View Full Version : Musicians

05-23-2004, 12:31 AM
I was curious to see how many of you played an instrument.(Doesn't matter what kind) I play the violin and my scoliosis causes me pain in orchestra, both in school and the youth orchestra that we have in our city which I am a part of. I also find it hard to practice for very long with out feeling pain in my lower back which is where my largest curve is. Normally I have to stretch but in orchestra(esp. at school) I feel really dumb doing that. The guy I sit next to knows that I have scoliosis and the cellist who sits across from me notices that I turn a lot in my chair sometimes. My mom told me that I would have to choose and I told her there was NO WAY I would give up my violin just because of my scoliosis. I was just curious to see how many musicians there are out there with scoliosis.


Mary Lou
05-23-2004, 08:40 AM
Hi Ellie....
My daughter plays the flute. Her major complaint is that she can't take a deep enough breathe when she is in her brace. We've asked her instructor for suggestions and she nor her father could come up with any suggestions. Our solution is to take the brace off when playing. I know that sounds like a bad idea, but it works for us. Like you, I don't want her to give up her music for Scoliosis. Scoliosis has caused enough problems in her life and we refuse to let it win and take away everything!
Mary Lou

05-23-2004, 01:39 PM
Hi Mary Lou,
I could imagine that it would be hard to take deep breathes while wearing a brace. I don't wear a brace, though I get a 2nd opinion Tuesday so that may change, but it doesn't sound like a bad idea if she can play better. I know that I have to stretch sometimes when I play in orchestra or I am practicing. Whatever helps, including taking off the brace for a little while. Hope your daughter has lots of fun with her flute!

Thanks again:)

05-23-2004, 02:03 PM
I used to play piano a couple of years ago,but now I play clarinet and a tiny bit of flute.

05-23-2004, 02:52 PM
Does your scoliosis seem to bother you when you play though?


05-23-2004, 04:14 PM
i play guitar and it can bother me after playing for a wile because i have a habit of slouching wile i play

05-23-2004, 07:51 PM
Ya it is the opposite in my case. It hurts my back if I sit up straight for too long in orchestra. So normally I end up slouching some.

05-23-2004, 10:35 PM
Noo. it doesn't.

Patty Gregory
05-25-2004, 01:34 PM
Did you know that Yo-Yo Ma, the world famous cellist, has scoliosis and also has had a fusion!

05-26-2004, 12:14 AM
Ya I found that out!! My mom had been looking at something and she had found that he had scoliosis. She didn't know about the fusion. That's kinda cool that a famous musician has it though!!


05-27-2004, 04:21 AM
Hi Ellie

The instruments I play are the Clarinet, Flute, Alto Saxophone and Piano. My spine is fused from T2-T11. I did wear a back brace (one that went from under my arms to my hips and it was pretty tight) for 9 years and began to play the clarinet in the last two years of wearing a back brace before my surgery. I always wore my back-brace when I was playing. I found problems in playing the piano for a long time because you get no support, so I used a stool with a back instead. The only problem I had every so often (when it was high or very fast notes) was breathing fast enough when I was playing my other instruments. I used an asthma inhaler to help open up my lungs. The only time I took my brace off was for performance exams. Perhaps you could try sitting on a cushion/on the seat and at your back. OR sitting on a wedge cushion (the cellists in orchestra use them)


05-27-2004, 08:02 PM
Hey, that's a good idea! Maybe I could sit on my gym bag since I go at zero period so we have to leave our bags in the music room. I am also getting a brace soon so it may change when I sit in orchestra but I won't know until school starts again in the fall. Thanks for the awesome tip. I think I will try that out tomorrow!


05-28-2004, 07:59 AM
Hi Mary Lou

You didn't mention what kind of brace your daughter has. Personally I don't think taking the brace off for playing is a good idea. Yes you get a better breath when you aren't in the brace, but then the brace isn't doing its effect (especially if it is a 23/24 hour a day brace). I play lots of instruments including clarinet and flute and began to play the clarinet when I still had my back-brace. I have a suggestion for you; could a better option be your daughter "loosening" her brace whilst she was playing.

Hi Ellie

I know that school in America is finished now (i think) but this is a thought for your brace and long term. You need to watch when your brace is made that it doesn't press into your legs when your sitting. The brace maker can "flay up" the ends slightly to make it more comfortable. In your brace it'll probably be a lot more comfortable to play, but sitting on a cushion/wedge cushion will probably still be a good idea.


05-28-2004, 06:23 PM
Actually, I meant next fall because I don't have my brace yet(have an appointment like the 14th). That's probably something I do need to make sure of, the whole sitting thing. That would add to the discomfort by having it press into my legs. I think I will probably try the whole sitting on a cushion thing still like you suggested. Thanks for the help!!!!!


TX Mom
05-31-2004, 04:57 PM
When my daughter started wearing her brace, we had a chair cushion made for her. It fit over the back of school chairs and tied around the back. There was a cushion on the back and bottom for comfort. She had no problem taking it to school and using it because she found it much more comfortable.

Also, the orthodpeic that made the brace made sure it did not cut into the top of her thigh. If it is uncomfortable on your thighs, be sure to speak up. You are the best judge!

Good luck! Teri

06-02-2004, 05:57 AM
This is for Teri

Make sure you hang onto the brace cushion, after Allie comes home from surgery, it will most likely come in handy with comfort etc, giving support sitting in chairs especially hardish chairs and probably when she goes back to school

TX Mom
06-02-2004, 09:26 AM
You know I have always kept the cushion but I didn't think about it for when she comes home from the hospital. Thanks! I'll get it out. Teri

06-03-2004, 12:18 AM
I tried the cushion idea in orchestra one day but I found that I would need a giant cushion in order for it to be of any use to lessen the pain in my back since we have to sit near the edge of our chair until our feet can be flat on the floor. For me its really close to the edge as I am barely over 5 foot. It was a great idea! THANKS!! I also find it hard to sit on stools which we do in my drafting class. No back support. Thanks for the idea!!!!!!!!


06-03-2004, 04:27 AM
I know that for playing violin that you have to sit at the front of the seat for posture and stuff like that, but for the sake of back comfort/support, it may be worth asking the conductor whether you could sit further back in the chair. It may be worth looking around your school to see if there is a chair which has a slightly smaller seat bit (not as long bit that your butt sits on). I don't know what drafts class is, but when I came back after my spine fusion to school, I had problems sitting on a stool, that had no back support in science and art. We went to the school with this predicament and through the disability support that schools get in Australia (you probably have something similar in America) as long as we went out and found a suitable stool, they would pay for it. It was primarly for me, but other students were able to use it too. If you explain your pridicament to your school, they may look at buying one out of their budget.


06-03-2004, 04:34 AM
I forgot to add this, for the orchestra out of school, perhaps try and find a chair at home or from other sources and take it to that orchestra.

06-03-2004, 10:12 PM
Yes, I think I am going to ask my music teacher at school that for next year since we are going to an elementary school to play for them tomorrow. I also don't think will be playing much since it is the last week of school next week. YIPEE!!!! Ya my school sounds like yours. I think I'm just going to let it go this time since we only have a day and a week left of school and the last two days are half days. Though if I end up in an art class or another elective class that uses stools that hurt my back I will definitely go talk to our principal. OO and drafting is when you do blueprints for houses and bulidings. Thank you ssssooooo much for the advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


07-02-2004, 07:03 PM
I play alto sax...in band, i must mention, i love it to death...and if you ever watch someone playing sax they sometimes have it over to one side...thats how i played for years. it makes me wonder cause thats also the way i lean cause of my curves...but anyway, a few months ago i started playing with my sax in front, between my knees so i wouldnt be leaning as much. and plus i can play louder and control it better, it seems. Anyway, whenever i have to sit up straight for a long time, like for a concert, i get the worst pain in my mid and lower back and its spreads and it really hurts, its less when im playing maybe because im not concentrating on it, but at the end of a piece or durring long rests...arrhg...sometimes i cant take it and i have to lean back in the chair. which makes you look sloppy/lazy and you cant play without sitting up straight anyway. but at the last concert i played at i tried slouching most of the time, since we had to wait through the choir and orchestra and all, and it didnt hurt as much. but thats probably worse, eh? i wish there were left handed saxes. that i could aquiere. ~alison

07-11-2004, 01:15 PM

07-26-2004, 09:13 PM
Hi... I play the drums and it is very hard for me to sit and play for long periods of time...

10-10-2004, 03:53 PM
I had harrington rod surgery when I was 13 and had already been playing viola. Now at the age of 24 and still a very active violist and harpist in a symphony, mariachi group, and quartet I can offer all you musicians out there some relief. Yes, string players do have to sit at the edge of the seat but having a cushion to sit on does have its benifits especially when performing for hours on end.

Additionally, it is very important to strech before and after playing. Just like you would for sports...this helps keep our bodies in shape. I find that streching a bit during rehearsal breaks helps as well.

There was a time in my life when I wanted to give up music because of the pain I had while performing. It is normal for all musicians to go through this. But, I also believe that music is a form of therapy for us. Don't give up! Keep playing!

10-11-2004, 02:00 PM
I play the piano and clarinet and before my fusion I found sitting for long periods of time when playing the piano, without a back support and when sitting playing my clarinet in the school orchestra that my back often hurt alot. Although the pain from sitting playing in the school orchestra could be due to my school having alot of "posture" chairs, which are moulded to the shape of the spine so people don't slouch but as I have an irregular posture I find them the most uncomfortable things in the world!
Now that I have had my fusion I have no pain whilst playing the piano, although the "posture" chairs do still give me grief whilst playing in orchestra and just sitting in class during school. I did find that when playing my clarinet again after the operation that it was very hard to take long breaths in, due to the fact all my ribs had been broken and I had four removed, has any one else experienced this?
Love Jules xxxxx

02-04-2006, 10:28 PM
i used to play flute and piccolo in marching band...and a little piano.....now i make electronic music on the computer....

anybody interested in making a compilation?


02-05-2006, 11:26 AM
I play mandolin.

Kindest Regards,

02-05-2006, 06:39 PM
i played flute for marching band this year and for our first concert but now i play tuba for concert season and next marching season i'll be playing tuba i also play a tiny bit of piano and trombone and i had scoliosis now i have 2 rods and i find it hard to sit for long times leaning over music and to breath really deep but i guess you learn to deal with it for your music