Get off the page, and get into your body.

Last week I attended one day of the National Dalcroze Society Conference in Seattle... I could go on and on about the value of Eurhythmics, but let me put it this way: after one day of study my own playing was more rhythmic, emotive, and confident than it's ever been. (I will have plenty of explanation in future posts, stay tuned.) One of my favorite chamber musicians/educators, Norman Fischer, gave a masterclass at the conference and I feel compelled to pass on these three juicy bits of wisdom for you to contemplate:

1) All technique is rhythmic. (every shift, every bow stroke, every finger pattern, etc.)

2) All rhythm comes from your body - all rhythmic work should be done away from the instrument.

3) How well do you know your body?

They're all pretty self explanatory concepts... the third question is something I've spent the last few years investigating with the help of some amazing yoga teachers like Jay Fields, and Chia Rafelson. And though I've done very little eurhythmics and a shameful amount of practicing of the viola, I find that I am a more competent violist because I know my body. I'm far more aware of every movement that needs to happen in order for me to convey the music, and how to engage (and strengthen!) the muscles needed to support my technique.

How well do you know your body? How can it make it move to translate the music you hear in your head?


UPDATE (July 13th, 2012)

Jay Fields and I are presenting a yoga workshop based on these ideas/questions on August 5th from 2-5pm at People's Yoga in NE Portland.

Out of Movement, Music

Step away from your instrument and come back to your body through the practice of yoga.

This workshop offers you an opportunity to have a different experience with your body than your standard method of practicing provides so that you can gain new perspective on the artistry of your playing.

Through yoga asana and novel stretches and movements we’ll explore how to:

  • participate fully with your feeling sense
  • move from one point to another with authenticity
  • play with heaviness and lightness in your body and your music
  • balance effort and ease to create artful music

If possible, please bring your instrument so that we can apply what you’ve discovered through your yoga practice to how you play.

Sunday, August 5th from 2-5pm Peoples Yoga 3016 NE Killingsworth St.

$40 - Click here to register


Hope to see you there!