My thesis, “The Rest is History”, explores the use and disuse of the shoulder rest.
My initial prospects were to study chorale conducting but that was cut short due to restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve now pivoted to being a violin teacher that encourages my students and colleagues to explore violin technique without the use of a shoulder rest.
Since it's completely changed the way I physically and mentally understand the instrument, I want to reach out and engage other violinists on this topic because of how polarizing it is within modern violin education and technique. There’s a rich history of violin technique and fundamentals that can be traced back to the 1600s Baroque Italy. It is not a question of whether or not one method of playing the violin is superior, but rather that there was so much development of violin technique before the existence of the shoulder rest - virtually every aspect of technique was developed without one - it should be presented as a supplement for more complete violin training rather than a standard.