Prompted by an injury, I have continued learning to play, but without a teacher and without a shoulder rest. It's time to reconsider, as I haven't entirely gotten over the discomfort.
1. A prospective teacher maintains that whether or not a shoulder rest is used, the violin must be stable while leaving the left hand free. Is there any consensus on this point? If it's the jaw and shoulder which must bear the responsibility for holding the violin, then as the left hand wouldn't always have to hold the violin, there could be a significant departure from the playing method where the left hand is always supporting the violin.
The claim that the left hand must be free doesn't make sense to me, because it is almost never free -- it has to press on the strings.
2. Is it necessary to have a short neck or large/flat shoulders in order to play restless successfully?
3. Is it necessary to have a teacher who also plays restless?
Is the technique required to play without a rest so different from that with a rest that one needs to learn from someone with personal experience in this, or is the difference not critical?
4. Do you have recommendations for a teacher in Toronto Canada?
I apologize for raising the topic of shoulder rests again, but I didn't find these issues addressed in a manner which would help me decide on what approach to take for myself. I do see many posts which are helpful, and would appreciate your thoughts on these points.
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