If there were only ONE thing I could suggest to you, to guarantee you a better musical experience, to improve the quality of your technique, and to speed up your overall progress, it would be this:
Be aware of how you move your instrument
and your audience, and let them move you.
Thankfully, this is also the EASIEST and SIMPLEST way to become a better musician!
When you’re in contact with your instrument, moving it physically is inevitable. I mean, you raise the violin, pick up the bow, pull it across the strings, and they VIBRATE so that sound can move through space.
What happens to that sound? It moves towards your audience! So, how could your sound NOT move your audience? It reaches their eardrums and moves their anatomy. The sight of your movements playing your instrument is made of light that touches their visual system. Moving your audience physically is inevitable. You and your environment are necessarily moved as a result of your own movements.
When your audience is moved, if they are also open to being emotionally moved (which they almost always are BY DEFINITION because that’s a primary reason why they came to hear you – whether they’re aware of this or not), every sound you make and every movement they see with their eyes has the potential to move them emotionally.
Whatever you do will also cause your audience to think differently. Their brains will respond to the experience of witnessing your music-making, and neurons will fire from their brains and throughout their nervous systems. Their body-minds will be moved automatically.
Plus, if they are aware of it, and they have a propensity to spiritualize their own experiences, your music-making has the potential to give their souls a very beautiful experience. Take care to remember that how they choose to respond is up to them – not you! Let them be free to have their own experience! Because even if you sound horrible to them they can still turn that into a personally fulfilling spiritual experience in response, “making lemonade out of lemons”.
It’s not your job to ensure that they respond well. That is the audience’s responsibility, so let go of that. But you WILL move them – that’s for sure.
Your job as a musician is to BE AWARE of the following:
- A) How are you moving your SELF?
Can you be conscious of your movements and choose them freely so that they are efficient and appropriate for your chosen task?
B) Are your letting your Self move you in return?
Can you let your body-mind-soul-Spirit move you, so that you take in the pure JOY of experiencing your own movements?
- A) How are you moving your INSTRUMENT?
What exactly are you doing, and why? What is your intention? How are you moving the bow? Your strings? How are your movements affecting the sound that is produced by the violin?
B) Are you letting your instrument move you in return?
Are you letting the vibrations of the instrument move your body? Are you letting those sound waves move through your whole BODY? Bones are great sound conductors; can you feel the sound vibrations in your bones? What is happening in your ears? Fingers? Arms? Heart? Belly? Legs? Feet?
How does the sound produced by your violin affect/move your thinking – your MIND – brain?
Can you let the music you are making stir up an emotional response? Does the sound give you chills or goosebumps of appreciation of its beauty or lack thereof? Can you let the emotions move through you and out of you like waves, without blocking them in any way by judging them?
Can you let your SOUL and SPIRIT be moved positively in response to the sound?
- A) How you are moving your AUDIENCE?
Who is your audience? Can you let them be free to be whoever they are? Can you let them simply be human beings who are there in order to be moved? Can you remember that your sound WILL move them in body-mind-soul-Spirit, no matter what? Can you let go of the need to make them respond in a certain way?
Where is your audience? Can you be aware of where they are in space? Can you make your music for the people in front of you, behind you, and on all sides? Can you be aware of the invisible people all around the world that could potentially be touched by your sound waves – or the effects of their movement through space/time, and play for the whole world?
Can you play for the inanimate objects around you, with or without the presence of other people? Can you move the space, the room, the walls, the chairs, the carpet, the lamps… with the vibrations of your sound? Can you bless the space and the objects with your good intentions, spread by your music?
B) Are you letting your audience move you in return?
Can you be let yourself be touched by the supportive presence of your audience? By your awareness of having them near you? By seeing them, hearing them? How does their silence or lack thereof move you? Can you be moved with appreciation for their positive intention in being there to hear you? If they seem to respond negatively, or if you don’t perceive a response, can you choose consciously and freely to turn those “lemons into lemonade” in a proactive way, re-focusing on your own positive intentions to be moved by your own music-making?
You WILL move your own body-mind-soul-Spirit, and it WILL move you in return. Wake up, and be aware of this!
You WILL touch and move your instrument, and it WILL touch and move you back. Wake up, and be aware of this!
You WILL touch and move your audience, and it WILL touch and move you back. Wake up, and be aware of this!
I GUARANTEE that if you pay attention to these things, you will experience a dramatic shift in your musical experience. Your sensitivity will increase, your coordination will improve, your sound will gain in depth and beauty, and your technique will become more effortless.
Are these things that you want??
If they are, then what are you waiting for? It’s all very simple, but sustaining this kind of music-making requires constant LOVING ATTENTION, and lots of PRACTICE. If you want more help with this from me, sign up for my free e-course below, or click on my CURRENT PROGRAMS page to learn about how you can work with me personally.
ENJOY!!! Please let me know how this post has moved you and how you’re putting these recommendations into practice in the comment section below! I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂
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Violinist image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Sound image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net