(Self portrait of me right now)
There’s no other way around it, these last few weeks have been frustrating. I have come to realize more and more just how slow and difficult this process of fixing my physical barriers is. I’m so used to my success in violin being measured by how many correct notes I play and how beautiful I sound that taking a step back to try and fix ingrained technical issues is a whole new ball game. I have to accept that not creating a nice sound is ok if it means fixing a problem. I didn’t really realize until recently that though I say my goals have changed and my focus is technical this year, I still spend many practice sessions trying to produce a beautiful sound. The problem is that in order to produce the beautiful sound that I have come to pride myself in for all of these years, I compromise a lot technically.
For example, I have been trying to fix a left hand position problem for almost the entire semester. When I am using my hand correctly right now, my fourth finger is out of tune. When my professor told me that he didn’t care that my fourth finger was out of tune for now as long as my hand was in the right position, I still couldn’t bring myself to play out of tune, even after he had given me permission. Of course he wasn’t telling me it was ok to play out of tune forever, but for the purpose of the exercise it mattered more that my hand was correct.
I need to accept this, if I don’t the stakes for me are quite high. No matter how many correct notes I play, no matter how many people tell me I sound good, it doesn’t matter one bit if I am in pain.
Posting publicly to hold myself accountable.
Whew, thanks for reading and letting me vent. Feel free to share your thoughts.
Along with many musicians, I have dealt with muscle tension as a result of my violin playing for a long time. I hope that this blog will be useful to those dealing with similar issues as I talk through my ongoing journey to play my instrument pain free.