Essential Tremor of the Head or Hands

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24 Oct 2009 18:09 #340 by Jennifer Sholtis
Replied by Jennifer Sholtis on topic Re:Essential Tremor of the Head or Hands
Hello Ricardo,

Too bad that the students cannot speak with me. I am curious about their progress with the relaxation techniques you taught them to administer.

As for my head tremor, the final technique I am using in order to continue playing professionally is relaxation. Basically, I refer to it as mind over matter.

You are absolutely right about the need to relax in order to stop the shaking. (In fact, all horn players should learn to play their instrument in the most relaxed method possible; improves tone, range, flexiblity, smoothness, etc.) However, sometimes, despite my ultra-relaxed preparation of the music, I will still have sudden involuntary movements that cause me to crack a pitch or fall off a high note. Once the tremor begins, it is difficult to stop it without taking the instrument off my face and beginning again.

Did this ever happen with your students?

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20 Nov 2009 20:19 #346 by Jennifer Sholtis
Replied by Jennifer Sholtis on topic Re:Essential Tremor of the Head or Hands
Greetings all!

Great News! After reading Erik's posting about moving his elbow to relieve tension in his arm, it got me thinking about trying to do the same for my neck without using the headband to do the job.

I sat down to practice and as I played into the upper register, I moved my body around in various directions until I finally came upon leaning my head up toward the ceiling. An amazing thing happened...the shaking stopped and my airflowed smoother than it had in years. Playing in this position feels like my pre-tremor days! What a welcome breakthrough! The position has it's drawbacks...it is difficult to read the music when your head is tilted upwards and I feel rather silly holding my horn in such an unconventional way. However, if it works, I can live with it!

Happy and enjoying playing again,
Jennifer

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