I’m a violinist. But for many years – ever since I was a teenager and let go of my childhood dream of becoming a famous soloist – I have resisted identifying myself as “a violinist”. Because I’m so aware that I’m much much much more than that. And because my interests in other things, such as the Alexander Technique (AT), teaching, family, etc., overtook and buried my love of the violin.
So, the passionate depth of this love has been dormant for a long time, even though I’ve never stopped playing or loving this instrument. Through practicing The Art of Freedom and AT, I’ve been gently exposing and waking up the most intimate parts of our relationship over recent years, and I’m finding it quite exciting to feel my passion for this instrument coming slowly back to life.
I’ve also resisted teaching the violin for my whole life. In fact, until I trained as an Alexander teacher (which began not with the desire to teach, but only to learn it for myself), I resisted the whole idea of becoming a teacher of anything at all. After all, nearly everyone else in my family is or was a teacher (or lawyer). I like to be different, haha!
But it must be in the genes. Ever since I graduated and began teaching AT, I fell in love with my newfound sense of curiosity, sharing knowledge and exchanging inspiring ideas with others. I truly LOVE teaching the Art of Freedom to musicians, and now I’m watching with wonder as I’m being drawn with a kind of relentless inevitability towards exploring the violin and viola with others who play those instruments. In fact, all string players.
Strings fascinate me! Wood fascinates me! Above all, the sound fascinates me.
In fact, as I practice for an upcoming performance of the Four Seasons this October, I’m finding that using my whole self to connect with and make sound on the violin has the potential to give me a truly ecstatic experience. And I’m not exaggerating. I experienced a taste of this in my very first AT lessons, years ago. But now I’m being able to access all of that – and more – on my own. The process fills me with awe….
Yesterday, I taught a first lesson in The Art of Freedom via Skype to a woman who had never had any experience with AT before. Touch is a very important component of AT, but the real essence of AT lies in how a person makes use of her body-mind-self with awareness. The changes come about through our consciousness, and our ability to use thought to effect changes in ourselves. This student happened to be a violinist, and I found myself thrilled and excited to be able to share my love of this instrument with her, as if with someone who is from my native land who speaks my mother tongue.
My love for string players takes nothing away from my love for musicians (and non-musicians!) of ALL kinds, of course. But in this moment, I find my curiosity aiming me to explore my first love – my passion for the violin and its relatives – in more depth.
If you’re interested in seeing what evolves with my new direction, stay tuned, because my next step is to create a new free e-mail seminar, specifically for string players. I haven’t chosen the topic yet, but it’s sure to be interesting! If you’re not a string player, the seminar will still be very much applicable to you, so don’t hesitate to sign up for it anyway, once it’s available.
What passions might YOU have been hiding from yourself? What have you been resisting? What is the elephant in the room? What is it that’s so obvious to others but feels like something you’d rather not look at? What would happen if you looked? What are you afraid of?
It’s the questions themselves that will take you toward your answers, all in good time. No hurry. As you see, I am still in a process that began when I was born…or maybe even before. And I’m in no hurry for it to end! Enjoy!!