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Piano Glasses #1088738
07/21/04 12:31 PM
07/21/04 12:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,340
Massachusetts
BeeLady Offline OP
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Since this is the Adult forum, many of you may understand my problem. It would seem that now at age 44, reading glasses are needed. frown cursing I have been monkeying around the the drug store type to get used to them and to have some sight before my Doc. appt. so I can read the piano classifieds! wink

When playing piano, I would like to be able to see the music better, but to look down at the keys is rather like having vertigo. A friend had once said she would like reverse bifocals, with readers on top and glass on the bottom for looking at the keys.

What do other adult pianists use? I am planning on learning all the alternatives so that when I go, I will have the perfect pair made for practicing. Of course, I expect to play SO much better! :p laugh


BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
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Re: Piano Glasses #1088739
07/21/04 12:34 PM
07/21/04 12:34 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,264
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Piano World Offline

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I tried bifocals, found myself nodding up and down like a bobble head.

"Reading" glasses worked best for me, I also use them at the computer all day (it was worse on the computer, I'd tilt my head so far back I almost tipped over).

I went for prescription, the same as the lower portion of my bifocals.
(I use the bifocals for everything but the computer and piano).

The trick is to be able to find them when you need them:-)


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Re: Piano Glasses #1088740
07/21/04 12:38 PM
07/21/04 12:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,340
Massachusetts
BeeLady Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Piano World:

The trick is to be able to find them when you need them:-)
No kidding...I have 5 pairs of sunglasses in strategic locations. Bought two pairs of readers, one for bedside table, other for downstairs pill bottle, newspaper, checkbook reading....

Wish they built in little beepers for locating them and my car keys! laugh


BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
Re: Piano Glasses #1088741
07/21/04 01:02 PM
07/21/04 01:02 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,918
idaho
T
teachum Offline
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idaho
I had "piano glasses" made with the intermediate distance scrip on my progressive lenses. I didn't use the reading prescription because it was for too close. You are much farther away from the music when sitting properly than reading distance. They work great for me. I have had them about a month. I tried using my regular and just couldn't deal with the constant trying to find just the right spot in my glasses.


You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany
Re: Piano Glasses #1088742
07/21/04 01:04 PM
07/21/04 01:04 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,918
idaho
T
teachum Offline
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idaho
The piano glasses also work on my computer. I can relate Frank - bobble-heading at the computer and the piano.


You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany
Re: Piano Glasses #1088743
07/21/04 05:14 PM
07/21/04 05:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 26
Toronto
S
Sugarbush Offline
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Toronto
I gather this is a common issue with us "older pianists". My older brother told me he had "piano glasses" as well as "golf glasses"!! Well I took his advice and I keep glasses at the piano and mine are a reading perscription. I find they work well here and for computer. I even took and outdated frame and put the reading perscription in it rather than buy new frames for just around the house. It's a pain getting older isn't it but at least this plan works for playing the music.

Re: Piano Glasses #1088744
07/21/04 07:27 PM
07/21/04 07:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 132
Connecticut
Z
zongora Offline
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Connecticut
I'm with teachum in regard to glasses.

The last time I got them I got two, one for regular reading and one specially for playing the piano, as it's a further distance away from the eyes.

Also made sure it had a different color rim not to confuse, and always keep it on the piano.

Zongora

Re: Piano Glasses #1088745
07/21/04 07:47 PM
07/21/04 07:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
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I remember Zongora... talking about glasses with you and then the dollar store and the bargains at the sales. How is your back?


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Piano Glasses #1088746
07/21/04 08:18 PM
07/21/04 08:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 132
Connecticut
Z
zongora Offline
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Connecticut
Apple

The dollar glasses are thrown all over the place and carry with me in case I lose it. I also have two good prescription ones that stay home, one of which is primarily for use with my "88 note mistress".

Back's fine for a while now, thanks. It's the rest of me that's falling apart.

I love this "GOODest" forum.

Zongora

Re: Piano Glasses #1088747
07/22/04 06:17 AM
07/22/04 06:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 643
Plano, Texas
J
jdsher Offline
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Plano, Texas
Beelady: When you go to your eye doc appointment please bring some sheet music. This will give your doc an idea of the size of your reading material. Before you get there have someone measure your working distance. A working distance, in this case, would be defined from around the tip of your nose to your music desk. Believe it or not a difference of 3-4" can make a significant difference on your reading power. Like most of the posts, I would recommend a reading only pair. The exception to that is when there is a distance need as well. Some musicians that I examine have to look at a conductor as well as their music. In this case I'll prescribe a bifocal or progressive with the reading power equal to their working distance.
BTW, if it's been a while since you've had an exam please make sure they dilate your eyes. cool Also make sure they do a screening of your peripheral vision(to check for early signs of glaucoma).
Jon


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
Re: Piano Glasses #1088748
07/22/04 07:03 AM
07/22/04 07:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 477
northwest NJ
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northwest NJ
I use my reading glasses. Nothing different or fancy. Seems to work fine.


"Applaud friends, the comedy is over." --Ludwig van Beethoven on his deathbed.
August Förster 190 Artcase
Re: Piano Glasses #1088749
07/22/04 07:09 AM
07/22/04 07:09 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,091
Richmond, VA
plays88skeys Offline
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Richmond, VA
Same as Teachum and Zongora. Bifocals for reading, driving and such - midpoint glasses for piano and computer tasks.


There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. - Beverly Sills
Re: Piano Glasses #1088750
07/22/04 07:16 AM
07/22/04 07:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
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I bought two 3 packs from Sam's or Costco. Plastic clear ones. My eyes seem to change.


eek eek
. **
\___/


Sometimes they are better than others. One set is a little stronger than the other . they are definitely a step above the dollar ones.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Piano Glasses #1088751
07/22/04 11:20 AM
07/22/04 11:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,340
Massachusetts
BeeLady Offline OP
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Massachusetts
I am going to print this thread! My opthomologist does dilate and screen for all sorts of things, thanks for the reminder jdsher. While I have never needed glasses before, I still go for checkups now and then.

Bringing sheet music along is a great idea. I have been measuring distance, too. I find that like lots of you, piano and computer are about the same, the distance to the end of my fingers with my arm extended forward. Looks like there will be a pair just for that.

Oh, I do hope this explains my lousy piano playing lately! :rolleyes: :p


BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
Re: Piano Glasses #1088752
07/22/04 11:58 AM
07/22/04 11:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,672
Lower Left Coast
JohnC Offline
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Lower Left Coast
Quote
Originally posted by BeeLady:
Quote
Originally posted by Piano World:
[b]
The trick is to be able to find them when you need them:-)
No kidding...I have 5 pairs of sunglasses in strategic locations. Bought two pairs of readers, one for bedside table, other for downstairs pill bottle, newspaper, checkbook reading....

Wish they built in little beepers for locating them and my car keys! laugh [/b]
BeeLady,

You're not paying enough for those sunglasses. wink I only have one pair (and they are perscription) but I *never* misplace my Oakleys! laugh


There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.
Re: Piano Glasses #1088753
07/23/04 08:53 AM
07/23/04 08:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 698
Dallas, TX
WynnBear Offline
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Dallas, TX
I wear progressive bifocal lenses and understand what you mean. I work at a computer all day and play at night. I found myself getting a sore neck and stiff shoulders from having my head cocked back all the time to see partially through the lower section of the lenses.

When I bought my most recent glasses, I mentioned the problem and bought a second pair with single vision optimized for 2 to 3 feet away. Since the lenses aren't bifocal, they were not that expensive and no more sore neck.

The only problem is when I get up and walk around with the piano glasses on. Things get a bit "woozy". Reminds me to change glasses pretty quickly though!


Wynne
Re: Piano Glasses #1088754
07/24/04 04:16 PM
07/24/04 04:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 295
Arlington, VA
H
HappyGoLucky Offline
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Arlington, VA
Dear Beelady, I suffered just like you -- tried everything -- ended up with 3 or 4 pairs of different prescription glasses (computer, piano, reading, driving) -- then I went to bifocals -- then to "progressive" lenses. Nothing really worked worth a hoot. Then I hit 50 - and bam, my eyes stabilized, and I no longer have any trouble -- my "varilux" lenses work perfectly no matter if I am sitting on a "low" piano bench or a "high" piano bench. Hang in there.
Virginia (from Virginia)

Re: Piano Glasses #1088755
07/24/04 08:13 PM
07/24/04 08:13 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 982
Oregon
S
sleepingcats Offline
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Posts: 982
Oregon
I was extremely nearsighted (couldn't read the biggest letter on the chart!), so I had lasik surgery done on both eyes, then had both "retouched". My right eye is 20/20, and my left is 20/35. So far, I use glasses only for driving at night mainly when it's raining, and just the left lens has any power.

When I play the piano, my eyes are about 22" from the sheet music (give or take an inch), at which I can see the music clearly with my right eye but not my left (need to be about 4" closer). I'm sure I'll need some reading/piano glasses soon, so it's helpful to read everyone's experiences and be prepared with ideas!


"Cats make purrfect friends"
Re: Piano Glasses #1088756
07/25/04 11:45 AM
07/25/04 11:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,340
Massachusetts
BeeLady Offline OP
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BeeLady  Offline OP
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Massachusetts
Quote
Originally posted by sleepingcats:

I'm sure I'll need some reading/piano glasses soon, so it's helpful to read everyone's experiences and be prepared with ideas!
My thoughts exactly. It nice to have some vocabulary to go with it. Having never had glasses before "progressive", "distance scrip" are things very new to me! Just from reading everyone's accounts, I already feel I know what sort of arrangement will work best for me. Hopefully that will save having glasses made up that aren't convenient..especially since insurance does not cover them!

Now I only wish the appt. was sooner, still three weeks away. I am anxious to be able to see well again!


BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
Re: Piano Glasses #1088757
07/25/04 11:15 PM
07/25/04 11:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 17
San Francisco Bay Area
F
fiddler Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 17
San Francisco Bay Area
Hello all,

This is my first post to the piano forums. I'm a semi-professional violin/viola player, but definitely a piano A.B. I've lurked for several months and learned a lot by reading these forums.

When I developed presbyopia more than 10 years ago, I found the bifocals with lines distorted music staffs to unusability. I ended up asking for the right eye lens to be single vision, set for 36", and the left to be a progressive with full distance on top and 21" on the bottom (I'm very near-sighted).

The reasoning was that music distance for piano, orchestra playing, and seeing the conductor were all covered in this way.

The progressive lens has areas of reduced focusing sharpness on either side of the bifocal portion (for some reason, that's true of all progressives), and the single vision lens for the other eye helps to fill in the unclear areas when using both eyes.

The optometrist had to be persuaded to make this unusual combination, but for me it was so successful that I've ended up using these glasses for most purposes except extended close-up or distance work. They're fine for computer use too.

BeeLady, I hope this gives you yet another option.

fiddler

Re: Piano Glasses #1088758
07/26/04 06:20 AM
07/26/04 06:20 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Cindysphinx Offline
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Washington D.C. Metro
I'll need reading glasses in a few years (my eye doc told me a few years ago to hang on as long as possible before giving in), so I'm very interested in this topic. Currently, I am quite nearsighted, so I wear contact lenses during my waking hours.

Is there some reason a pianist can't just wear reading glasses (for seeing the keyboard) and contacts for seeing the music? I sure hope so, as that was my plan.

Re: Piano Glasses #1088759
07/26/04 08:17 AM
07/26/04 08:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 643
Plano, Texas
J
jdsher Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
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Plano, Texas
Cindy: What you describe is perfectly acceptable if you can still maintain enough accommodative strength to focus on the music. What would be interested to know is whether there is a big difference in the working distance from your nose to the keyboard and from your nose to the music desk. If these two distances are fairly similar you will most likely benefit from wearing the reading glasses for both.
Jon


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
Re: Piano Glasses #1088760
07/26/04 01:41 PM
07/26/04 01:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,467
Phoenix, AZ
Nina Offline
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Phoenix, AZ
My solution is to keep my older pair of reading glasses at the piano or computer. I need stronger ones to actually read a book frown , but my outdated prescription works great for middle distances like the keyboard (either one). However, I don't have a major correction, so I can still see distances reasonably with my glasses on. (Reasonably = could recognize my kids, couldn't drive.)

Nina

Re: Piano Glasses #1088761
07/27/04 07:40 AM
07/27/04 07:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
Canada
Pianogirl88 Offline
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Canada
Ok so I'm just a kid and I have good eyesight but I happen to be in the eyecare business. I'm telling you - DO NOT BUT DRUGSTORE GLASSES . Go to your optometrist and buy a good pair of reading glasses. And be sure to get an anti-reflective coating as it illiminates much of the glare from lights and such. cool

Re: Piano Glasses #1088762
07/27/04 07:46 AM
07/27/04 07:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 17
Canada
Pianogirl88 Offline
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Canada
Fiddler said:

"The progressive lens has areas of reduced
focusing sharpness on either side of the bifocal portion (for some reason, that's true of all progressives),"

This is caused by the corridor leading from the distance viewing area to your reading add or bifocal. Having never worn a bifocal before I don't know How it would be for playing piano but I do know that you can choose a progressive bifocal with a wider corridor from one perscription to the next. :rolleyes:

Re: Piano Glasses #1088763
07/27/04 11:24 AM
07/27/04 11:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 643
Plano, Texas
J
jdsher Offline
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Plano, Texas
"The progressive lens has areas of reduced
focusing sharpness on either side of the bifocal portion (for some reason, that's true of all progressives),"
This is related to irregular astigmatism created by the manufacturing process. It is a side effect created by either front surface curve or back surface curve changes used to create increasing power through the corridor. Fiddler is correct in assuming that all Progressive lenses have this unwanted side effect.
Jon


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
Re: Piano Glasses #1088764
08/16/04 03:48 PM
08/16/04 03:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,340
Massachusetts
BeeLady Offline OP
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Massachusetts
An update. I had my appt today with my opthomologist and all is as expected. Reading glasses are needed, no other problems (other than the old floaters in both eyes mad )

Amazingly, instead of writing a prescription he rattled off a list of stores "Walgreens, Walmart, CostCo!" for the readers. The ones I had bought were a bit too strong so I went down a notch...much better. He recommended the weakest I can find for piano and computer with large lenses to see both up and down...

I guess like over the counter meds Claritin, etc. glasses are no longer something you must get a prescription, go to a high priced specialist to get.

So far so good, now let's see if my playing gets any better! :p


BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
Re: Piano Glasses #1088765
08/23/04 03:54 PM
08/23/04 03:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 83
SF Bay Area
J
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SF Bay Area
Being 55 I share the problem seeing the music -- Sorry, to be more accurate I could see the music, it was the notes I couldn't see.

After searching high and low I found some glasses at one of those sun glass/reading glass kiosks at one of our local malls that work great for me. They are called Multiview Readers. They are made primarily for "old fart" computer users (like me) who need bifocals to see up close and minor magnification to see the computer screen. They aren't cheap (approx $100) but they work great.

I was so excited that I found a pair I thought that if I went to my eye doc he could do even better. After spending $300 for a custom version I found my store-bought glasses worked better.

Did a little Googling (using the words multiview computer glasses) and found the following website. There are other websites that have these glasses as well. http://shop.store.yahoo.com/goldeneyes/pcusers.html

Re: Piano Glasses #1088766
08/24/04 07:01 AM
08/24/04 07:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 643
Plano, Texas
J
jdsher Offline
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Plano, Texas
JD: The glasses you linked to are similar to what we call short corridor lens, or a computer glasses prescription. There are several different types such as the PRIO Browser and the Zeiss Gradal RD. The advantages of these prescribed lenses versus an OTC remedy is the ability to adjust the centers of the optics to the center of your pupil. This is done to assure that you are looking through the "cleanest" part of the lens. The other advantage is the ability to include any refractive error you may have like astigmatism, hyperopia(far-sightedness),or myopia(near-sightedness). For a small group of patients who have very little or no distance refractive error, an OTC pair of glasses is just as effective as a prescribed pair. The most important thing you mentioned was that you saw your eye doctor. Unfortunately, a tremendous amount of people skip the exam and use the OTC glasses for near work, but don't realize they may have some type of eye disease like glaucoma or cataracts.
Jon


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
Re: Piano Glasses #1088767
08/24/04 01:49 PM
08/24/04 01:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
Evanston, Illinois
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Evanston, Illinois
I have a stronger lense for reading and a less strong lense for playing and working on the computer. I guess you could call this an intermediate lense.

My reading glasses will not work for playing because the music stand is a further distance from my eyes than a book would be for normal reading. This causes the notes to look blurry, but with the less strong lense it all comes into very nice focus.

If you buy reading glasses at the drug store (non-prescription) then just be sure to pick out the lense that will give the best view from the distance you would be when reading your music, not the closer up view would would need if reading.

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