I saw an article from NPR last week about how making music ends up causing tremendous pain for many musicians – often to the point of having to quit and find another career. (Link to full article: “When making music breaks your body”)
So much about this article is sad, but to me the saddest thing about the article is that most pain musicians experience is completely preventable.
Not only that, but when musicians push through pain, the quality of their music is highly compromised. And yet, they still push through – even when they know there must be a better way.
Most surgeries can be prevented, if musicians would listen to their bodies and if they were taught what to do instead of pushing through.
Sadly, musicians aren’t taught the essential mind-body skills they need from the beginning. It’s a cycle that repeats itself over and over, and it’s exacerbated by the whole “suffering for arts’ sake mentality”, which is just so misguided.
My specialty is to teach musicians how to play with less mind-body tension, and therefore less pain, stress, and anxiety – so they can make truly great art AND enjoy themselves in the process. I’m a professional musician and a certified Alexander Technique teacher, and I’ve combined both areas of expertise with a lifetime of experience to create my own Art of Freedom® Method.
I wish ALL musicians could learn how powerful the mind is to heal and direct the body into flow and ease – from the very beginning. And if they’re already experiencing too much tension while playing – it’s high time to do something about it – BEFORE it turns into pain.
And if the pain is already there, it’s not too late to change those habits.
In fact, none of this is hard to learn at all. However, it does mean thinking outside of the box (maybe the culture of pain has a problem? maybe the solution isn’t actually a solution? come on… if somebody needed SEVEN surgeries… is this REALLY the best solution?!??!!??).
It’s NOT hard to change tension habits that are at the source of pain, but it does take a certain humility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to look honestly at how you’re thinking and moving throughout your day as well as what you’re doing while you play your instrument.
Because musicians bring the whole self to their music, and, ultimately, you can’t blame music, the instrument or the culture. Pain is caused by something you’re doing. So find out what that is, on a fundamental, whole-self level, if you want to get to the root of things.
It’s not hard… and it’s actually fun and can totally transform your life for the better. It’s happened to me, and hundreds of musicians I’ve worked with.
I offer private coaching and group programs and I’d love to chat with you if you’d like more information about how The Art of Freedom® could help you if you’d like to feel better, play better, and ENJOY your life as a musician.
Just reply to this email and tell me a bit about your situation if you’d like to learn a better way. Enrollment is now open for The Musician’s Mind-Body Breakthrough starting next month, so let me know if you’re curious!
With Love & Enthusiasm,
p.s. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Please comment below, and share this post if you liked it. Thanks! 🙂