Playing and health issues

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    Mark Gorman

    May I begin by saying thank you for letting me join.

    I began playing a few years ago but didn’t stick with it. I’m now back with renewed enthusiasm. I’m determined to give it a better go, particularly as I am approaching retirement.
    I’m wondering if anyone has experience of playing with a couple of specific health issues. Firstly, I had a bad bout of Covid, a couple of months ago. I’m still struggling a bit, particularly with breath control. Has anyone else had similar issues? Some of my sporting acquaintances say that deep breathing exercises can help.
    Secondly, I’ve suffered from tinnitus for the best part of 20 years following and ENT infection. I’m not experienced enough as a player, to determine is this has an impact. I would welcome any experiences you have.

    Kevin Pfeiffer

    Dear Mark, how is your playing going? Based on my own experiences, I don’t see tinnitus being a problem (above and beyond the usual annoyance it brings one). Regular practice will help your breath control, particularly with the larger instruments.

    Best wishes,

    Kevin (also new here)

    Mark Gorman

    Thank you for the reply.
    The playing isn’t going too badly. I’m practicing regularly. The long covid is definitely still having an impact on breathing. This seems to be more of an issue with my alto than the tenor. I was presuming that it would be the other way round, due to the wider bore of the tenor. It may be down to the individual instruments. My practice alto is a plastic Yamaha. Whereas my tenor is a wooden Adler, which must be about 50 years old. The Adler definitely needs a soft breath to produce a good tone.
    I’m hoping that regular practice will help my breathing. I’m a cycling coach, so I ride a bike regularly, a bit of a struggle with the breathing. My colleagues seem to indicate that it could take 12 months to fully recover.

    I’m glad that the tinnitus isn’t likely to have an impact. As I am playing alone, it is difficult to tell.



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