Recently, I created a free 5-day email seminar that gives readers some of the best content I teach in my new Art of Freedom for Musicians classes and Certification Program at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, in Cincinnati.
You can sign up for the free seminar by clicking here, if you’d like all five content-rich emails, with practical exercises for musicians, delivered right to your inbox.
On the last day of the seminar, I put together a short list of tips for big changes, which I’d like to share with you here:
- Learn how to practice mentally. This saves you a LOT of time, and teaches your brain how to associate making music with a relaxed mind-body state free of excess tension. You can practice anywhere you go, without having to take your instrument along. Great for your brain, great for your body, and great for your memory. Great for your music-making, all around!
- Catch your self-talk language and stop “trying”. The language we use to speak to ourselves is SOOO important to pay close attention to. Make sure you mean what you tell yourself, and learn to make positive word choices. For instance, “Trying” to do anything implies effort, doesn’t it? If you want to experience your life and music-making as flowing more effortlessly, cut out the trying! Don’t try anymore – I mean it! Just have a very clear intention of what you want, release the tension that’s getting in the way (stop trying; a certified Alexander Teacher can really teach you how to let go), and trust that your body-mind-self knows exactly how to carry out the action you want to accomplish, in the best and most efficient way possible. Simply Trust and Act; Don’t Try!
- Practice Freedom Directions as often as possible during your day. Refer to Email #1 in this series for a detailed explanation of Freedom Directions and some ways to use them. (Click here to see the email online.) The simplest and most effective tip I will ever give anyone, which is a catalyst for immediate change, is to think the words, “I AM FREE,” with meaning. What you think is what you get. Truly!
- Practice Constructive Rest. A LOT. Especially if you have any back or neck or shoulder pain. 15-20 minutes is optimal. See Imogen Ragone’s blog for more details about CR, and Richard Brennan’s video about how to set yourself up well. I cannot over-emphasize the value of this super-simple practice. Try it out every day for two weeks as an experiment, and I can virtually guarantee that your life will change for the better – and sometimes quite dramatically!
- LOVE. Yourself. Your instrument. Your music. Your family, friends, colleagues, peers, teachers, students, audiences, and strangers. Everyone out there! The more you practice opening up your heart to love and connect with everyone around you, the more easily your music will be able to flow out of your heart through your body and your hands and your instrument…to bless your audience with the best of you and the best of your music. This is the BEST tip of all – and it REALLY WORKS!! I promise!!
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