Any Musicians Here?

Hey guys, I don’t post much but recently I was wondering if there are other musicians here. Personally, I use differentials for practicing instruments on my own since the music stand is in a position similar to my laptop, but I started taking voice lessons over Zoom today, and my teacher had me stand up from the laptop. My differentials give me an edge of blur of 55-57 cm, but when I stand up at my desk/laptop, I end up being roughly 77 cm from the screen. Therefore, I’m not quite sure if I should be using my normalized here instead, but my main concern is that I’ll get ciliary spasm from using the distance correction only 77 cm away from my face. Voice lessons on Zoom are also different than in-person ones where I would wear normalized because my eyes are generally fixated on the screen where my teacher is. I noticed that I can see my teacher’s facial expressions with my differentials, but there is way too much blur with when I am standing for my Zoom lesson on my laptop at my desk. Has any other musician had a similar problem? Thanks guys! :slight_smile:

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I haven’t dealt with Zoom, but I definitely have to be closer to the music stand than my stand mate prefers. I scooch in and she scooches out. If I had to stand up, I would need more correction. It might be a special circumstance that requires mid-distance correction. I’d probably end up using stronger than diffs and weaker than norms for myself in this case.


I’m a keyboard-player with low myopia and use no correction for reading music on the stand.

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For the last few months, I’ve also been having online singing lessons and I was using differentials with the note stand, since I either made the video calls with my laptop on the side shelf or my phone on the note stand, so it was close enough. If you’re further from the screen than is comfortable with your differentials, I’d recommend using normalized, since you can look away from the screen while you’re singing yourself and only look at the screen when your teacher is explaining something and that way you most likely won’t get a ciliary spasm :slight_smile:


I’m a singer and I hold the sheet music in my hands like a savage (printed). Wouldn’t that be an option for you?


Oh I see, I have a similar experience. I was in orchestra in high school and using differentials meant that I also had to be closer to the stand than my stand partner, but our conductor talked so much that we played for little time so I just generally used normalized during rehearsal so I could be further away from the stand but also so that I would be able to see the conductor properly. I will consider getting a mid-distance correction, but at the same time, I don’t want to stress my visual cortex with too many focal planes. Thank you for the input!

I see. I have played piano for many years and I have also picked up the guzheng (Chinese zither) 2 years ago, and I just use differentials on these, but standing up at my desk during a zoom singing lesson is a weird mid-distance situation.

I have a very similar set up as you for my guzheng (Chinese zither) zoom lessons. I would have my laptop on a side shelf and then I would use my differentials to see the stand. I will definitely consider using my normalized, thank you!

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Yep, I’m planning to hold sheet music in my hands too, it’s just that I just started yesterday and we didn’t have repertoire just yet. It was during the warmups when I didn’t need to look at sheet music that I was in a weird mid-distance situation.

I originally had my singing lessons set up with me facing the wall, but I can easily shift my laptop and the direction I am facing so my ciliary can be completely relaxed when I am not looking at my teacher.

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Playing music sitting in the dimly lit orchestra pit definitely requires norms if not full corrections. Especially if your instrument doesn’t allow you to scooch in and out with the shared stand and especially if you are interested in that person called conductor expecting you to read facial expressions.
So for me it was norms when concert or full orchestra rehearsals. Diffs or nothing when practicing at home or in small groups with separate stands.

For hobby music, non-orchestra instrument it has always been nothing as I mostly play at home and I keep looking at my fingers one-sidedly. (astigmatism!)

I don’t suppose you have zoom lessons for hours and hours and I don’t suppose you have to focus on the screen 100% of the time. So it should be OK to wear any glasses. If you do it for a long time and it becomes a typical distance, you can consider getting a mid-distance correction as @shaerah suggested.


Have you seen this article?
Visual Conditions of Simphony Musicians.pdf (3.2 MB)

and this thread?