Playing brass instruments with Parkinson's


Hello, I am in Auckland New Zealand. I have had PD for about 5 years. I have taken up playing tenor horn again and am thinking about getting a French horn which I played many years ago to. Is there anyone out there with PS who plays brass instrument? Would love to hear what you think.


Playing a musical instrument

I used to play the flute. I hung on to it for a long time but eventually gave it away as all the movement in my head made it impossible.

Last year I decided to try the saxophone. I found a local teacher who let me have a go on hers before I went to a music shop to investigate further.

I rented it for a few months before deciding to buy it. I got a soprano as I didn’t like the weight of the bigger ones on my neck

I enjoyed reading music again and discovered all the stuff on youtube you can (attempt to) play aLONG TO.

However my neighbour did not enjoy it one bit. I think, the poor woman was sitting just the other side of the wall from where I was practising. One day it all got too much for her…,

I might have persevered if I lived in a detached house…but I did not want to be accused of giving her a seizure.

It was pretty tricky. I’ve lost nearly all my teeth so I was attempting to play with ’ double embouchure’. Then there was the danger of poking myself in the eye when my head jerked back (retrocolis) and it came out of my mouth. Breath control was non-existent. Sight reading a challenge with my eyes closing randomly ( blepharospasm).

Pins and needles in my fingers and I did wonder how much progress I could make with fingering. I didn’t know if I would be able to get faster. Tone was very dodgy & hard to maintain as my head moved so much. I had every sympathy for my neighbour – I’m sure it sounded excruciating - even through the wall.