Middle age has a way of messing with vision, which, I suppose, is just a fact of life. Two years ago I wrote a post about the problems I have encountered trying to play the piano with progressive lenses, and I somehow seem to have "outgrown" my old solution of simply not wearing glasses when playing the piano. At the same time I find myself in need of a workable solution for reading music clearly while playing the violin and the viola. Progressive lenses work well for some people, but they just don't work for me, since I spend so much time reading music. I'm going to request single-vision glasses at my next eye exam, which I'm up for in a year.
I found a cheap interim solution to my problem in an old box of "keepsakes." For some odd reason I have held onto nearly all my old glasses, including the "single-vision" glasses of my young adulthood. My young adulthood coincided with the 1980s, when fashionable glasses were thoroughly hideous. There is no way I will post a photograph of myself wearing these remnants from my days in Vienna in 1981, but I can't resist letting my piano "wear" them. The only people who ever see me playing the piano are my students. I gave my Tuesday students a "preview" so that they won't double over in laughter when they see me don these during a future lesson.
My next pair of single-vision glasses came from a Cambridge (Mass) optical shop in 1984. They seem to work perfectly for playing the violin and the viola. And they're big, so I can take in a whole page at a time. I think that they make my violin look rather dignified.
Not having to "translate" the bent and uneven images I see through my progressive lenses (which work perfectly well for activities in life that do not involve reading anything other than road signs) frees up so much of my head. I can pay far more attention to what I am hearing and what I am doing. The senses of hearing and touch can be rendered slightly bent and uneven when something is messing with your vision.
A word to the young glasses-wearing musician: hold onto your single vision glasses! Some day you will be glad that you did.