handwriting and playing music

i am a music teacher and also an occasional pianist/ violinist/ backing vocalist. admittedly i haven’t been setting the world alight recently, but i used to get paid gigging with my mate. not happened for quite a while now :frowning:

tomorrow i have an appointment with my MS nurse who has been brilliant. not sure of the politics of mentioning her name here, in case she’s seen as being too effective therefore ‘rationalised’, so on reflection i won’t mention her name…

i will tell her that my handwriting is still crap, i can kind of busk on the piano, and not properly played my violin since my relapse in july. i now can’t trill with any fingers on my right hand, but fortunately can with the left. christ, what a miserable bstrd i am.

anyway, i sincerely hope things are good for anyone who can be bothered to read to this point

cheers fluffyollie

ps sorry for being boring- please accept some jokes as an apology:

  • A sandwich walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve food here.”
  • Two aerials meet on a roof - fall in love - get married. The ceremony was rubbish - but the reception was brilliant.
  • ‘Doc, I can’t stop singing the ‘Green Green Grass of Home’. He said: ‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome’. 'Is it common?'I asked. ‘It’s not unusual’ he replied.
  • A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says: “Pint please, and one for the road.”
  • I saw this bloke chatting up a cheetah; I thought, “He’s trying to pull a fast one”.
  • My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that…
  • I met a Dutch girl with inflatable shoes last week, phoned her up to arrange a date but unfortunately she’d popped her clogs.
  • I was in Tesco’s and I saw this man and woman wrapped in a barcode. I said, “Are you two an item?”
  • Four fonts walk into a bar the barman says “Oi - get out! We don’t want your type in here”
  • I was having dinner with Garry Kasporov and there was a check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.

I am sorry about the effect that MS is having on your music. It does have a nasty way of picking on the skills that we have taken the most trouble to develop, and the exercise of which give us most nourishment and fulfilment. Or I would say that if I didn’t know that assigning malevolent intent to a blind and mindless disease process was nonsensical and totally unhelpful… But then another of the things that MS can do is to turn a level-headed person (as I like to think I am) into a superstitious peasant who thinks that MS is doing all this on purpose!

It really hurts, though, when MS threatens something that is central to who we are and there’s no use trying to pretend that this is OK and we’ll find a way around it or whatever. A loss is a loss and it is not OK. Somehow, we DO find a way of dealing with it anyway, but that’s a different point altogether. I feel for you, really I do. Hands going wonky is a terrible pest, as I know from sad experience. MS is a total pisser, and that’s a fact!


I play keyboards in a band we gig a couple of times a month. MS has only gotten me once or twice with hand pain but I pushed through it. I had to give up the guitar as my left hand pinky has a habit of not working the way it should

Hi there,

I spent years studying, teaching and singing and then thought I’d lost it all.

It’s come and gone a few time - when I was first diagnosed, it took me 3 months and a lot of steroids to be able to read a book and then play the piano again. I grew stronger, did a vocal recital and thought that I’d be fine.

We had been living in Indonesia at that time and then we went back to the UK and live just stopped. I couldn’t stand for long enough to sing in a choir, had terrible cognitive fatigue and thought, well, that’s it gone and mourned. God, it hurt.

I spent 5 years miserable and lonely.

We moved to northwest Spain. It was the only place we could afford to buy a house and we still haven’t done it up yet. I got rather drunk at a fiesta and sang. People got their phones out. So I started to rebuild my voice.

I went looking for other musicians, but couldn’t find any - until a friend (from here) sent me a violin and I signed up for lessons at the nearest music school.

I went downhill a bit again last year and then got onto a Fampyra trial and it has been magic. I get bad days, when my thigh muscles won’t work properly and horrible shoulder pain, but mostly I’m okay.

I have gone back to teaching and singing and playing and can still play the piano as badly as ever. I bought myself a 3/4 size violin with my wages and it arrived this morning. Life is exhausting. Totally and completely knackering. I have a life again.

So, here’s how it came about for me. I was diagnosed in 2000 and started Rebif immediately. I was okay to have my birthday party in March 2001, but I looked horrible - all red-faced from too many steroids.

Then I had a long and horrible relapse in 05 and changed my diet and got a lot better as a result. I ate raw foods and cut out dairy and gluten. It wasn’t the nicest diet in the world, but it did clear my cognitive fatigue.

We moved here in 08. I ran out of Rebif and thought I’d be okay and started LDN. Felt great, but had a large relapse and ended up in hospital for 2 weeks and got back onto Rebif.

That’s kind of it. Up and down and yet, if you are patient and try to keep yourself as unstressed as possible and don’t get too frustrated, your musical life may return.

I started to learn the electric bass, but couldn’t move my right fingers well enough to play. My right hand fingers just don’t work properly.

I have found that there were things in my muscle memory from childhood that are still working. Piano playing, violin, recorder, flute and singing. I can’t learn new things, but the old skills are still there somewhere.

I’m sorry this is such a long answer, but your post reminded me of what happens when musicians get MS. Fight for drugs. Take LDN. Try a new diet - anything!

I found that listening to music that I could never play, helped with the loss. I discovered JS Bach harpsichord concerti. Baroque’n roll. Oh and PDQ Bach. It made me laugh so much that my sadness went away - if only for a while.

You too may find that skills you learned as a child may return. I do hope so. Poco a poco as everyone tells me here.

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i am so grateful for the kind, supportive, encouraging and helpful comments made. at the nurse today she suggested a new course of steriods which should help with my right hand, and Gilenya as a replacement medication for my rebif.

like all of us, i have to look forward and be positive but occasionally it is very hard to do, especially when a major part of life is affected on top of MS.

tonight i will raise a glass to all of us

fluffyollie xxx



You post rings so true!

Anyway I hope to get a 3/4 electric Bass and just keep listening to MUSIC & MORE MUSIC!

Can’t around to Chopsticks on the keyboard though!


I was hoping for Gilenya as well, but there wasn’t enough activity to warrant it. Hmm. I think I’ll keep pushing for Lemtrada. I’ve been hoping to get it since 2001!

It was a surprise to discover that I can’t play the guitar or bass, but the fingers just aren’t working properly.

I’d join you in a drink. I can’t drink and play any more…it’s sad, but I suppose it comes with age.

I teach vocal development at a franchise of Rockschool. It’s fun.

On a good day, I do wait and hope that nothing horrible suddenly hits me. You can never tell with this sod of a disease.

What really makes me sad and a bit pi**ed off, is that I can’t sing in a big choir. I can’t stand up for long enough. Musicians with MS deserve consideration.

I hope you get the Gilenya and whatever else you can!