5. Advice & conclusions
I would like other violinists and violists to know that they do not have to accept being in pain. Pain is a signal from your body to say there is something wrong. There are solutions.
I think that if you take Alexander Technique lessons even without changing your equipment, this will certainly help you in your playing. But changing the equipment without the lessons would be much more difficult and could cause problems that would be hard to solve alone.
The equipment has to help you feel the instrument on the collar bone and to keep it free: not stuck on one point. The chin rest has to be as high as possible, bit still allow your head to move. I now have a chin and shoulder rest with which I can play comfortably. I don't know if it will be the final choice for my whole life but basically I know what I want now and in the future.
Being in a research group was very helpful. I am a person who hates to be alone in general. I learned that everyone is different and everyone's needs are different.
What you do in your daily life affects your music playing, since when you play you employ emotions from everyday life. If you are too tired you shouldn't force too much; you cannot play your best. I think that musicians should do a lot of sports to develop energy and resistance. I also learned tricks that you never think about: the moment you smile your diaphragm is free. This helps also in your daily life!
My advice to everyone making such changes is, "Stay calm. Smile." Everything will come - it's just a matter of time!