What you need to know to avoid injury when playing a musical instrument

Aug 27, 2023

Hello. In this issue, I would like to discuss cases of injuries caused by playing musical instruments.
It is said that playing a musical instrument not only enjoys music but also has a positive effect on the brain and mind, but on the other hand, it can also put a strain on the body.
In particular, playing difficult pieces or practicing for long periods of time can cause pain, numbness, inflammation, or other injuries to the hands, fingers, shoulders, neck, and lower back.
Such injuries are also known as occupational diseases of performers, and if severe, may render them unable to perform.

So what kinds of instruments and pieces are most prone to injury? Generally speaking, stringed instruments and keyboard instruments such as the piano are at the highest risk of injury.
These instruments require fine hand and finger movements and force, as well as the need to perform different actions with the left and right hands simultaneously.
As a result, the muscles and nerves in the hands and fingers are easily overstrained, and tendonitis and focal dystonia are disorders that can develop.

Tendonitis is a condition in which the tendons that move the joints of the fingers (the tissue that connects the muscles to the bones) become inflamed, causing the joints to swell and become painful.
Focal dystonia is a disorder of the nervous system in which unintended contractions or spasms of the hand muscles prevent normal movement.
These disorders are more likely to occur in people who like to play highly difficult and superbly skilled pieces or who practice piano for four hours or more every day.

For example, in piano, Chopin's "Revolution" and Liszt's "La Campanella" are pieces that require superb technique.
For strings, Paganini's "24 Caprices" and Bach's "Suite for Unaccompanied Cello" are pieces that require advanced technique.
These pieces contain fast tempos, large leaps, and many complex chords and ornaments, which can cause strain on the fingers.

Of course, these songs do not always cause injuries, and injuries can occur with other instruments and songs as well.
However, in order to prevent injury, it is important to know your physical condition and limitations and to avoid overexertion. It is also important to take care of yourself by proper stretching, warming up, resting and cooling down.
In addition, learning basic skills such as how to hold and play the instrument and posture can also help prevent injuries.

However, it can be difficult to learn proper technique on one's own. This is why we recommend Lesson Grid, an online music lesson service. Lesson Grid is a service where professional instructors provide personalized instruction to help you improve your playing skills. They will teach you a wide range of skills, from basic to advanced, on your instrument, according to your level and goals.
They will also give you tips and advice on how to avoid injuries. The lesson grid is an online lesson that you can take from the comfort of your home, so you can learn at any time and place.
If you are interested, please give it a try.

Please enjoy playing the instrument while taking care not to get hurt. We will see you soon.