Focal Dystonia Recovery

My playing was hindered for 14 years by the repetitive stress disorder called focal dystonia. I tried many approaches to regain my skills, but all were unsuccessful, that is, until I met pedagogue and lutenist, Patrick O’Brien. His techniques relieved the most severe of the symptoms within a few weeks. I continued to improve over several months, and now play comfortably at around 85-95% of my original ability, depending on the techniques required by the piece. 

Under the editorship of Douglas Alton Smith, I wrote about my experiences and shared O’Brien’s lessons. My articles, “Recovery from Focal Dystonia,” and “What Factors Determine Success or Failure in Treating Musician Hand Injury,” were published in the Journal of the Lute Society of America. Smith also collected the stories of many other O’Brien students, as well as transcribing his own lessons for publication. 

These volumes are now available for free on the website of the Lute Society of America. The page also includes links to recorded lessons with O’Brien. See links below.





Classical Guitar Lessons, Fort Collins, Northern Colorado