Injuries & Health Information
J. Brown, Violin Maker is at the front of the musical instrument industry in confronting and promoting health and safety issues for musicians, especially young people.
It will probably surprise most to learn that over 80% of all professionals (some say as high as 90%) play in some kind of chronic pain or discomfort. Mr. Brown discovered this first around 20 years ago when reading an article in a well-known medical journal dealing with the effects on young people of using violins which were too big for them, which, in this case was lower back pain and possible life-long injury.
We at J. Brown, Violin Maker have gone to great lengths to ensure that violins are the correct size by a newer and safer standard. Since that time, many well documented studies have taken place dealing with the subject. Probably the most important being done by Minnesota professional cellist, Janet Horvath. In her work "Playing Less Hurt", she addresses the issue of injury cause and prevention in all musical instruments. It specifically details causes and suggested exercises and remedies for many musician injuries and ailments.
The general conclusion of people studying these matters is that many of the chronic ailments begin at the earliest stages of a child’s musical development by using instruments which are too big or by being pushed too hard in practice and/or technical studies at too young an age. In addition, improperly set-up and maintained instruments not only make an instrument more difficult or even impossible to learn, but they can lead to serious physical problems in later life. Many children do not even make it through high school because of pain and discomfort. If you suspect your child has been injured during their development, you should see a health professional. You should also be sure that your student is using equipment and being taught by people who are knowledgeable in this area. Many merchants and teachers are not only NOT knowledgeable, they have no concern for the issue and are guided solely by "the way they were taught or told", never having been exposed to the body of knowledge which we possess today.
There are many good resources for more information available at our shop or on-line. You can simply stop by or do a search for "injuries violin". Janet Horvath has a wonderful site at http://www.playinglesshurt.com. You can also get a lot of good material from Julie Lyonn Liebermann on the setup of musical instruments.
Some suggested resources available at our shop: "Playing Less Hurt" by Janet Horvath, "You Are Your Instrument" by Julie Lyonn Liebermann and "New Directions in Cello Playing" by Victor Sazer. For more information, please call us at (909) 624-0849.
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