We musicians tend to think of making music as inherently strenuous. That the way to musical mastery is paved by hard work.
We train through countless hours of solitary practice. We drive ourselves to do better, never accepting ‘good enough.’ We know we should be relaxed as we play or sing, but our tight shoulders, sore necks and tired backs tell a different story, even if our fingers or lips seem as nimble as can be. Like athletes, we drive our bodies to the limits of our ability, to do essentially unnatural things (I remember when it hit me that we did not evolve to play the viola da gamba. Our instruments evolved to produce a certain aesthetic ideal, not to be ergonomic).
We hold our breath and grimace with the emotion of the music we are expressing, because otherwise, why bother? How can I express sorrow or suffering if I don’t feel it myself?
And we accept that this is just the way it is. No pain, no gain. It’s a sacrifice we make for our art. Gotta make a living….