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2. Describing the problem

With the shoulder rest I had before the research, I could only play comfortably in the first position; when I tried to shift up into other positions the shoulder rest blocked the movement of the joints in my left arm. My fingers could not reach around the neck or body of the instrument because my shoulder couldn't move. The viola was also fixed at the wrong angle for my bow arm. I didn't have enough room to bow to the frog easily.

All of this meant that I had to keep shifting the position of the viola on my body in order to shift to different positions, or to play on different strings. But, because the viola was fixed in place by the shoulder rest, each time I moved it I had to wrestle it into the new position using my head, shoulder, and left hand. My head moved a lot, and, each time it moved, my chin ended up in a different place on the chin rest, and the instrument pointed in a different direction.

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