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Equipment development

We found that a wider range of chin rests is necessary for a new generation of taller musicians, and a wider range of shoulder rests to accommodate narrower shoulders often found in women professionals. Our Chin Rest Testing Kit made chin rests highly adjustable for the first time. Chin rests for all neck lengths decreased overall playing tension. Chin rests designed to fit the contour of the jaw helped musicians better secure the instrument when needed. Tilting the chin rest facilitated bowing on lower strings for smaller players. A government grant* will support development of prototypes for a series of chin rests to suit different body types. These chin rests will incorporate adjustments to the original chin rest series which we found useful during and after the research. Wolf Music Products will finance and produce the series of chin rests which can be used as a set by teachers and schools, or individually by professionals and amateurs.** The government grant also allows us to develop a series of hand-made shoulder rests for further study at the conservatory. We hope to perfect the basic design and method for making custom made shoulder rests to suit different body types. By matching the individually designed shoulder rest to the custom made chin rest, we hope to give individual musicians maximum playing freedom while providing sufficient support.

*Dutch Ministry of Education, Impuls project, overseen by Stichting Handicap en Studie
**The researcher and the HKU will not be making any profit on the chin rest series. Our wish is to make them available to our students and teachers, and to the general public.

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