As some may recall, I set aside my violin for at least a period of time and moved to the hammered dulcimer for a variety of neck, shoulder, and arm reasons. The laundry list of physical problems don't matter at this point, outside of one. As we've discovered, the blue arm caused by thoracic outlet syndrome when trying to play turned out to have a final root cause of significant calcification on my collar bone from a break at 13 (upper arm was also broken). I KNEW about this, of course, the calcification is why my shoulder arthritis is as bad as it is - my left shoulder hasn't moved properly since I was 13. I adjusted, however, and have always found a workaround.
The calcification, I'm told, means there is indeed a true physical barrier causing the TOS, and there is no amount of rest that will fix that. It's either give up the violin totally or have surgery. As a 61 year old hobbyist I am not about to have collar bone and possibly rib surgery so I can play. There are far healthier options.
My Hammered Dulcimer arrived last Saturday, and my first lesson is this afternoon :-) My teacher has played Classical/Baroque, as well as European and traditional folk music on the HD, and other instruments, for many years and has both a PhD and a Masters. He also has a great reputation as a teacher - he understands my situation and enjoys teaching beginners. He also has published a fair number of books for the beginner through advanced, one of which has a sizable number of classical music arranged for the HD.
So one journey ends (not ready to sell my violin just yet) while another begins. Thank you again for all of the kindness and help shown me over the past few years, it really helped me. While the violin proved to not be a sustainable option for me, these last 2.5ish years has shown me just how important making music is to me. That, is priceless.Tweet
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