A Complete Guide to Playing Without (and With) a Shoulder Rest (15-18th December 2020)

Gwendolyn Masin

Playing without a Shoulder Rest Gwendolyn Masin by Balazs Borocz Kincsem Palace Budapest 3519

Would you like to know how to play without a shoulder rest and why it can be beneficial for your performance? Whether you already play without a shoulder rest but want to adjust aspects of your technique, would like to incorporate playing without a shoulder rest into your daily practice whilst still playing with a shoulder rest when performing, or would simply like to find out more before taking the leap, join Gwendolyn in this in-depth exploration of the subject. The basic premise of these classes is that we can all benefit from knowing how to play without a shoulder rest and whether we thereafter decide to use one or not is up to us. Following the course, we will be in a place to make an informed decision on the subject. Moreover, this systematic approach aims to relieve players of unnecessary tension and injury. This course consists of 4 classes or 4 days (not bookable separately).

Tuesday 15 December: A brief history of the shoulder rest and its purpose, accompanied by an outline of treatises discussing set-ups from 1753 until today. Gwendolyn will explain why playing without a shoulder rest can offer the player more freedom of movement for the left and right hands, as well as spotlighting habits linked to playing with and without a shoulder rest. In her view, the basis of good performance has far more to do with the laying of somatic foundation than in the execution of a technique based on playing with, or without, a shoulder rest.

Wednesday 16 December: An intensive look at how postural alignment impacts our playing experience; a detailed look at anatomy, the origin of human movement, and an understanding of kinesthesia, and how the release of unnecessary tension impacts sound.

Thursday 17 December: A step-by-step guide to playing without a shoulder rest; what kind of experience the player can expect; which techniques to employ that are specifically, sometimes even exclusively, linked to playing without a shoulder rest; the pitfalls to avoid and the aspirations to reach for.

Friday 18 December: Master class for 3-4 individuals to demonstrate how to integrate ideas discussed over the course of the week and how to continue exploring the subject independently.


This event has multiple classes. Missed a class? You can still purchase a ticket to access the recording.

All times are displayed in your timezone: America/New_York Edit Timezone

All sessions: €70.00 Individual sessions: €20.00

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Gwendolyn Masin DSC 2511

Gwendolyn Masin