There's nothing natural about the things the human body has to do to play the violin well. We twist muscles into different positions, we stretch our hands in ways that very few people ever need to, and we do the same motions over and over again for hours.
Everyone has their limits, and one of the most important things about being a violinist is knowing your own. How much can you handle safely? Is one more gig one gig too many? Is it better to stop now and rest, or can you push just a little more? This is something that is highly personal to every violinist, and it's crucial that you know your limits and stay within them.
I learned that trying to practice even two hours a day in addition to six hours of orchestra rehearsal was too much. Not to mention that I was playing first violin for the Copland concert, which meant I was playing a lot of really high notes, using muscles I was unaccustomed to using that much.
On the first day of Mahler rehearsal, I was hurting, and tired. Stretching wasn't helping. It was a hard decision, but I knew that if I wanted to heal faster, I had to stop playing now. So I went to the wonderful staff of NOI, and they graciously allowed me to bow out of the Mahler concert.
I'm happy to say that I was playing again a week after I stopped. I took some time to stretch, put ice on my muscles, and just relax after all the intense playing. When I started playing again, it was in small inremen
Written thoughts on my musical life.