Music education is crucial to developing creative, and  imaginative thinkers. As we begin renovations to The Plaza Live Theatre in January, we look forward to expanding our outreach. This video…

Orlando Sentinel: Musicians face physical demands, as Philharmonic violinist knows

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By Matthew J. Palm
Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer
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December 14, 2014 8 :45 PM

When the principal violinist of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra was injured in a car accident in September, she didn’t expect her music to be silenced.

But lingering pain kept Rimma Bergeron-Langlois from playing. She returns to the Phil for the first time since the crash to headline Monday’s concert, “Rimma plays ‘The Four Seasons,'” performing as soloist.

“I am glad to be playing,” said the Longwood resident. “It’s great to be back in my place again, where I belong.”

Bergeron-Langlois’s absence illustrates the physical demands on a musician’s body. Like athletes, musicians consistently use certain muscles. And as with athletes, a quality performance depends on peak physical condition.

“The body works as a whole,” said Timothy Jameson, a chiropractor who runs the website “Musicians have to be in good shape to do what they do.”

Bergeron-Langlois, 34, attends physical therapy three times per week. She said her recovery is helped because of her longtime routine of stretching before violin practice.

Stretching is key, said Jameson, who is based in Castro Valley, Calif. But musicians also have to watch their nutrition, stress levels, even sleep.

“That’s an important one,” Jameson said. “Sleeping is when most of the body’s healing takes place.”

Teaching Science Through Music

From October to December, second graders at Rock Lake Elementary School and Grand Ave Primary Learning Center are working with Orlando Philharmonic musicians, as well as professional teaching artists from Orlando Museum of Art, Maitland Museum of Art, and the Orlando Repertory Theatre as part of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphonic Stories program. The residency uses music, theater, dance, and visual art to teach students about scientific concepts such as the seasons, weather, and the life cycles of plants and certain animals. The program is constantly hands-on, giving students the opportunity to create original vignettes based on their lessons. At the end of the program, students present what they’ve learned through a “Sharing Session,” presented for fellow students, parents, and teachers. Students work closely with teaching artists and musicians to create original works, with musicians providing the “soundtrack” for the student Sharing Session.