Rehabilitation of a Cellist Whose Vibrato Was Affected by Focal Dystonia
Rae de Lisle, BA, LRSM, LTCL, Dale B. Speedy, MBChB, MD, and John M.D. Thompson, PhD Med Probl Perform Art 2012; 27(4):227–230.
Focal dystonia can result in a variety of technical problems in the
performing musician, most often affecting control of finger movement,
and embouchure. Less common is the effect of focal dystonia
on the vibrato of string players. The professional cellist in our study
presented with difficulty controlling her vibrato, which fluctuated
both in speed and amplitude, causing an inconsistency of sound.
This study investigated whether instrumental retraining could alleviate
her condition. We report the novel finding that instrumental
retraining can significantly improve the symptoms of a dystonic
vibrato in a cellist.

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