Measuring the usability of a novel ergonomic chinrest during violin playing: A feasibility study

Stephanie Mann*, Carsten Bogh Juhl, Helene M Paarup, Karen Søgaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Playing the violin often requires a rotated and lateral flexed neck, leading to potential neck and shoulder problems. An ergonomic chinrest (EC) with or without a shoulder rest (SR or WSR) may enhance neutral neck positioning, but the feasibility of the EC needs to be studied.

OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to evaluate the usability of the EC for a two-week familiarisation period, including aspects such as playing performance, comfort level, and emotional response (e.g., feelings about using the product) among a group of violinists.

METHODS: A one-arm feasibility study was conducted to assess the feasibility of violinists playing with EC every day for two weeks. Six violinists who usually played with SR were included and asked to divide their daily playing time equally between SR and WSR. Feasibility outcomes were measured as adherence (days), compliance (playing hours per day) and usability (5-point Likert scale and open-ended questions). Compliance was achieved with a minimum of 25% playing time.

RESULTS: Daily violin playing with EC showed high adherence of 89.3%. Compliance with the 25% play time criterion was met for SR, but not for WSR. Low playing performance (median 45.8 points difference), long confidence time (two violinists failed to reach a confidence level) and mainly negative feedback (26 out of 33 comments) were found in WSR compared to SR.

CONCLUSIONS: The feasibility of playing with WSR was low and negatively impacted playing performance. As a result, a larger-scale study will only evaluate the EC with SR due to greater feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)147-160
Publication statusPublished - 12. Jan 2024


  • Ergonomics
  • art
  • music
  • neck
  • occupational injury
  • work performance
  • Humans
  • Music
  • Shoulder
  • Upper Extremity
  • Neck
  • Feasibility Studies


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