Edited: December 28, 2021, 2:05 PM · It's been almost since my left arm turned blue after practicing for 10 minutes and pain started roughly 3 minutes after starting to practice. Multiple follow-ups with medical peeps and PT led to 4 weeks off the violin and then longer...and longer. 3 months ago I started on the hammered dulcimer (my teacher says I'm much further along than I should be after 3 months) and also just picked up the mountain dulcimer. Between these 2 quite different instruments there will eventually be little I might want to play that I can't.

My physical problem with the violin has not, however, improved in any real way. Yesterday my lovely 1870'ish German Strad copy with the beautifully resonate and warm voice is back on consignment with the same luthier from whence it came. It sounds even better than when I bought it, and whoever buys it will also get a great Bobelock case and a decent bow. I just couldn't see it gather dust in my closet, it's too good to not be played.

So that's sad, but other musical directions have opened that doesn't actually hurt or cause appendages to turn blue!

Replies (10)

December 28, 2021, 1:51 PM · Dear Catherine,

I have followed your story with sympathetic interest, as I have been living through a similar suspension of violin playing, as a result of tendon problems. I am now doing short daily sessions of practice - no more than 20 minutes. So far, no worries, and I am trying to avoid scrunching my left shoulder as I was doing during the past 50 or more years. I had been going to rehearsals of the high school orchestra where I previously worked, but the recent COVID wave cancelled the concert. The times.

It is brave and inspired of you to decide that your violin needed to continue singing. I wish you all joy and luck with the dulcimer, and, should any parent ask me to recommend an instrument for their child, I shall certainly add the recommendation that they learn two, as I have been fortunate to have the fall-backs of the recorder and singing. Sine Musica, Nulla Vita!

December 28, 2021, 2:13 PM · So very sorry but so happy you have found another way to enjoy music and to give someone else your pleasure of playing your violin.
December 28, 2021, 3:33 PM · Do keep us posted!
December 28, 2021, 9:13 PM · Thanks for the encouraging comments, they help. It also helps that my lutheir thinks my violin sounds even better after I played it for over a year that he is listing it for a higher price than before. So if it sells and the price he is going to try and get for it, I will make just a bit more than what I paid for it - and that's after his cut. Can't complain about that.

It's not a crazy price, someone is going to get a beautiful sounding instrument for a quite reasonable price - as long as they shop with their ears. It's been through the wars but that hasn't hurt the sound any!

December 29, 2021, 5:35 AM · please post a small soundcloud recording of one of your dulcimer etudes :-)
Edited: December 29, 2021, 7:23 AM · Jean, I can do better than a Soundcloud recording :-) Here is a portion of a brief video where I played 2 Christmas Carols for my family - and it also serves as a 3 month progress video. My home office/music room is a mess so ignore the clutter. At the time of this recording I didn't have a setup where the video only shows the top of my instrument. This prevents my teacher from having to destroy his neck looking at my instrument sideways.

December 29, 2021, 2:48 PM · Beautiful sound.
December 30, 2021, 4:39 PM · bravo Catherine, very nice and thanks for sharing!
December 31, 2021, 10:12 PM · Lovely sound. Bravo!
Edited: January 1, 2022, 1:11 PM · Thank you all! This was extracted from a video where I also played Carol of the Bells. According to my teacher and several other professional HD players/teachers I am well beyond where I "should" be at 3 months. This is very encouraging and I attribute at least part of that from being able to play music without pain. I'll do another progress video in 3 more months.

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