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- July 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm #420381connie massonParticipantI currently wear progressive glasses for severe near-sightedness, and often find it challenging to find just the right place to look through when I am playing piano or directing from a score. I am wondering if anyone has experience with progressive contact lenses, and if it helps with this problem- maybe with the lenses in your eyes you don’t have to move your head so much???July 3, 2013 at 4:48 am #420392Carol ZevenParticipantHi Connie,I have progressive lenses, the soft kind, for a fairly strong near-sightedness. They work very well for me when reading a score at various distances. I tried having my astigmatism also corrected with the progressive lenses (the more clarity the better) but found those lenses to be thicker and therefore uncomfortable. That aspect may vary per brand.You don’t have to move your head at all with the progressive lenses. The middle of the lense is for close work, the outside ring for distance and the middle ring for in between. It takes some getting used to for the middle distance, as your brain needs to make the adjustment to interpret its new input. It took me about a week if I remember correctly. At the beginning you will see clearly close by and far away and have a rather watery space in between. Be patient with your brain.You may find that experimenting with your lighting also helps. No matter how good the lenses are, a lack of good lighting over my score makes reading difficult. On the upside I find myself more inclined to just memorize my score for directing, which has a lot of side benefits.Good luck,CarolJuly 3, 2013 at 6:17 am #420395Kari MorrisParticipantI use progressive contacts and find them to be much better than contacts. My doctor is also a musician and was very understanding. He spent a lot of time trying different lenses until we found the ones tha worked the best. I highly recommend them.July 3, 2013 at 7:05 am #420399David M. SpitkoParticipantYou can order glasses (Bifocals) where the bottom is bigger than normal bifocals and the bottom is also what you need for when playing/conducting (usually 18 – 20 inches depending upon your style.) Measure yourself at the piano and at a stand. Tell the eye doctor that is the distance you want to be clear. S/he will determine your needs and you can order the glasses.David Spitko, Artistic DirectorThe Chorister.July 3, 2013 at 7:26 am #420401Thea EngelsonParticipantI haven’t had experience with contact lenses but when I first had trouble seeing the score (as a choral singer and pianist) I asked the doctor about “piano” glasses. They are single vision but are designed to enable mid-range vision. He called them “computer” glasses because so many people work full-time at computer screens. It has worked great for me! The only draw back is the conductor is a little blurry!July 3, 2013 at 7:56 am #420402Dianna Robin DennisParticipantI hated the progressive contacts – just couldn’t get them to work. I have done the one contact in for seeing in the distance (the conductor or the choir) and one out for reading the score – but, I am not sure that will work in the future (although my eyes improved last year for some reason…) You might try that – or try getting one contact for score reading (a little farther away than reading reading) and one for seeing the choir (although, maybe, not seeing them is a good idea, too 😉 ) Good luck and definitely check in with whatever you decide to do.My eye doctor said she has clients who wear the progressive contacts all the time and love them, so that might work for you, too. Perhaps it depends on the strength?July 3, 2013 at 8:18 am #420404Sarah BrinkParticipantI suggest getting single lens glassed. Measure the distance from your eyes to the music stand and bring the measurements to your eye care person. I remember that my organ teacher had several different music reading glasses: one for organ, one for piano, one for harpsichord and one for conducting. I can’t imagine how much that would cost, but I’m sure it is a tax deduction. Hope this helps.July 3, 2013 at 8:38 am #420405Thomas BookhoutParticipantI wear the progressive contact lenses and love them. I can look down at my music and up at the choir back and forth and it all is in focus. The only drawback (and it is MINOR) is that it takes just a split second for my eyes to focus on details far away after I have been looking at something up close for a while. Really not a problem at all–unless I am trying to discern the guilty look on the face of a bass in the back row before he notices me, or if I am in a javeline catching competition.July 3, 2013 at 8:57 am #420408Sig RosenParticipantPerhaps the too-small print/notes in many editions are a problem, which editors should address.I think (ie) Hetland’s (CPDL) editions have proper legibility for most choral singers, absent serious eye problems as noted above. I recall the late David Labovitz of Choral Symphonic Society ordered huge conducting scores for his later concerts.SIRJuly 3, 2013 at 10:12 am #420421metra petersonParticipantI have a love/ hate relationship with my progressive contacts. I can see far, but not real well. Ivan see close, but not real well. What they do best is music reading. I can easily go from conducting to the piano to driving home without fussing with extra glasses or doing without because I forgot the correct glasses. My father had 4 pair of music reading glasses. One for playing the tuba, one for trombone, one for the string bass and his every day glasses. I know I would’nt be able to keep track of that. That’s why I deal with the imperfect vision and discomfort of contactsJuly 3, 2013 at 11:14 am #420428Jay LaneParticipantI’ve gone to progressive glasses, and I’m not crazy about them for playing and conducting. I’ve recently gotten a special pair of glasses like the ones David Spitko describes, and I think they work better, but I’m just getting used to them so the jury is out.July 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm #420463Helen DugganParticipantI wear contact lenses (two different prescriptions, one being “monovision” and the other for distance to which I add “look-over” reading glasses) and two other pairs of spectacles (multifocals and single vision for the computer and music on stand for playing flute or singing distance). As my optometrist has pointed out, there comes a time when everything is a compromise. The prescription I choose to wear for any occasion is influenced to some extent by how well I know the music, how much there is to read and how clear it is. . . and vanity. For conducting, particularly in rehearsals, most often the contacts with look-overs works the best: I can see the music easily when I need to and the expressions on the singers’ faces when I am looking up.Helen DugganJuly 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm #420469connie massonParticipantThis could be a good thing- in my church choir my husband is the bass with the guilty look on his face!July 4, 2013 at 9:18 am #420488Ruth TreenParticipantMy only solution was to order a special pair of glasses just for seeing the music at the keyboard. When conducting I like the progressive lens very much.July 4, 2013 at 11:33 am #420496Barbara VotrobeckParticipantI wear progressive lenses. When I told my doctor I had trouble @thepiano, he moved my bifocal higher & now I can read music easily.
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