A Little Ray of Sunshine

Friday, May 13, 2005

Book recomendation:

Playing (less) Hurt, by Janet Horvath.

I only wish I'd had a copy of this back before 2000, when I damaged my wrist, playing. Except it wasn't published until 2002. The author is a 'cellist, one of Starker's students, and cronicles a ton of information about musicans' injuries, preventions, and rehabilitation. Maybe . . . well, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. I'll see what I can do. First, how to get to somewhere where there is someone who is a music medicine specialist. Uh-huh. Okay, time to start saving. How does New York sound to you?

A brief quote, from page 20, in regards to questionnairs recieved from 2,212 musicians in a study done by Fishbein and Middlestadt, "Medical Problems Among ICSOM Musicians: Overview of a National Survey," done in 1988. ICSOM is the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians.

"The results show that the prevalence of medical problems among ICSOM musicians is very high. In fact, 82 percent of ICSOM musicians reported experiencing a medical problem, and 76 percent listed at least one problem as severe in terms of its effects on perforance. . . . 14 percent of the musicians reported one severe problem, 14 percent indicated two, 12 percent listed three, and fully 36 percent reported four severe problems. . . . Musicians between 35 and 45 were most likely to report at least one problem (86 percent) while those under 35 and over 45 were less likely to list a problem (80 percent). Severe problems were more common in people under 35 (77 percent) than over 45 (71 percent). . . . Medical problems were most prevalent among string players, as 84 percent of them reproted at elast one medical problem and 78 percent indicated at least one severe problem."

Did you catch that? Musicians under 35 are LESS LIKELY to report a problem at ONLY 80 percent. Is there any other field of work where injury rates of 82 percent are acceptable? Or where job related injury is a more taboo topic? I spent months walking around with a wrist brace (and still wear it often, daily at times) and never realized how many of my peers were walking around hurt. Musicians just don't admit to injuries.
I hope this helps someone. Many, many thanks to the luthier who gave me this book.

In other news, I'm looking into Suzuki training. Beau insists that he wants to "Play 'cello, Mommy!"


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