Has RA stopped you playing a musical instrument for pleasure or career?

Has RA stopped you playing a musical instrument for pleasure or career?

Living with RA can sometimes limit you doing things you most enjoy like playing an instrument.

The BBC are developing a new programme which will feature how a team of expert engineers and technologists will create bespoke interventions for individuals, families and groups to transform their lives for the better. They are really keen to help the music community in some way and specifically are looking for people who have had to retire from playing an instrument due to their health problems. They will then look at ways to help them regain the enjoyment of playing a musical instrument again. Is that you? Did you used to play guitar or piano or double bass whatever but have found due to your RA you’ve had to stop? Share your story with and you may well start the journey back to playing again.

4 Replies

Yep. Bent fingertips mean I can't place my left hand fingers properly on my fiddle, and trying to compensate is too much of a strain. I wasn't a hugely good fiddle player, but did enjoy it until I got too frustrated with wrong notes all the time.


Definitely loved the flute clarinet and saxophone!!

Music was my love until my hands gave in so had to stop I became very depressed initially and now block my brain...

Gave my flute and clarinet away but held onto my be able to play again would be awesome REALLY


Hi earthwitch and determined56,

Thank you both for your replies. If you are keen to get involved, please email (if you haven't already) to share you story and that you give permission for Gill to forward them onto our BBC contact.

More stories welcome but they're keen to have responses by the end of this week!




Hello Emma,

I was diagnosed with RA late 2009. I had already had to stop playing the guitar a few month earlier because it became more and more painful and frustrating. Now in my second year of remission, I can play a little but only for short periods of no longer than fifteen minutes or so. It's probably up to me to exercise and strengthen my hands and fingers more, but who knows, a bit of technical wizardry might be of great use and fun? I'd be delighted to hear more. Thank you.


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