What happens next?

I will be 60 in November. Gosh – how did that happen? I still feel about 32-ish – till I see myself in a mirror.

Those who know me, or regular readers, will know that I have had troubles with my hands, arms, shoulders and fingers for many years. After 8 operations, I’ve just been told that there really isn’t anything else they can do to stop my little fingers from locking at the second joint when I’m playing. I can cope with this with when playing piano or organ (I don’t have to play Widor Toccata every day) but with my left hand problems, cello playing is becoming tricky.

So, with heavy heart, I have resigned from Chandos Symphony Orchestra after 25 years leading the cello section. Sob!

What now then?

I’m retiring from teaching in schools this summer and will concentrate on teaching at home. I’ve also treated myself to a Surface Pro 3 with Staff Pad with the intention of doing more composing, something I have always done but not on a large scale. (Pun intended!)

As I said, piano isn’t too much of a problem and I can still play cello in shorter bursts. I stopped playing bass a few years ago apart from demonstrating to pupils for a few minutes occasionally.

What I really fancy trying, but don’t know whether my hands would cope, is a Chapman Stick. Seriously, I would buy one of these but I would dearly love to try one first. They are not cheap and it would be daft to spend that money without knowing if it was a sensible thing to do. They look as if there is very little pressure needed from the fingers. They are tuned in fourths and fifths – I’m a cellist and bass player, I can cope with either – but would my brain cope with both at the same time?

So if anybody out there HAS a Chapman Stick, lives in the UK and would be willing to show me the ropes and let me have a try, I would be most grateful. Please get in touch!

(A bass pupil of mine wants to buy one as well. When I suggested finding somebody for a try-out he said “Yes, but I would have to kill the owner and steal it!” I promise I won’t do that!!)

Published in: on May 17, 2015 at 7:08 pm  Leave a Comment