Embody Your Music:
A Feldenkrais workshop for musicians with Aliza Stewart, GCFP

Aliza Stewart giving a feldenkrais workshop for musicians

The relationship between movement and sound will be made explicit in this special Feldenkrais workshop for musicians. Through gentle Awareness Through Movement lessons you will learn to listen to your body and use what you have learned to improve on your own. We will spend some time working with participants playing their instruments or singing to see how the movements apply to performance.

In this workshop we will explore how the study of efficient movement can affect the following areas of making music:
  1. Sound quality
  2. Rhythm accuracy and elasticity
  3. Internal, bodily sensation of phrasing and gestures
  4. Prevention of playing related injury
  5. Alleviation of pain
  6. Finding our authentic voice and remembering why we wanted to play in the first place
  7. The physical conditions for deep listening

** This workshop has been postponed **

Many apologies. Sing up for my newsletter to be the first to know when we re-schedule it (most likely in fall 2016)

 

This workshop is designed for musicians, music teachers, movement educators interested in working with musicians, and any of the above who might be interested in training as Feldenkrais Practitioners.

Making Music in the Field of Gravity: Playing efficiently while achieving your Musical goals

Musical performance begins with a musical intention, which is translated into a series of movements involving weight, speed, orientation in space, and relationship to gravity. For the music to soar freely, without causing injuries, you, the musician, need to experience the joy of efficient, elegant movement in gravity. This experience will not only protect you from injuries, it will inform and influence your phrasing, your rhythm, and your palette of sound.

Properties of sound – time, space, weight, rhythmical impulse, gesture, momentum towards an action (a leap against gravity), process of speeding gradually and slowing down gradually – are all properties of movement.

When, for a musician, these properties are not experienced in their movement, two things happen – the brain does not have the appropriate image of the action needed for the musical gesture, and it cannot send the right impulses to the muscles. The action is then clumsy and can result in injuries. Also, the hesitation that is introduced to movements that need to be spontaneous, sends a conflicting message to the muscle to contract and not contract at the same time. It creates  paralysis in the muscles that can only be over ridden by forcing the movement.

We derive meaning from music as we connect one sound or note to another.  The flow and movement of the notes as they relate to one another create our sense of music.  A note standing alone is difficult to perceive as music.  Feldenkrais releases the resistant forces in limbs, joints, and body to provide more nuanced movement.  Just as the flow from one note to another creates our sense of music, the more nuanced flow from one physical movement to another provided by Feldenkrais can greatly improve musical performance.

Feldenkrais can improve the “how” and “why” of playing by providing new options for movement, removing resistant forces, and getting back to the internal movement of the music.

“The original impetus to create something really unique is sometimes lost in the process of acquiring such rarefied skills.”  

“When audiences are deeply touched by a piece of music, they report, “It moved me.”  Why do they say that?  Music and movement are deeply connected.” 

—Aliza Stewart

 

Aliza Stewart is a consummate teacher with a deep and profound understanding of the Feldenkrais Method.  A musician herself, she has an uncommon understanding of the concerns and needs of musicians on all levels – physical, psychological, musical and spiritual. Many important aspects of playing, practicing and thinking about music have been illuminated through my work with Aliza. She is truly extraordinary.” 

—Maria Lambros, violist. Faculty, Peabody Conservatory, La Fenice

 

Aliza has been a Feldenkrais practitioner for 30 years and is now a Feldenkrais Trainer and Educational Director, teaching teachers in the US, Europe, South America, Japan and Israel. Originally trained as a concert pianist, Ms. Stewart has a great affinity for the needs and problems of performers. For many years she has taught a Feldenkrais class at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and at the Mannes School of Music. She has been in residence at the Yellow Barn and Marlboro music festivals and has given special workshops at the Juilliard school, Manhattan school of Music, and in Germany. She has a private practice in Baltimore.

Aliza Stewart is the Educational Director of the upcoming Boston Feldenkrais Training program, beginning in August 2016, which will include an ongoing focus on musicians and our interests and needs.


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