PEOPLE

Helena Rathbone

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Australian Chamber Orchestra's principal second violinist shares the knowledge she would give her younger self

Stretching and strengthening exercises would have been a good idea

I wish I could tell my younger self how important it is to be aware of how we use our bodies, both in playing our instruments and in everyday life. When we’re young, if nothing’s wrong, it seems like there’s no reason to worry. But being a musician means making tough demands on our bodies. Playing in itself is very physical, and we often do it for hours every day, for weeks on end. Then there are the factors that touring presents, such as lugging suitcases, or sitting for hours on planes and buses.

I’ve had no serious problems physically, but I know I have a weak lower back. I’d like to keep playing for a long time yet and I’m sure that stretching and strengthening exercises would have been a good idea from a younger age. So come on, youngsters – don’t be afraid of taking time out of the practice room and jumping around in the fresh air!

First published in The Strad, October 2013. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.

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