One of the most incredible music lessons I've ever had was with my viola teacher, Jodi Levitz and my alexander technique teacher,Bob Britten - at the same time. Jodi was able to tell me what I needed to do musically, and Bob told me what I needed to do physically to help make that happen. The results were astonishing for everyone involved, and since then I've held the belief that it is just as important to know your body inside and out as it is to know your music inside and out. Since moving to Portland, I've discovered Jay Fields who has been a wonderful teacher and resource tohelp me know how my body functions and how it can help my sound. I feel like it's almost my duty to pass that on to the rest of the classical crowd. So last month we co-presented a workshop entitled "How You Stand" and made it available to the the musicians of Classical Revolution PDX.
We had a collection of amateurs, semi-pros, and professionals, on various string instruments and EVERYONE's sound changed for the better.
The video below demonstrates some of the changes one can make in their posture in order to improve their sound. Unfortunately the cell phone video recorder didn't quite capture the vast change in sound quality, but you can tell from everyone's reaction that it was drastic.
and some pictures:
I'm delighted to present another workshop with Jay on September 8th called Relief for Musicians. And I highly encourage all of my colleagues and students to check it out.
Not only is it going to know your body, it's also not a bad idea to try to take care of it.