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Karen Allendoerfer

Post-Recital Blues

April 11, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I'm in the middle of a post-recital let-down.  I feel scattered:  I have two viola pieces that I was learning that I didn't finish:  the Schumann Adagio and Allegro and the First Movement of the A. Stamitz concerto.  I've made significant progress on both, they're both challenging but do-able, and I didn't really want to let them go, it just kind of happened.  Orchestra, recital, day job, computer-related tendonitis-like symptoms . . . all got in the way.

Computer-related tendonitis-like symptoms.  Yeh.  Last weekend, as the recital approached, I started to feel pain in both my wrists.   I was going to play my recital piece at our church talent show the night before, it might have helped me be less nervous.  But I bailed on that because my hands were hurting.  I didn't believe it was from practicing too much--I hadn't BEEN practicing too much.  Instead the pain had the symmetry of how I hold my hands on the computer.  I'd been sitting on a fitness ball while I typed because that felt good for my back.  But then the fitness ball was too low, causing me to hold my wrists at a funny angle.  Back to my old chair.  In search of a new, bigger fitness ball.  It's getting better again, but is still not back to normal.

In the interim, since I started learning the Schumann and the Stamitz, two interesting things happened.  One, I started playing violin in a string quartet.  And two, after my current stint in the viola section, I decided I wanted to go back to the first violins for the next orchestra concert.  The violin I bug has bitten me after all.  And so I'm shopping for a new violin next week while my load at work is lighter. 

My teacher told me a  couple of lessons ago that I'm making amazing progress for someone who only takes a lesson every 2-3 weeks.  I take heart from that.  I've learned to be more focused and organized this time around.  But right now I'm really in the middle of a tough patch and I am not sure where to go next:  just focus on the new violin for a while?  Finish those old viola pieces?  Set some new goals, like a Farmers' Market Date or a church performance (and then what to play for those??) 

From Dottie Case
Posted on April 11, 2009 at 2:30 PM

I'm detecting a theme here...reading Emily's blog, then this what's been going on it my brain as well.  A bit of a common thread that has as it's core the 'to what end?" question. 

We should form a club. :)

Posted on April 11, 2009 at 11:29 PM

I'm in the middle of a post-recital let-down. 

 Lots of work doing a recital. How did it go, anyway?

Take some time to unwind...You are entitled!!!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on April 13, 2009 at 12:46 AM

I hope things get back to normal soon.  Please go to a physical therapist and get some exercises to strengthen your arms and wrists.  Violinists/violists who also type on keyboard are tendinitis cases waiting to happen.  I should know.  I have struggeled with chronic elbow tendinitis in both elbows for twelve years.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on April 13, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Dottie, I'd be honored to be in a club with you!

Sam, the recital went pretty well:

Tom, a friend from church suggested a particular type of ergonomic keyboard (for the computer) that I might try out.

I took out the Schumann last night and it didn't go as well as I hoped.  It will take some time to get it into performance shape.  But my friend in church is willing to let me play it there in a month (or two--depending on how long it takes).  I think that the following plan IS doable:

1.  violin:  concentrate on orchestral and quartet music only.  Those will only take 1/3 to 1/2 of lesson and practice time if I really stick to that.  Orchestra will be over in the summer anyway, so I'll have the whole summer to work on the viola solos.

2.  viola:  finish the Schumann and Stamitz.  Play at least the Schumann in church.  I think the Stamitz might actually sound nice in church too with a piano reduction, but I'm considering making some cuts for performance--mostly in the accompaniment.  It starts out with 55 measures rest in the solo part. 

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