Question: I’m thinking of starting my older AH son on violin soon, which got me thinking, how that might work for my child with achondroplasia if/when he wants to start. Do any of your achon kids play? I guess they make violins small enough? Will his fingers make it around the strings? Does the asymmetrical posture have any impact on orthopedic issues?
This Dwarf Mom played violin from grade school until high school as well as piano for 10 years. Yes, they make violins small enough for LP children. I still own my 1/8 modern acoustic violin and look forward to passing it onto my LP son. He will be able to learn the strings by the time he is in 5th grade. If not, the violins can go even smaller (such as this 1/10 novice violin). Though, I hope he will keep mine after it’s well tuned and given new horse hair on the bow. When I took it out to take these pictures, he was actually very anxious to begin playing it. I assured him he will get to . . . once he learns the piano first.
Proper posture for playing concert instruments should not have any impact on orthopedic issues. I just had a stool underneath my feet to ensure my back was straight during the performances and that my back wouldn’t get as tired. With the violin shoulder rest, I’d just get a thin sponge and a rubber band to wrap around the chin rest. You can see my grey foam block I used still accompanies my violin. As with most instruments when you initially play, conditioning your body to hold the proper posture will be difficult. AH or LP, everyone goes through it. It’s like conditioning your body for a sport. I was always keeping in mind to hold a straight back at all times. Of course, it also helped that I played the violin and piano simultaneously because posture was emphasized greatly for both instuments, much like playing two sports.
Being involved in band or orchestra is another way of being active and involved in student life. We went to many competitions and I still have my stickers on my violin case to show that I contributed to the school’s success in achieving those awards in music. You can see my competition stickers in the picture above.