I worked all day today, and I still managed to happily practice for two (productive!) hours.
Better than that, my practice session involved several life-changing revelations!
Before I practiced, I came across a link shared by Amy Likar on facebook:
Adam Cole was the Feldenkrais teacher at SummerFlute, and he blogged about each day at the class.
I wish I could’ve attended the class myself, after meeting Amy Likar and many other wonderful Body Mapping flutists at the Andover Educators conference last summer.
Adam graciously shared some gems from the masterclasses, and as a result, MY playing improved drastically in about 3 minutes today.
Thanks to Amy, Adam, and Liisa Ruoho, these are the top four things that I brought into my practice session today:
1. "Feel your toes."
This brought upon a lovely inclusive awareness, and allowed me to feel connected with the ground beneath my feet. Earlier this year, Dr. Jenni Cook helped me to discover that my tendency is to “pull up” from the ground and shift my weight as I breathe and begin to play. I had great success inhibiting that habit as I consciously brought each toe into my awareness. Magic.
2. "Air plays the flute, not the body." -- Liisa Ruoho
Karg-Elert Caprice #9 has made me to realize how difficult it is difficult to consciously maintain a constant stream of air. I try to practice fast, tongued passages slowly and all slurred, but this tends to be mindless and boring. I made it my intention to memorize the feeling of a continuous airstream today, and I made some decent progress. Having a great inclusive awareness reminder also made it easier to notice what my body was doing.
3. "Turn your ears back." -- Liisa Ruoho
If a teacher ever tells me that I need to "open my sound," I will immediately translate it to "turn your ears back." Adam also mentions "listening to the air behind your ears." This was pure magic. Less trying too hard. More wonderful inclusive awareness.
4. "Casually lean on a piano like you're at a party, and just play Bach." -- Liisa Ruoho
It is SO DIFFICULT to just let go and stop trying to do. If ever I were to tattoo an important reminder on my forearm, it would say: "Just play. You don't have to do anything else."
There is nothing more encouraging that being able to say "I am a much better player than when I started" after a practice session.
To do this week: Encourage more revelations by re-reading masterclass notes and Body Mapping journals.
To do next summer: Go to SummerFlute: http://summerflute.org/
Grateful to Adam Cole, Amy Likar & Liisa Ruoho for inspiring today's practice session.