Most of you who have studied with Kirby or me for any length of time know that pain – experiencing it, struggling with it, and working to overcome it – has been a big part of my musical journey. My high school years and college years were something of a perfect storm of physical predispositions and poor practice habits (i.e. quantity over quality) that almost led to me putting my violin on the shelf permanently. I’ve spent the past decade or so searching out ways to overcome pain, reverse physical tendencies, and learn to do things better. As a result, I emphasize good posture (and the correct equipment to allow it), proper technique, and efficient practice habits with all of my students from an early age and stage.
That said, some how this book – Playing Less Hurt: An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians by Janet Horvath – has somehow not cropped up on my radar until today. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading it, but even before doing so I wanted to share it as a resource for those of you who struggle with pain in your playing, or have children who struggle with pain in their playing. Our culture doesn’t do a good job of setting us up for a pain-free life (sitting most of the day, hunching over electronic devices for extended hours, etc.), and playing an instrument can exacerbate those problems. But it doesn’t have to, and I’m very excited to see what Ms. Horvath has to say about her journey and her discoveries. I hope her book is of help to you, too!
The More You Know is a publication of West County Strings, intended for the edification of students and their parents in the St. Louis community and beyond.