At a very early stage in my musical career I listened to musicians talking about other very good musicians who had “lost” their lip and were incapable of playing the instrument, they would say their sound was inarticulate or that they could hear something like a stutter which was difficult to identify. They also talked about the wry faces these musicians would make when trying to play the instrument. Of course, I rapidly forgot those comments.
Some years later I lived through the worst musical experience of my life which made me remember these old comments – it was a severe embouchure dystonia that nowadays is but a far and inoffensive recall.
Nowadays it is unfortunately common to become acquainted with cases of musicians suffering from abnormal muscular activity. Thankfully the dystonic syndrome has already stopped being a taboo and more and more people are daring to open their minds and look for solutions. The reason for my research is obvious; I needed to solve my own conflict and I also wanted to apply my knowledge to those coming to me for help – something that has unquestionably allowed me to collect further valuable information. The results of my research have been drawn from the conclusions of my own experience (as I was both the subject and object of my research) and from applying my findings to the cases I have treated and I am treating day by day.
Unless the musician suffers from irreversible muscular or anatomical pathologies, or undeniable technical problems, we must suspect that the problem which affects the musician is not altogether technical. Therefore, it would be appropriate to consider the origin of the problem to be psychological, and not a stubborn technical issue. In the majority of the cases the conflict only arises when we want to perform and not when we imagine ourselves performing (doing everything without the instrument). This being so, it is evident that certain mental conditioning impedes the normal functioning of the muscular mechanisms responsible for playing the instrument.