I began playing the double bass back in 5th grade when pressured out of the violin section by my best friend. He would constantly remind me that he was better than me, and so I decided to play the bass…on the opposite side of the conductor. I continued studying double bass as a Music Performance Major at the University of Colorado at Boulder. By my sophomore year I realized that landing a job in a major orchestra would not only involve a lot more practice than I was capable of, the number job openings were fewer than the graduates from any one music program in the country. I then decided to study Music Management at the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated in 1995.
After an internship at Yamaha, and then one of my favorite jobs as Orchestra Manager for the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, I found myself needing to earn money and ended up in the corporate world. But eventually I found myself in pain and not enjoying going to work. I discovered massage through the suggestion of a chiropractor and the light bulb went on! I decided to study massage and and make a change of career. In 2004 I went back to school at the Center for Advanced Therapeutics and earned my certification in October of 2005.
While in school for massage and playing with the Boulder Philharmonic I noticed massage’s effects on my music. I was stating to play better than I had in my life. And the hurdles that haunted me college were disappearing. Looking back, I realized that chronically tight muscles played a role in my ability to learn music. In school the more I practiced the worse I played. This made no sense to me at the time, but many years later as I was getting my body thoroughly massaged and the muscles loosened, it was obvious that massage was now a part of musical journey.
But I knew I wasn’t alone. I’ve talked to other bass players, and other musicians, and it was quite common that musicians ran into pain or problems at some point in their studies and careers. Since I began practicing massage I’ve worked with many different instrumentalists, including violinists, cellists, double bassists, trombonists, drummers, percussionists, pianists, and guitarists. Each instrument has its own unique challenges. But they also have similarities from years of over using the muscles that power their passions. And, if that isn’t enough, they often have to relearn how to practice their chosen instrument as part of the healing process.
I now play with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. And my musicianship is better than it has ever been in my life. Realizing that a combination of tight muscles and bad practice techniques conspired to take away the enjoyment I found in music, I now help other overcome the same issues.
It’s Not All About the Music
I’m also an avid skier, passionate chef, and adventurous traveler. The bottom line is that whatever you enjoy doing you should find the tools to help you enjoy it more. Massage therapy is a tool that has helped many enjoy their lives more fully. Whether you climb mountains, ride a bicycle, work at a computer, mow the lawn, crochet, garden, travel, or anything else, massage can improve your enjoyment of everything you love to do.
- Soft Tissue Therapy Certification (Swedish, Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular), Center of Advanced Therapeutics 2005
- Sports Massage Certificate, Reflexology Certificate, On-Site Massage Certificate, Center of Advanced Therapeutics 2004-2005
- Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Certification, Center of Advanced Therapeutics 2006
- Beginning Cranial-Sacral Certification 2008, Intermediate Cranial-Sacral Certification 2010, Dr. Norm Lewark
- Cranial Sacral Level One 2009, Upledger Institute
- Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians 2008, Thomas Myer’s Anatomy Trains
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