Our brief journey below into one musician's experience is uplifting and exciting, and most important, his experience can apply to us all.
I hope you enjoy reading it. Best wishes, Carole
Freeing Your Body Towards Greater Motion and Emotion
By Patricia Holman, GCFP
In the beginning of one of our first lessons, I asked him to play a few musical passages that were: a.) easy and comfortable, b.) difficult and required significant effort, and c.) poignant and full of emotion. Observing him play, I noticed a great attention to the music, but considerably less attention to himself. The musical notes were the foreground, and his body a distant background. I noticed there was little acknowledgment of the ground through his feet. His difficulty manifested itself in back and shoulder pain. His eyes were strongly tensed and his head position forward, as if he were trying to reach the musical notes on an imaginary music stand. His habitual tensions were forming the quality of tone, effort and expression in his playing.
When we are unaware of habits such as tensing our shoulders, neck and jaw, or stressing our backs unnecessarily, or are unaware of the support of the ground through our feet, we may develop some kind of difficulty. In the series of lessons we would have together, I was hoping to show him the relationships among these forgotten parts of himself and how this new awareness could change his overall effort and tension. I wanted to help him become more present to the process of music making.
After this initial exercise, I had him lie down on a table, where I began to explore with him the simple act of lifting and lowering his right arm, then his left arm, on the table, resting for several breaths between each series of small lifts. We proceeded to lifting and lowering his right leg, then