Students with sweaty hands

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Julie said: Sep 9, 2013
Julie Bamberger Roubik
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Milwaukee, WI
12 posts

Has anyone else taught violin/viola students who have extremely sweaty hands? I have one student whose violin looks like the fingerboard is completely soaked every time she plays. I’ve replaced tapes more often on her instrument than any other student I’ve had. Its also very difficult for her hand to stay in position because it slips on the moisture.

If anyone has ideas, I would love to hear some.

Julie Bamberger Roubik
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Suzuki Faculty
[javascript protected email address]

Wendy Caron Zohar said: Sep 9, 2013
Wendy Caron Zohar
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Ann Arbor, MI
94 posts

Julie, we’ve had a thread on this very subject. Someone else raised the exact same question, and there have been many helpful responses. See if you can find it.

Wendy Caron Zohar

Wendy Caron Zohar said: Sep 10, 2013
Wendy Caron Zohar
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Ann Arbor, MI
94 posts

https://suzukiassociation.org/discuss/22000/

That’s the page; hope this brings it up! If this address doesn’t work, find it on “recent topics”. under ’student with sweaty hands’.

Wendy Caron Zohar

Hadley Johnson Gibbons said: Nov 7, 2013
Hadley Johnson Gibbons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Seattle, WA
24 posts

Hi, Julie!

I have a kid who has the same problem (not nearly as bad as Wendy’s), who comes to lesson with a towel to wipe off her hands. We’ve tried cornstarch and it just to mud within minutes. The only thing that has ever worked for eliminating the sweat entirely was a pottery camp. The clay wicked it right out of her hands. Unfortunately, that is not a permanent solution!

She’s been to the doctor and he’s offered several suggestions, including Botox and some sort of wrap for her hands at night. Because she is so sensitive (she can only wear wicking clothing) her family has decided to wait until she’s older to try any of them. I tell her to alert teachers ahead of time at Institutes so that they don’t spend an entire week helping her “get over her nerves.” At a certain point we decided to ignore the issue, since nothing I did was going to change anything, and she’s been doing fine. Whenever she starts dripping I just hand her her towel…

Intonation is an issue, but with enough time she’s been able to get her pieces in tune. I figure that she’s going to be one of the best shifters under pressure in my studio, since she’s been doing it with sweaty hands now for two years straight!

Shea Garcia said: Jul 6, 2016
 1 posts

I play the flute and am in 10th grade. I have the same problem with sweaty hands as well. During concert season or just practicing, I can just wipe my hands a lot but during marching band, there’s nothing that I can do. It gets so bad that I had to get a new flute after the sweat had gotten into the rods causing it to rust and become unplayable. I don’t know what to do before marching season starts up again next month. If anybody can help, I’d greally appreciate it.

Hadley Johnson Gibbons said: Jul 7, 2016
Hadley Johnson Gibbons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Seattle, WA
24 posts

Hi Shea! I would suggest going to the doctor—it’s a real medical problem that can be treated! Probably go to a dermatologist, who would have more specialized information. Good luck!

Irene Mitchell said: Jul 7, 2016
Irene Mitchell
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Dallas, TX
111 posts

Hi, Shea. First try antiperspirants on your hands, and if that doesn’t work, go to a dermatologist. My student had to get Botox injections (Botox used this way should be covered by insurance). Look online at: http://www.sweathelp.org/where-do-you-sweat/sweaty-hands.html
Best wishes to you!

Irene Mitchell

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