When you haven’t played clarinet for 20+ years, one of the things you quickly notice when you get back to playing is that the muscles of the cheeks and lips really get a workout. The embrochure (the way you hold your lips and mouth) really taxes muscles that don’t often get used. Add to this my fibromyalgia, which gives me very tight chest and shoulder muscles, and the fact that I can’t breathe very deeply because of it, and well…it’s a workout to be sure.

I practiced 2 out of the 4 planned days. Not the best, but hey, at least I spent some serious time practicing. My goal again is another four days this coming week. My focus? On long, sustained notes to build up a steady, solid tone and endurance. I’m also working with the ParesScales (still on the first exercise) to build up strength and tempo. It’s pretty basic stuff, but it’s good foundational work.

I can tell things are getting better, though I also notice thanks to the familial tremor that my hand shakes when I get too tight holding a note, so I’m focusing on relaxing. I’ll update you next week on how I’m doing.

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