Nicky was looking for help to see the music
Freelance Cellist and Pianist Nicky Woods from Harrogate became aware that the music on her stand wasn’t as sharp as it could be. Thanks to the recommendations from colleagues Fiona Mayo, Gillian Charters and Cherry Bratkowski Nicky discovered Allegro Optical Opticians. Fiona suggested that she should contact us as we are specialist musicians’ opticians. Nicky has a very high myopic prescription and she is a long-term varifocal wearer. Like many of the musicians, Nicky was finding the middle distance area of her current varifocal lenses very restrictive. Particularly at the distance of her music stand. Nicky was wearing very good high index varifocal lenses by Zeiss, a well-respected lens manufacturer. Unfortunately, these lenses still didn’t provide a wide enough field of view at the distances she required.
When the music isn’t clear
As is the case for many musicians, they often use a music stand off centre and to one side. The need to be able to read the music at an angle. When wearing varifocal lenses this can become challenging as they are designed to give clear vision while looking straight ahead.
Due to Nicky’s very high prescription, her lenses will always carry a higher than average amount of distortion. So dispensing even freeform design lenses would not have sufficed. We dispensed Nicky with a pair of high index freeform varifocal lenses for daily use and a second pair of our “performers” lenses with a much wider field of view at the music stand distance. The new lens design gives her a wide central field and much clearer vision to her left and right. The new lenses provide a clear view of the conductor and sharp focus of her music on the stand, she also has sufficient clear vision to notate the manuscript when needed.
A high-performance solution for a high prescription
We took into account Nicky’s seating and playing position and the offset position of the music stand allowing her to play the Cello and Piano with ease. Then we dispensed a plotted “performers” lens designed to take into account all Nicky’s working distances. We also measured and plotted the area and angle of her visual field at each distance. Once that was complete we adapted the music stand distance to give her as wide a field of view at the music stand distance to enable her to see two full pages of sheet music, thus making it easier to concentrate on playing rather than seeing.
Nicky took to her new music lenses almost straight away, really noticing the wider field of view and the enhanced playing comfort. Nicky said “it’s brilliant to be able, finally, to concentrate on playing the music rather than worrying about seeing it – or not seeing it!.”
Musicians can present a great many dispensing challenges. Mainly because of their varied working distances and strict seating positions. As musicians ourselves, we’re able to ask the musicians the right questions, and interpret their answers. Using our combined optical and musical skills we can address and resolve the many visual problems encountered by mature musicians.
As a specialist optical team we are able to produce individual solutions to suit many musicians and performers needs. This service is not available anywhere else and we approach the problem in a completely different way, looking at it from the musician’s perspective.
A unique approach
Our unique lens designs enable us to solve musicians and performers unique visual problems. We have built up a considerable following of performing arts professionals as a result.
It’s been less than twelve months since we opened our brand new practice in Meltham and we’re already getting noticed. Allegro Optical Opticians has been shortlisted numerous awards including; the Yorkshire and Humberside Federation of Small Businesses, Celebrating Small Business Awards, for the Start-up Business of the Year category. Our Co-founder and Dispensing Optician Sheryl Doe has also been named as a finalist in this year’s Optician Awards, Dispensing Optician of the year award. She also won the National Best New Business, Entrepreneur of the year award.
Allegro Optical are a BAPAM (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) registered practitioner we are passionate about helping to correct the specific visual problems faced by musicians and performers. Providing a range of tailor-made solutions and services including on-site vision assessments. Using specialist optical technology for those affected by reduced visual clarity. The team have built up a broad client base, from professional classical musicians to members of well-known brass bands and many keen amateurs. We have also helped music teachers, performers, TV presenters and many keen amateur musicians of all genres. We love helping musicians to see their music again and extending their playing careers.