. She prescribed me a compounded cream that she swore would do the trick, knowing that quitting viola was tantamount to a death sentence and something I could use long-term without alot of risk. She called it "better music through chemistry".

It arrived today, along with my birthday present from my mother.


After reading through the instructions, I applied this cream to my knuckle and viola! My aches and pains subsided enough for me to practice like I did before. The only downside I see so far is that now I'm playing a few notes a bit sharp (rather than flat). I think I can live with that.

The next thing on my agenda is getting a new pair of glasses. Oh the joys of aging.

10 replies

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