OK all you out there that are in the same middle aged boat as me.
I was wearing monovision contact lenses, and I found that while playing the harp they drove me NUTS. So I went back to wearing my trifocals (invisible lines and graduated). They work just absolutely perfect, but I find I need a lot of light when I play.
Trifocals since I was a little kid. Thick as coke bottles. Can’t wear the no-lines kind, but my hubby does and loves them. I am OK with reading as I play as long as I can put my music exactly at the right spot. I’d just love one of those clamp-on music holders because they look so nice, but it would be too far away. Also need huge lights around me. As long as I’m fairly close to the strings I can see them but I’m still working gradually to get used to the double strung.
It was terrible to have a stand partner when I was playing viola because I always had to have the stand adjusted for ME. I finally started to sit last in the viola section so I could be by myself.
It has been horrible. I had special middle-distance glasses made, and lost them on the train. I found something called the Carson clip and flip, it’s a simple 1.5 magnifying lense that clips on your glasses like sunglasses, and you can flip them down when you need the magnification. It would seem the perfect and inexpensive solution, only the post office misplaced my package, so I have been waiting over a week for them to arrive! I can still play with my distance glasses if I don’t try to focus on the strings and let them be blurry. I also bought a pair of reading glasses, took off the bows, and used paper clips to make hooks so I could hang them over my glasses, but they don’t work that well.
Kay, I have trifocals with no distinct line between the different prescriptions. I had them make the middle section (for harp music, arm’s length) rather large. Top section is for distance; bottom section for reading close text. It works rather well for playing harp. Also, I have a second pair where the whole lens is for the arm’s length prescription, that I use at performances. The first pair, I’m comfortable all day long, around the house gardening or teaching,
I hope that works better for you than it did for me Saul. It seems as though neither the opthalmologist nor I could come up with anything that really worked for the middle distance.
Also, if I try to use single strength glasses and change for each distance I seem to get more frustrated by having to switch them than I do about not being able to see with them.
My eyes have always been a problem, far sighted from and early age. So I suppose I’ve never really looked at the upper register of my harp. I also had a couple of teachers that discouraged looking in the upper anyway, and taught me to play mostly by feel. I tend to just look at the bottom note of my right hand, and the rest is by feel. Sometimes one has to look and yep, I do have to pull a bit sideways to see.
I have tried specs, but they do not work for me seeing the conductor and the bass register too. I suppose when it gets worse I will either play with my eyes shut (do an O’Carolan) or go for bi focals!
I have been short-sighted all my life, but only in the last few years has it been necessary to wear contacts specifically made for reading music. I have “monovision” contacts, so that I can see the strings up close but I can also read my music, which is just beyond my arm’s reach. When you’re getting your prescription renewed, before you leave the house, measure exactly how far your music sits away from your eyes when you are seated at the harp. Also measure how far your other eye is from the harp strings. Bring your music and music stand with you and use that as the test instead of the little sheet of words that they usually ask you to read. Make sure you place the music stand at exactly the same distance that you measured before, and you will find that you will have the perfect precription for your purposes.
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