Marching in glasses

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Queeg2000, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    Normally I wear varifocal glasses. Having been on three marches since returning to banding, I am having difficulty with seeing the music or tripping over. It was never a problem when I was younger and had youthful eyes.

    Tried wearing reading glasses which let me see the music, but I'm tripping over because my view of my feet and the ground is distorted.

    Tried standard distance vision glasses but can't read my music clearly.

    Tried the varifocals but I can't see the music properly and keep tripping over because I am looking through the wrong part of the lenses in both cases.

    I can't imagine I am the first person to have this problem, has anyone got any suggestions? I was thinking of getting a pair of varifocals made with the lenses upside down, but it's a lot of money for a pair of glasses I will only wear a few times a year.
     
  2. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Ashbourne, Derbyshire
    Try talking to your optician. I wear varifocal and my optician adjusted the middle distance to coincide with my music pad distance.
     
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  3. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    How do you manage with the marching though. I kept tripping over my own feet with the varifocals. I could live with the music as a naturally tend to play into the ground, though it's a tendancy I would rather break than one I wanted to further.
     
  4. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Ashbourne, Derbyshire
    Must admit that is a difficult one, I tend to keep an eye on the back of the one in front and look out for stumble or deviation. I guess it helps that I have had a cataract operation so my distance vision in one eye is not too bad.
     
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

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    1,277
    Location:
    Chigley
    My solution to the OP’s problem is simple: don’t march. If he had a bad back then (IMHO) only an idiot would expect him to march with a EEb or a Bass Drum, for the purposes of marching he’d be considered disabled. To my mind if someone’s eyesight is so poor that they are in danger of failing over during marching then they too are, for the purposes of marching, disabled - not to mention a liability to the rest of the band. Bands can and do have members in various states of health, not everyone is in perfect health and (IMHO) Bands’ need to take account of the individuality of each player: you wouldn’t expect a 3rd Cornet to stand in for the Principal Cornet, it would be beyond their skills, so accept physical limitations too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  6. Malcolm Koki BM

    Malcolm Koki BM New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Sorry about this - but you might have to learn the marches off by heart. My father had to - his B/M used to play on the march, so he would pull my dad's music out of the lyre!!!
     
  7. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    To be honest, my eyesight isn't that bad, though if I try reading without reading glasses, it's difficult and gives me a head ache. As for the marching, after ten minutes without glasses, I can see well enough, but with reading glasses, on, not a hope.

    Ironic point about the back though as my back is still in agony from Saturday's march. It's unfortunate that I may have to consider not marching due to back problems, took me well over a week to recover last time. Certainly learning the music by heart is an option, though it's difficult as the band collect it back in after the march and it's only given out before the march due to music getting lost in the past.
     
  8. Sheryl Doe

    Sheryl Doe New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Meltham
    Hi Queeg2000

    You are most definitely not alone in this, I am an optician who plays cornet in a brass band (Originally a Cellist) and my partner is a Trombonist and Conductor. We realised that this was a serious problem for mature musicians once I switched instrument and the music stand moved a lot closer. We now run an opticians practice specialising in helping musicians Allegro Optical Ltd - Opticians.

    Marching glasses are a common request and we do quite a few of them. They allow you to see your music on the lyre and your periphery easily. We have a few blogs on the subject so please feel free to have a read about our most recent one https://www.allegrooptical.co.uk/eyecare-hits-right-note-abigayle-doe/ Whit Friday Brass Band competition 9th June 2017 , Saddleworth and Tameside, A Yorkshire opticians helps marching musician to see the music Angelo Bearpark gets his eyes back - Virtuoso brass player Angelo can now continue to sight read. Clear as a bell – Allegro Optical

    We work with many musicians including those from The Cory Band, Uppermill Band, Diggle Band, Wakefield Metropolitan Band, Emley Band, also Dublin RTE Concert Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, English National Ballet Philharmonic, English Opera, Yorkshire Baroque Soloists to name but a few.

    Deteriorating vision among older players is a real problem and varifocals or single vision lenses don't really solve the problem and learning a march off by heart isn't always an option. Please have a read about our specialist lenses at Musician lenses designed for the performer and feel free to contact me if you have any questions on 01484 907090

    I hope that helps

    Kind regards

    Sheryl
     
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  9. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145

    Certainly something to consider. I don't have any real difficulty in the band room, it's only marching that is causing problems, even there, I think experience will help a lot.

    Could you give a rough estimate of costs for marching glasses? For the number of times we actually march, I'm reluctant to spend a fortune (aside from anything else, justifying it to my wife is going to take some doing)
     
  10. Sheryl Doe

    Sheryl Doe New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Meltham
    HI Queeg2000

    The marching glasses won't help in the band room because they are prescribed specifically for lyre distance and marching. In marching lenses the music area is at the top for the smaller instruments, midway for larger ones, so you would struggle to use them in the band room.

    As for cost, you said you currently wear varifocals so I am presuming that you have some distance prescription. If your prescription isn't too high, (3Diopters or less). Prices for the marching lenses start at £39.99 for uncoated lenses £65.00 with a scratch resistant coating and £95.00 with the anti-reflection coating. Frames start at £10 so you could resolve your problems for £49.99. A lot cheaper than a varifocal! I keep mine in my cornet case along with my music glasses for band and orchestra practice.

    Turning a varifocal upside down won't work because you will experience peripheral distortion and the area at the lyre is too small. Our marching lenses give clear undistorted peripheral vision and a clear full march pad vision on the lyre.

    We can dispense the glasses over the internet if that helps as we have done quite a few times now. Allegro Optical in Meltham help older musicians to see their music

    I hope that helps.

    Where abouts are you?
     
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  11. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    I'm in South Wales. I'm surprised at those prices, I got the impression they would be a LOT more from looking on your website. I got a very good price on my varifocals, as I have family in the trade, but still significantly more than £50. I have a cheap pair in my cornet case I wear in the bandroom, with an intermediate prescription, so I position my stand at the best position, and have a reasonable peripheral vision, good enough to see the conductor, though I struggle to read the clock. They seem to work well in the bandroom, but not with my music at lyre distance.

    I'll discuss them with the mrs but looks like you got a sale.
     
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  12. John Turner

    John Turner New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi Queeg2000

    I feel for you, I hated marching until, I got my marching glasses from Allegro Optical and they were brilliant for Whit Friday.

    I have to say I got some musicians glasses too as I found my varifocals too narrow for playing in the band room. The musicians glasses are the best glasses I have ever had, although I use them for everything. They are so much better than varifocals which were quite fuzzy at the edge and I always had to look straight ahead, music stand distance was rubbish and the reading area so small I took them off to read. I wear the music ones for everything now.

    You won't go wrong getting your marching glasses from Cheryl at Allegro Optical, she really knows here stuff and Steve her business partner really knows his banding. You'll be in safe hands, I recommend them to everyone.

    Champion!

    John
     
  13. Sheryl Doe

    Sheryl Doe New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Meltham
    Hi Queeg, yes the marching glasses are fairly reasonable if you email me your prescription at info@allegrooptical.co.uk I can give you an accurate price, but they're not silly money.
     
  14. Sheryl Doe

    Sheryl Doe New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Meltham
    Thanks for the shout out John, I'm so glad you like your glasses

    Sheryl
     
  15. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Messages:
    870
    Location:
    The Sunny Isle of Wight
    A really interesting thread (although I gave up marching at 21).
    Good to find an Optician offering a specialist service for musicians - something I will be pleased to share with others.
     
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  16. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,035
    If you'll pardon the pun, this thread has been a real eye-opener for me! ;)

    I've not yet tried playing and marching at the same time, but TBH I did that much marching and drill in the school Army Cadet Force, and in the RAF, that on level ground I could probably march with my eyes shut. Reading the music is a whole different ball game, though - especially now that I've switched to trombone.

    Music clipped to the bell would be easy; I could use my normal reading glasses for that. But reading music on the stand, and allowing enough room that the slide doesn't hit the stand is another matter entirely. My distance glasses are no good, the music is all out of focus. If I move the stand back far enough to clear the slide, my reading specs aren't strong enough; I have to swing the slide sideways to bring the stand closer - then the music is nice and clear, but the conductor is all fuzzy!

    I've tried both bifocals and varifocals, and couldn't get on with either. It seemed like whatever I wanted to see clearly was always in the wrong section of the lens . . . :( . . . time to do some research on Allegro Optical, methinks . . .
     
  17. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    Jack E. When I started wearing glasses a few years ago, my optician recommend varifocals. I read several horror stories, but on the advice of a friend in the trade, went with the essilor varilux comfort lenses. The best money I ever spent.

    Cheap varifocals, have a small field of vision with a lot of distortion and put people off varifocals altogether. Essilor offer a guarantee that if you cannot adapt to their varilux lenses they will give you free standard vision lenses.
     
  18. BigJamie

    BigJamie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Alexandra, New Zealand
    Memorise the music. They give extra points here in NZ for bands that march without sheet music.
     
  19. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    145
    Apologies for the delay, Cheryl, just dug my prescription out and emailed the details. Mentioned marching glasses in the bandroom, none of our players had heard of them, though most of the other varifocal wearers have no issues. I suppose playing cornet my music is closer than most instruments, though doesn't explain how they don't keep tripping up.
     
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