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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Osteopathy and Musicians #2: Take more care of your musical instrument than your body

Osteopathy and Musicians #2: Take more care of your musical instrument than your body

Musicians' bodies are trained to adapt to enormous workloads, but only if we respect certain limits. If we set ourselves a very intense work pace, it must only be for a short time. However, the process of learning and practicing music is essentially based on repetition – so although the workload may be light, you almost always end up exceeding, albeit imperceptibly, the limits of adaptation and tolerance of the body. It is even more important to be aware of this if abrupt changes occur in the pace and intensity of the work (for example a sudden increase in rehearsal hours, or a change of teacher, repertoire, technique or in the characteristics of the instrument). If your instrument was broken you would not play it until it was repaired, so if you experience pain, you should stop playing and seek professional advice. “No pain, no gain” is a commonly heard maxim, but musicians need to be advised that “no pain, no gain” is nonsense!

What to do

Your body deserves and needs at least the same level of care you give your instrument. It should be kept in mind that playing a musical instrument or singing are physical demands that must be taken seriously.

The basic tools to overcome a bornout are:

- adequate physical work

- organize and monitor your work pace

- plan for any major changes (for example, progressively increase practice time by a maximum of 30 minutes every 3 days)

- take care of your physical and mental health and respect postural and ergonomic needs

We need to understand that ultimately the body is more important than a job, which can in many cases be postponed out of necessity, if you want to maintain a long-lasting career.

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