Alto Saxophone – A Spiritual Consideration and the Body (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on October 18, 2013

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Alto Saxophone Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate saxophone technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

In this article I want to take a look at what I believe spiritually, apply it to playing the alto saxophone, and tie it to the Alexander Technique.

If I had a formal religion it would be A Course in Miracles. A Course in Miracles is a profound spiritual publication that appears to be a direct channeling from Jesus. It says that we are all holy spirits of God, and the Fall was about us forgetting that God is the life source of every one of us. In that moment of denying God completes us, we went insane, and we emotionally cut ourselves off from God as the Source. This caused the physical universe to come into being, because in our insanity we all miscreated this representation of limitation – the physical universe and we as dying bodies living on dying planets circling dying suns.

So, what does this have to do with playing the alto saxophone and the Alexander Technique? If you believe you are your body, THEN YOU ARE HOLDING ONTO YOUR BODY FOR DEAR LIFE, FOR YOUR VERY EXISTENCE. ODDS ARE, EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR BODY, THAT YOU HAVE A SOUL, EMOTIONALLY YOU ARE YOUR BODY. A Course in Miracles has a unique definition of the ego – the ego is your complete identification with your body as who you are, so you would cease to exist without your body.

It is almost impossible to escape the power of this belief that you must have your body to exist, and what this means is MOST ALTO SAXOPHONE PLAYERS HOLD ONTO THEIR BODIES FOR DEAR LIFE. So, the body is massively important to the performing saxophone player, BECAUSE HOW ELSE WOULD YOU PLAY THE ALTO SAXOPHONE IF NOT WITH YOUR BODY? This also means you have to live IN FEAR OF YOUR BODY HAVING PHYSICAL PROBLEMS THAT WOULD MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO PLAY THE SAXOPHONE!

What are the implications of this from the Alexander Technique perspective? IF YOU ARE HOLDING ONTO YOUR BODY FOR DEAR LIFE, YOU ARE IN FEAR, AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP THIS FEAR OUT OF THE BODY, AND THIS MANIFESTS AS TENSION TO THE VERY CORE OF THE BODY. FROM A COURSE IN MIRACLES PERSPECTIVE, THIS IS WHAT CAUSES THE BODY TO GET SICK AND EVENTUALLY DIE.

What this means, is if you impose on the body a function that is not valid, you cause the body to break down eventually. A Course in Miracles says the body’s only function is communication, not to keep us in existence.

PLAYING THE ALTO SAXOPHONE FOR YOURSELF AND ANYONE ELSE IS ONLY AN ACT OF COMMUNICATION. So, if you were gently in a body that you don’t have to fear is going to betray you, then you get to use the body to ONLY make amazingly beautiful music.

If you combine this with the Alexander technique principles of good posture and good body use and great technique, then imagine how effortless it will be to communicate. Let me explain.

If you are in a holy peaceful relationship with your body, then you do not have to fear it getting sick or damaged, because you are NOT putting pressure on the body to keep you alive. This means your tension level goes down to zero or near zero, and the body can be in balance as you play the alto saxophone.

But assuming you’ve got some pretty poor postural and technique habits left over from fearfully trying to HOLD your body together, the Alexander Technique can help you consciously release and replace these habits with amazing posture and technique.

This means by being in a sane, loving, kind, and holy relationship to your body, tied to an alto saxophone technique that works without straining your body, you get to play the saxophone at the highest level fearlessly.

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