Get more out of your practice, take advantage of valuable opportunities to practice away from your instrument. When? Anytime you move! You can utilize virtually any activity to learn about your movement habits, and practice refining movement. Why? because everything we do as musicians is movement! From shaping the embouchure to breathing, its all movement! Just think...
- Bending down to pick something up off the floor requires all six major leg joints
- Use time sitting at a desk or waiting in line to fine tune breathing
- Washing dishes or brushing teeth involves arm movement and how they arms relate to spine and legs
- Walking and running takes whole body coordination
Through movement you can uncover powerful, reliable solutions to technical, expressive and comfort challenges in your playing. Why not use any opportunity to practice it?
The first step is begin noticing movement. At first, you might notice movement by seeing it. The next step is to feel it from the inside using the kinesthetic sense. Perhaps at first, the sensations won’t be clear, just notice where you feel it and what it feels like. With practice you can begin to discern the quality of the movement, tense or easy, awkward or fluid.
Now that you are feeling movement away from your instrument, use this same awareness as you play. Tone exercises and scales are a great way in. Use the same process you did to begin feeling movement as you play. Where? What? Quality? Slow practice can be helpful to begin to integrate this into playing.
Sometimes a particular movement seems to take a lot of effort. Explore the movement by understanding how it is designed to take place. Body Mapping is a fantastic tool for this! Compare how you think the movement takes place with the body’s actual design, check out the anatomy. This information helps you begin to refine playing movement for greater ease and enhanced coordination. (stay tuned for more on this!)
One of my absolute favorite things to do is practice movement. This has led me into all kinds of activities at the gym, around the house, out in nature and even on the trapeze. I have learned so much about my habits. I have uncovered freer, more coordinated movement for life and music!