In January this year I went through potentially life-altering surgery for a violinist… rotator cuff repairs on my violin bowing arm. The surgery was scheduled after a year of dealing with the discomfort and partial disability of my right arm.
The recovery was long, difficult, and sometimes painful. But it gave me some time to think, and also a little bit of perspective. I was unable to play any instrument properly for about 3 months including the pain problem prior to the surgery. That is a LONG time for a working musician.
I was highly motivated to heal the shoulder so I could get back to work on my own projects. I followed the physical therapists’ instructions and did the exercises even though sometimes the pain was intense. But the shoulder healed beautifully, and ahead of normal schedule!
My takeaway from this, which is also my advice to anyone who wants to make it in any performance art:
You need motivation to drive you to do the things you need to do to be an artist. You know you should work hard on the basics for your art…. practice, technique, focus, keep your eye on the prize, and be willing to sacrifice your time to do those things. Wishing and dreaming are fun and exciting, but in order to be noticed you have to excel. There is a lot of competition to be heard. Make sure you’re crafting that deserves to be heard.
Meanwhile, I’m glad to be back up to speed. Most of it’s coming back very quickly. I’m testing out my endurance on some classical violin works. So far, it’s going great.