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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Musicians and instruments

Musicians and instruments

Our body has a wonderful ability to adapt to the many different situations and challenges it encounters, and it is all the more adaptable the more we allow changes to occur gradually over time, and also when we take great care to compensate for those changes we have brought into the normal routine of our body. Every musician's body is unique. Adaptations that may be successful for one may not be as successful for another. We may find ourselves trying to make changes beyond our body's ability to absorb them, with the possible results of not only risking draining our physical resources, but also reducing the effectiveness of our performance. We should learn to analyze how we can best adapt professional activity to the needs of our body, to make it easier, more comfortable and less harmful. This adaptation process, based on several elements of current scientific knowledge, is known as ergonomics and can be applied to our tool or working environment to benefit our performance and health.

Changes to the tool

Typically, musicians are concerned about making changes to their instruments because of the possibility that those changes could affect the way they play or the quality of the sound. Some even refuse to make adjustments because they believe that using an ergonomic aid or accessory is like hanging an illuminated sign around their neck that says: "this musician has a problem". Others claim that all these "gizmos" are only for beginners. But why worry about a change that could improve our abilities and prevent injuries? Our teacher or specialist in performing arts medicine (also an osteopath specializing in instrumental ergonomics) can help you with this. Start by experimenting with small changes and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get used to them: it could take up to several months. Evaluate the results achieved and then, if necessary, continue to experiment.

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