How many times have you heard a teacher or coach say this? Maybe you’ve heard it so many times, you say it to yourself. Or maybe you’re a music teacher and have resorted to saying this yourself when you could see your students working against themselves.
And how do you (or your students) respond to this exhortation?
“What do you mean?”
“Yeah yeah, I know…”
“But how do I make a sound if I’m relaxed?”
“Where do I even start?”
There is no question that a certain amount of muscular tension is necessary for making music. And it can’t be denied that to be expressive we need a certain amount of tension in the sound itself (what would music be without the interplay of tension and release?) What we’re talking about here is unnecessary, involuntary and often unconscious tension.
These unnecessary and involuntary tensions (what Moshe Feldenkrais referred to as “parasitic actions”) get in the way of our music, causing problems such as:
- repetitive strain injuries
- difficulty creating consistent, rich, and expressive sound
- limitations on technique
- slower learning of new music
I should know. Unconscious excess tension nearly cost me my music career.
But it doesn’t have to cost you yours.
In this presentation I share my story of the work that allowed me to recover from debilitating pain to complete a Masters in Music, and launch a career helping other musicians to recover from injury, avoid injury, and generally reduce tension.
In particular, I will also show you how to:
- Recognize unnecessary tension before it gets in your way
- Become aware of your tension-producing habits – and experience how
awareness itself can effortlessly ease the grip your habits have over you
- Explore new ways of moving that avoid the tension in the first place