Other ways to practice after surgery?

July 9, 2019, 1:56 PM · So I got my wisdom teeth taken out (a rite of passage as a teen!) like... two hours ago, as of typing.

I’ve been practicing pretty much everyday so far up until now, but since my jaw is kinda numb and sore (and will probably hurt a lot more the following days), I feel sorta lost on how to continue.

It’s probably not a good idea to actually play my violin while I’m healing, so because I’m /kinda insane/, what else can I do to “practice” when I physically can’t?

Replies (7)

Edited: July 9, 2019, 3:18 PM · Since you're "kinda insane" anyway, you should have gotten a Mark Wood Viper in anticipation of this predicament. You don't need to hold it up with your chin. (OK, I'm just kidding about that.) Baroque players had a way of holding the instrument down on their left arm. It couldn't hurt to try that. Anyway, the current wait list for a custom Wood Viper is currently about a year, so maybe you could have that ready for next time. Tell your parents that you need it or your hopes for a career as a violinist are shot. (Just kidding, again, but tell them anyway.)
July 9, 2019, 3:38 PM · Some folks have a string or thin scarf round their necks and under the tail gut.
July 9, 2019, 4:01 PM · Mental practise.

It actually works. I used to doze off in English class, fingering my music on my forearm...
My teacher was both very cross and very confused, but when I got home I could just play.

Edited: July 9, 2019, 4:02 PM · You listen music, unless you are in pain. In the meantime, gently bite bagged black tea upon cooling it down to body temperature or a bit colder. My dentist recommended this after tooth extraction to facilitate wound closure.
July 9, 2019, 7:13 PM · You can accomplish a lot by playing "air" violin: hold a pencil using a bow hold with your right hand, and with the left hand do silent fingering as though you were holding your instrument. You can even sing the notes and use a metronome! It is very effective, but will not give you perfect intonation. It will help you to know your music and to have correct rhythms, etc. as you will be figuring out the notation and bowings, etc.
July 10, 2019, 12:20 AM · I have had several dental surgeries, an extraction of a seriously infected tooth and four implants. Most of these are more serious than an extraction. I have always started practicing as soon as it didn't hurt too much any more. Which was never later than on the third day (counting the surgery as day one).

I don't think you'll slow down the healing process by practicing prematurely. Just don't torture yourself.

July 10, 2019, 2:26 AM · I was teaching violin lessons in the afternoon after having a tooth extracted in the morning....

If you feel like practicing, then get the violin out. If it hurts, put it away. You'll be fine.

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