Too much violin?

February 2, 2006 at 04:01 AM · In general, I practice around five hours per day, combined with six hours/week of orchestra (and sometimes more hours for chamber music). It just so happens that my upcoming recitals and a very intsense opera rehearsal schedule/performance are almost at the same time. This means that for one week, if at current schedule, I'd probably have the violin in my hand for 8-9 hours, daily. Are there any long term bodily health issues to be concerned of? I take regular breaks when practicing on my own every 45 minutes. While I have done this before, I would like to know if it is healthy.

Replies (6)

February 2, 2006 at 04:05 AM · While I don't practice that much (1-3 hrs practice, plus 2-6 hrs rehearsal depending on the day of week), I think that if you build up to your desired 8-9 hrs over time, you body can deal. However, its important to notice anything unusual that hurst or is uncomfortable. I also think it is important to give your body days off in order to keep up with you.

February 2, 2006 at 04:22 AM · Greetings,

yes. A sudden and sustained increase in the number of hours playing can lead to injury.

You need to learn basic stetches you can do during rehearsal . These are basiclly stretching the muscles in the opposite way in whihc you use them to play. An important one is rotating the left forearm to the right (clockwise.) You can stick your arm behind you and grab the seat of the chair for increased resiatnce whil doing this.

Also warm up properly and stretch afterwards.

Prepare your food in advanc eas much a sposisble. This is not a time to be eating junk food and getting by on a coffee high. This can contribute to injury. Also take a lot of vitamin b 12. Therer is no uppe rlimit so you can take tablets every day.

Cheers,

Buri

February 2, 2006 at 06:41 PM · Thanks guys! I've had to do this kind of stuff quite a few times, before. I must say that over the years as I've been improving my technique, it's gotten easier to physically cope with these long-lasting violin sessions.

Best,

Daniel

February 3, 2006 at 05:10 AM · Greetings,

I think at your age adn considering you are doing well with technique you are not at the same risk level as an older player by any means.

I would just tend to look at it as a real opportunity to explore what you are doing on the instrument. For example, pick out an area of your body (left shoulder or whatever) and give it a tension rating between one and ten, not thinking of that in terms of either good or bad. Play a little and then have another check. How would you rate it now? and so on. This kind of work is also realy useful,

Cheers,

Buri

February 4, 2006 at 04:31 PM · Hi,

Daniel, I often do that because of the combo of practice/teaching/rehearsals/concerts. In the last few years, I have strived to develop good posture and setup. I don't feel much of anything (knock on wood) with the violin in hand that long - heck, I don't even get a mark on my neck. In the past, that was not the case. I think that many injuries result from improper equipment (wrong chinrest, wrong SR - if used) and incorrect posture/body use, and when SR is use, incorrect use of it.

It is important not to forgoe warming up though. Starting anything cold is deadly.

Just a personal and probably controversial opinion. I agree with Buri though that proper diet, exercise are certainly musts for one working that hard.

Cheers!

February 5, 2006 at 11:35 PM · Greetings,

Christian, I had an experience the other day that reflected on diet and violin palying to a remarkable extent. On an impulse I decided to try the stretch where you drop one hand behind your head and down your back by bending the elbow joint and bend the other arm so that the hand is travelling up the back.The idea is that they meet between the shoulder blades and can clasp and pull gently in opposing directions. It is a standard stretch in just about any sport and in the past on good day my fingers have barely touchd. In a lot of books it says this stretch is hard and beginners should hold two ends of a toqwel anf pull because the hand s just cannot meet.

Well, I have not done this stretch for about six months and I was really shocked to find that not only did my fingers meet but that I could reach so far up and down I could clasp one wrist with one hand. That is -really- flexible, which I am not...

So I asked my nutritionist/healer/general wuuwuu looney about it and he just laughed. `Buri, How many times have I told you that one cannot separate the helath of the organs and the efficiency and condition of tendons and muscle? You have been radically detoxifying your liver for a year and that is the organ that governs the health of the tendons. What do you expect? That will be twenty dollars.`

It really made me think that so many players could be using diet to improve their playing even more. Sports people have nutrition coaches, so why not violnists?

Cheers,

Buri

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