This is the second part of my series about the nervous system. To read the first part, go back here: "The nervous system and its significance for practice, learning from memory, and stage fright"
Neurologist Hughlings Jackson made a discovery in the 19th century, which still serves as the basis f...
The nervous system is a universe. It regulates everything in us: from body movements, bodily functions and body sensations to feelings, thoughts, thought processes. For a year, I’ve been learning about it, and I’ve been finding new and exciting connections.
The most important connection for us mus...
With examples for clarinet, piano and viola
How do I practice for joy in music? How can I ensure that I can play the piece by heart? How do I manage not to tense up when I practice? What should I practice first, the notes or the sound or the music, or something else entirely?
These are some frequently asked questions in my seminars and individual sessions.
In this article I describe my approach, how I practice musical pieces that they get into my system "by themselves" and I stay relaxed and fresh. It consists of four simple steps, simple yet powerful, that can make a big difference in your practice. I apply them also with my piano students, and the best of it: they are really, really fun.
Four years ago, Aneta decided that enough was enough. She needed to balance her architectural studies with some activity away from the computer, just working with her hands. She decided to take up ceramics as a hobby. Oh, to make something with her hands that she could finally look at, even touch! That made her feel good. This is how beautiful plates, cups and bowls came into existence, until today. She forms the fine ceramic containers and glazes them in her own oven at home. Now, she even sells them over the internet.
The bowls, plates and cups that Aneta sells are not perfect: the edge is not straight, the color is not even, the shape is not perfectly round ... And yet, many people want to buy her items. I'll come back to that later.
Filling a piggy bank takes time, patience, perseverance. In the end, however, we know how much we've saved. It's easy to find motivation and patience for saving.
A new way to practicing your instrument is less clear. We can't put numbers to our process. Step by step, day by day, we build it up. Ho...
Ever heard of the thread that is supposed to be pulling your head up towards the ceiling?
How dangerous is this image, although at the beginning it may be helpful for some people. However, as a mental instruction derived from an external image, it quickly reaches its limits.
What may happen, whe...
Exactly six weeks ago, I sat in a concert and had one of the strongest realizations of recent times. On the program were clarinet quintets with the Gerhard Quartet and the clarinetist Victor de la Rosa, in a small but fine festival near Barcelona, where my parents live. Today, it's all about commitment.
In advance, I had learned that the Quartet rehearse for six days a week for four hours daily, and that they also practice a few hours per day individually, and have been doing this for eight years. That is a statement. Quartet playing is often referred to as "marriage of four", and not without reason.
Elasticity allows us to regulate our breathing flexibly, to move smoothly, to bring out a plasticity in our sound, and ultimately to feel refreshed after practicing. (Yes, that's possible!)
Elasticity is attained solely through our fasciae, also called connective tissue.
This new, young and grou...
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