Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tension and the Performing Artist

"What happened to you during the performance?" she asked..."your sound changed dramatically in the middle!"
I thought back to what I was doing during the violin recital and realized she was talking about a particular moment when I figured, "I'm so nervous anyway, why don't I try directing?"
In the Alexander technique, when we apply a bit of our awareness to ourselves in a constructive way, it's called directing.
So I remember doing so at that moment in the recital and noticed I felt a little better. But I didn't realize it changed the sound. "You sounded more...interesting," she admiringly admitted.
I was about one year through the teacher's training course in the Alexander Technique, back in 1980, and was playing again after losing my hands to a horrible tension problem. But does it really take that long to regain ability when it is lost? This is a review of one masterclass I led for music students at Rock Valley College. Michael Beert, cellist and head of the program, had some astute observations to share...
"In each student, it was obvious to hear and see the difference in their performing after just a couple of minor adjustments to the head and neck relationship. One student after another, it became apparent that this technique was beneficial to their sound and tone production. Another thing that was apparent was that one size did not fit all. Each student had different issues that needed addressing and Dr. Schalow was able to pinpoint each and work on the area that was most in need of attention.
The reactions from the students were most positive as they commented on other student’s performances or their own improvement. A couple of the students from the workshop have gone on to inquire about further Alexander Technique sessions with Dr. Schalow and have commented on its effectiveness in their lives, work and performance."
Wow. "Can I have some of that?" you might ask. You certainly can. Contact Rockford Alexander Technique at 1st Step Chiropractic. 815-398-4500.

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