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Artist Blog Series #7: Rachel Frederiksen

Welcome to the seventh post of The Artist Series, where I interview musicians who have overcome injuries to help demystify performance-related pain and inspire musicians to better take care of their health.

Our next guest is Rachel Frederiksen, a Professional bassoonist and educator.

What is your name (and preferred pronouns)?

Rachel Frederiksen (she/her/hers)

Where do you currently work, and what is your instrument/voice type?

I am a professional bassoonist and educator.

What was your injury, and how did you get injured?

I had really bad shoulder/neck/jaw/tendinitis pain throughout my DMA and into freelance life. I injured myself from over playing and stress.

What were the biggest challenge(s) of your injury?

Figuring out where the source of the pain was coming from. That took the entire program to pinpoint.

What was your recovery like? What struggles did you face trying to overcome your injury?

It was a long road of self-discovery and admitting that I needed help. Keeping up with journaling and water intake was tough because those routines were so foreign to me. The biggest struggle at the beginning was not seeing results quickly. It took time to understand how the body, mind, and spirit were all connected and sometimes the deep dive into the mental side of my health was scary. The program happened during some challenging times in my life with many significant changes that really I wish I was doing now as I’m going through another crazy life change.

What was the biggest lesson you learned during your recovery?

How important it is to STRETCH! Even if it’s only 5 minutes in the morning. It really helps prevent the body from being injured.

What was something that surprised you during your recovery?

That my tendinitis is gone! If I ever have an inkling of it wanting to come back, I’m able to pinpoint the sore muscle that causes it and soothe it before it ever fully gets down my arm.

What are you actively doing to stay healthy and pain-free?

Stretching every morning and SMR most evenings. Attempting to keep up with my water intake.

Do you have any words of encouragement for someone currently going through an injury?

Trust the process. It can take a long time, but you’ll be better for it if you keep with it. I believe it for you.

Any other final thoughts about your recovery journey you’d like to share?

I always looked forward to my weekly chats with Austin! He’s so encouraging even when I was so down in the dumps. I hope his business continues to grow and change musicians’ lives for the better!

What are you currently working on musically? Do you have any projects you’d like to plug?

I have been working on a recording project of an unaccompanied bassoon suite that I was on a consortium for. It’s called Rude Moods and it should be published on YouTube by the end of the summer if all goes well!


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