New Column Addresses Health Issues of Double Reed Players

Double Reed Players tend to obsess. We obsess over practicing, gigging, finding the perfect instrument. We collect and compare fingering charts, historical editions, recordings. And of course, there’s reed making, that never-ending obsession with craft and materials in search of that always elusive perfect reed. But none of these things are relevant if we aren’t healthy enough to perform. And many aspects of double reed playing can be hazardous to our health. Hands, wrists, neck, back, and jaw are just some of the aches and pains that performers complain about. This is the reason I’ve devoted so much of my teaching to helping musicians find ease with their playing, so that they can avoid performance invoking aches and injuries.

In addition to this website, two books, and years of guest master classes, I am now pleased to further the message of healthy practice through another avenue: The Double Reed, the journal of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS). Beginning with the Summer, 2019 edition I will be contributing a regular column, “Health Matters,” to the journal. The first column is titled, “Promising Research,” and future columns will discuss a variety of health topics, including current research about problems that affect double reed performers. As always, I welcome your feedback on any topics related to health. Please take time to educate yourself on these most important issues, so that you can stay healthy enough to go back to obsessing over the music!