5. Advice & conclusions
I think that many people have the same problems that I had, coming from the chin or shoulder rest and the body. I think we are all more or less making the same kinds of mistakes. Even if for me the result is back pain and for someone else it is arm pain, they are all coming from the same reason.
The reason is: not experiencing the human body very clearly. Not having a feeling where your neck is or where your head is, not being aware of your body. I think this awareness is the starting point for solving our problems. We need to improve our ability to perceive. Before the project, I was trying to find the ideal chin rest and shoulder rest and I think what we have to find is how to use the equipment, what it is for.
When you are tense it is much more than just “body.” First of all, your brain works worse if you are too tense. My brain is affected by tension and this affects my ability as a violin player. It affects your perception. You cannot hear yourself as well, for example. There is a chain reaction: tension – brain – physical problems. Then you are no longer aware at which point it began.
There is something else that is important. If you have people around it helps a lot. You have 12 minds instead of one, which is always better. Working at home alone is much more difficult than inside such a research project. If you have people around you doing the same thing, it gives you power to continue.
What can I say for sure is that if I have learned something new this year it is mostly because of the project and the help it gave me for my violin playing. It helped me to do things on the violin that I knew were possible but that I couldn’t do before.