A Complete Guide to Playing Without (and With) a Shoulder Rest (14th-18th June 2021)

Gwendolyn Masin

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

Recordings are available in your account for 30 days from purchase date (or 30 days from class date if you attended live).

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 5 classes or 5 days (not bookable separately).

Monday 14th June: 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.

Tuesday 15th June: 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.

Wednesday 16th June: 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. We retrain quality and freedom of movement and integrate information we have gathered regarding how to train our focus.

Thursday 17th June: Self Exploration, Masterclass no 1 and Q&A. Participants (2-3) get a chance for 1:1 time while others learn objectively how a high quality of movement leads to ease plus a high quality of sound. There will be enough time to respond to questions.

Friday 18th June: Masterclass no 2 and Q&A. Participants (3-4) demonstrate how to integrate ideas discussed over the course of the week and how to continue exploring the subject independently. There will be enough time to respond to questions.


Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. 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: €85.00 Individual sessions: €20.00

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Gwendolyn Masin DSC 2511

Gwendolyn Masin