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.

I find playing French horn easier than tenor because my left hand (the shaky one) is occupied pressing keys and I can rest it on my knee. The downside is that resting it on my knee doesn’t give me a good posture and I have problems with high notes. There is a support thing you can buy which supports the horn. It’s quite expensive but a friend has one so I’ll see if I can borrow it. First brass band practice for the year tonight. We’ll see how I go with my tenor horn. I’m also seeing a neurophysio in a couple of weeks. We’ll see if he/she can suggest anything. I’ve been taking Madopar for six weeks or so and the tremor may be marginally better, but it could just be wishful thinking. I’d be very grateful for any hints or tips.