Last week, I was very fortunate to participate in a 4-day workshop for teachers that I organized for our Cincinnati Alexander Technique community, led by Tommy Thompson, an amazing Alexander Technique teacher at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard. I thoroughly enjoyed being in student role, and learned so much!
Now that the workshop is over, I’m exploring what I’ve learned with myself and my students, and I am enjoying some incredible breakthroughs and insights – as are my students. Tommy encouraged me to post some of my own insights on facebook, but I prefer to put them here for now. Here’s what I wrote yesterday, while spending an hour or more experiencing my evolving relationship with my violin and bow. I’m looking forward to meeting with them again later today!
Would you believe I never really understood before that the sound of my violin is not just “my” sound or the violin’s sound… and it’s not “my” voice or “its” voice… but it’s really OUR sound / OUR voice?! What an unbelievable difference this makes!! It feels and sounds completely different, and it is so gratifying to join together in this way! I understand now how all three parts (me, violin, bow) are necessary to each other, and the music-making becomes a trio, a game, a play, a balancing act…
oh my goodness… it just gets better and better!
I actually WANT to be with my instrument now! This is EXACTLY what I needed to understand. Things are suddenly making so much more sense now, when I think of working on/with my violin and bow as if I were giving them an AT lesson – not just before I play (which is amazing in and of itself, because the sound changes very noticeably), but WHILE I’m actually playing. Actually, it’s more like exchanging work with an excellent teacher.
I am communicating with my violin now in a much more direct way. How fascinating! In fact, I was feeling a bit down just now… and it occurred to me to go to my instrument as if I were turning to my friend… what tremendous new potential I see for this relationship…
Treating the violin like my unique and special partner, my friend, my student, my teacher… my Beloved… not just as a tool for communication with others, or for self-expression, but as a manifestation of the One with whom I wish to communicate the most… we have a conversation. We work and play and listen and move and respond and grow together… every part of the trio is affected. And the sound – oh, the sound!!
It’s also a reflection of my own Self. I play from the heart and the heart of the violin speaks to me. I expand and it expands. I contract and it crunches…
Sorry, I have to go now. My violin is calling me. 😉
Please help a musician – share this post! 🙂 And if you enjoy reading this blog, please subscribe via email and sign up for our newsletter on the right. Thanks for your support!