Advanced Player's Corner

Malaguena played by Evan Sachs

Carpal Tunnel, Overuse Syndrome and Muscle Injury

At one time or another during a pianist's life, they will face muscle fatigue and damage from overuse. It could arrive early in life, or later in life.  In a moment, I will give you the answers you are seeking, and why they work. Often times the overuse will result because a player positions the hands incorrectly, creating a kink in the tendon going thru the carpal tunnel area. Sometimes the overuse has to do with the positioning of the body and arms. Sometimes it has to do with incorrect placement of the fingers on the keys and their curvature. When the position of the fingers is such that it uses all three knuckles in striking the key, this is the least tension producing position because it is the strongest.

 

 

If you are feeling tension, get professional guidance quickly from a teacher versed in arm and hand technique. Often times as we get older, damage adds up  over time and stiffness develops.  Why this happens is this: There is a layer of dense fibrous connective tissue called fascia. With time, the fascia clamps down on the soft muscle tissue underneath. This creates pain, swelling and limits blood flow to the muscle underneath. With limited bloodflow, and no where to dump lactic acid (the byproduct of muscle use) the muscle slows down and begins to perfom less than optimum. With less blood flow, the muscles have less oxygen to use while asking them to their task at the piano.  

 

What to do?

 

There is a technique of muscle massage called "MYO-FASCIAL RELEASE".  This technique releases the muscle and sends the muscle and fascia  back to the condition of youth.... that is , it restores almost as new, muscle function.  Should you be lucky enough to find someone expert in myo-fascial release, don't lose track of them! Working with the fascia, a muscle specialist versed in this art will restore blood flow, and that will carry away the excess poisons that have built up and restore oxygen flow and perfomance to your hands.

 

This technique has from personal experience restored my playing ability to as new, and for all practical purposes cured the condition in my situation known as "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome".

 

This is very important information. It has saved the career of a  pianist I know personally that I went to college with who now gives concerts regularly and lives in Arizona. This process is also known as "Rolfing" but personally, I know it as "Myo-Fascial Release".

Jobs and Work Available in the Music Industry as a Musician

I Like to give a large overview of the Music World to my students about their possibilities for work in the field of music. As performers, there are paying jobs that pay a lot more than McDonald's Hamburgers. This shows that if you work very hard in musicyou can get paid. Getting paid for something you love is a huge boost to anyone who has ever experienced this. This goes to show that those of us who are willing to risk the neigh-sayers can have something in life that makes life worthwhile.

One example would be working church or in a night club and getting paid. Another would be at a wedding or funeral. If you have a large repertoire, you can work at hotels. There is also the floating hotel...the cruise ship. Many cruise ships pay very very good wages to travel and see the world for a musician's performance. These are things a musician can do all on their own, if they are willing to submit resumes to the appropriate people with a tape of their performance.

 

If you are good at working in groups, there are the backup musicians to the stars. This "job" takes great dedication, a single minded focus on excellence in your performance, and constant learning and growing in music. The advent of the Synthesizer and Sampler Workstations has allowed a small group or even a single musician to sound like a whole orchestra.  CLICK BELOW TO HERE A WORKSTATION ARRANGEMENT OF SKYLARK -----options for musicians who want to develop Arranging ability, Recording ability, sometimes Acting and Stage Presence along with their talent in music. Although the amount of knowledge seems daunting, with time most of us can acquire it. You can be very valued as a Workstation expert in a band backing a singer or  famous front person.  There is a lot of money to be made in this capacity.

 

After one has gotten more than a few jobs, additional work is awaiting ..that is passing on the knowledge to others ...that job is music teaching.

 

In teaching there are many levels from Nursery School thru College. There are teachers and professors at every level.  And of course, private teaching, provided you are good with children. No matter what your personal strengths, there is probably a nitch for you in the music field.


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