©2019 Musicians First Aid. Photos by Kristin Andersen/Oda Hveem/Private

EDUCATION/ COURSES

2016-2019 AXELSONS BODY WORK SCHOOL

2013-2016 MUSICIANS HEALTH AND MOVEMENT INSTITUTE

2013-2016 BRAINSPOTTING PHASE 1, 2 AND 3

2010 MASTERY OF SELF, THE BRIGHT PATH MEDITATION

2009-2015 BACHELOR DEGREE IN CLASSICAL VIOLIN, DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC, NTNU

MUSIC PROJECTS

2018- TRIO TURMO

2018 - DUO REM 

2018-2019 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,

FOLKETEATERET, OSLO

2017-2018 LES MISERABLES, FOLKETEATERET, OSLO

2015- FREDHOLMS TRIO

2015- TIMANI CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

2009- TRIO SORELLA

2009- THE TRONDHEIM SOLOISTS

Elin has taught and lectured at most of Norway's Music Institutions, held courses in Rwanda, Palestine, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, England and Iceland amongst others.

 

She's a professional violinist with a bachelor degree from the Department of Music in Trondheim. Elin has also trained in a variety of mental and physical techniques, including Brainspotting, masseuse training at Axelson's Body Work School and trained all the way to Timani Master Teacher level with the Musicians Health and Movement Institute. She is the founder of Musicians' First Aid. She works as a Master Teacher at Musicians Health and Movement Institute in Oslo and as a freelance musician both as a violinist and violist.

 

With her unique knowledge from different fields, she has guided musicians, at all stages of their careers, into a healthier relationship with their body and mind.

 

Elin is passionate about how musicians can get the help they need, preferably before it becomes a crisis. This passion has laid the basis for founding Musician's First Aid. 

 

Want to know about Elin's personal journey and why this work is important to her? Then check out the text below.

 

I thought I was the only one..

Prolonged tendonitis, low self-esteem and little confidence, pretty much described my life as a musician only a few years ago.

 

Today I live in Oslo, Norway, I'm an active and versatile musician working both as a violinist and violist. And even if my previous self never would've believed it, today I really enjoy being a musician.

In 2009 I broke down in tears backstage on tour with the Trondheim Soloists. I sobbed in the arms of Odd Nordstoga (he, the soloist on the tour, was the first person I bumped into backstage). I was in so much pain from playing, that going on stage for the second half seemed unbearable. Ever since that episode, one thing has become more and more clear;

Not only am I responsible for my own happiness, I need to figure out how to make it happen. No one else will do it for me. I can get help, of course, but I still need to have the willingness to go get it. So that's what I've committed to ever since. Sounds easy right? It's truly anything but, but it's also been the coolest thing on earth, because changing my relationship with my body and mind in order to keep playing music has drastically improved how I view and live the rest of my life as well. 

 

So why did I get tendonitis? And why on earth did I get so interested in the mind an body? Well, carry on reading and you'll find out.

 

 

WHEN I WAS LITTLE...

one of my favourite things to do was to sit on my swing and wonder why on earth I was sitting right there, right then? We had something we called "The family book" in my family, where Mom and Dad wrote all the cute and strange things me and my sisters said or asked. And all my questions were like; Who am I? How did I get here? Why on earth did I get into exactly THIS body? And what happens when I die?

 

I somehow knew I was here for a reason. I just didn't know what it was yet.

 

When I was 13 years old, I started to gain weight. Just puberty, we thought. Nothing more. Then it got worse. The years went by and soon I also had a mustache, started losing hair on my head and got hair everywhere else. My doctor told me to exercise more so there I was, running every morning with my older sister, eating barely anything except salad and healthy stuff, while dreaming about everything fatty and sweet.

 

I was slowly developing a serious depression.

Getting out of bed was a nightmare. Choosing between Spanish and Russian in school felt like the worst decision ever. And every time I looked in the mirror I startled, as I didn't recognise the person looking back at me. I had no clue what was going on and the best decision seemed to be ending it all.  

 

Luckily I didn't. Somehow a part of me knew it would all pass. Sometime. At nearly 17 years old, I finally got to know that I had a brain tumour. No running would've ever cured my extremely high level of cortisol that the brain tumour created. People around me asked me if I was scared, but I was relieved.  Finding out that there was a reason for all I had experienced was the very best news. Because then it would pass. No guarantee to survive the surgery, no guarantee to not be paralysed for the rest of my life or to become sterile if the surgery would fail, but one thing was for sure; living the rest of my life with the tumour was NOT an option.

 

Now, many years later I'm so, so happy I had the surgery because my life today seems like a totally different story. But I won't race ahead... let's go back to just after the surgery.

 

I was declared well. All was back to normal, seemingly. One and a half years on artificial cortisol to get my body's normal production on track and then everything should be good, right?

Except one thing...

Even though my body was declared well, my mental programs were still running in the background. When you have years of experience with self destructive patterns (very serious ones as well), I tell you, they don't just leave even if you are 30 kilos lighter and no longer have a mustache or a tiny tumor in your brain. Because mental programming doesn't care about reality. Then it would've sounded very different. In fact most of the chatter in our mind (if not all of it) is total nonsense and based on previous experiences, most of them unconscious ones.

 

So in order for me to really get well, I had to start understanding what's true and what's not. I had to learn how my body could get strong and how I could feel great in it. And I had to allow the feelings of shame, guilt, distrust, anger and loneliness and all those other beautiful and intense parts of being a human being to be experienced.

 

Why? Because I wanted to be a musician, and I believe you can't hide from all that stuff if you are one. AND quitting music and living an 'easier'  life was NOT an option. 

And so that's been the journey. 

 

Naturally after changing the way I practised, the way I looked at myself, the way I judged my playing and all that - I started to help others do the same because...

I TRULY BELIEVE THAT NO MUSICIAN DESERVES TO STRUGGLE WITH PAIN AND SELF DOUBT, and I hope that I can be part of the solution.