There’s very little that’s natural about the physical positions and movements that are required to play most musical instruments, and during the course of practicing and performing, awkward movements may be repeated literally thousands of times a day and millions of times a year, and unnatural positions may be maintained for untold numbers of hours. Muscle strain, tendinitis, nerve damage—all fall in the general category of “overuse” syndromes, and all are unfortunately extremely common among professional musicians. The good news is that improvements in position and technique—sometimes even small improvements—can make a big difference, and I’m glad to say that these days more and more teachers, physical therapists, and doctors are focused on the problem of injuries and are helping musicians to make those improvements, and to find healthier ways to play their instruments.
A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.