Flute – Not Hunkering Down (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on August 13, 2013

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Flute 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 flute 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.

IT IS AMAZING HOW EASY IT IS TO JUST HUNKER DOWN AS YOU PLAY THE FLUTE WITH PASSION, AND DRIVE YOURSELF WITH GREAT LOVE AND CRUELTY TO THE GOAL OF PLAYING A BEAUTIFUL PIECE BEAUTIFULLY, NO MATTER THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL COST.

I really love to write about flutists who demonstrate their love for the instrument by practicing consistently many hours a day, playing beautiful flute literature incredibly difficult to perform, because of this love for the flute.

From my perspective as an Alexander Technique teacher, is it truly loving to play the flute hours a day, if you’re learning music that opens your heart, if you’re HARMING your body? Let me state it a different way: Do you have to pay a physical price to play the most amazing flute music well?

I believe many, if not most flutists believe so. As far as I can see, highly motivated flute players are the same in approach and expectations as highly competitive athletes. They both drive themselves to excel, no matter the physical price. They both figure they’ll get injured at some point, go through rehab, and eventually get back to their sport or the flute.

Let me give an Alexander Technique definition of playing the flute lovingly.

YOU CAN PLAY THE FLUTE WITH GREAT PASSION, AND MOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH GREAT LOVE IN YOUR GOAL OF PLAYING A BEAUTIFUL PIECE BEAUTIFULLY, WITHOUT PAYING A PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL COST, IF YOU STEP BACK AND ACQUIRE AND OBSERVE A FLUTE TECHNIQUE THAT WORKS.

What is a flute technique that works? IT IS A FLUTE TECHNIQUE THAT BRINGS GREAT EASE AND FACILITY TO PLAYING THE GREATEST FLUTE LITERATURE WITHOUT CAUSING WEAR AND TEAR TO THE BODY, NO MATTER HOW EXPRESSIVELY YOU PLAY.

Here is where I wanted to get to in this article. A flutist is more likely to hunker down and get into physical trouble, the greater his or her love is for the instrument and its finest compositions.

Why? Because it is at this point of wanting to play the extraordinarily beautiful literature of the flute at the concert flute level, that the flutist hunkers down to the flute, to MAKE the flute do what he or she wants.

So, can you play amazingly expressively with great facility, and not get injured on the flute eventually? YES!

How? You realize you can be 100% present on the flute, fully in the moment as you play. What does being “fully in the moment” on the flute mean? THIS MEANS AS YOU PRACTICE, YOU ARE FOCUSING ON CREATING/USING A FLUTE TECHNIQUE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO BE FULLY AND EFFORTLESSLY SITTING OR STANDING BALANCED WITH THE FLUTE, AND YOU ARE NOT MAKING A HEROIC EFFORT TO PLAY WELL. YOU TRUST YOUR HANDS AND LUNGS TO PLAY WELL AND TO EXPRESS WHAT IS IN YOUR BRAIN WITHOUT STRAINING FOR THE GOAL OF MUSICAL PERFECTION.

In other words, you are simultaneously in the present, consciously doing the least amount of physical work as you learn the piece, as you listen to what is coming out of the flute. This means you don’t listen to the inner critic, who wants to FORCE you to just go for the notes at the expense of your mind, heart, and body.

Here’s why going for the performance at any cost is not loving. IF YOU DRIVE YOURSELF MERCILESSLY TO PERFORM A PIECE BEAUTIFULLY, THEN YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE IN A LOVING PLACE MOST OF THE TIME. Why?

Because, if you are always striving nonstop for the perfect performance, you definitely will NOT create the best possible flute technique, you will NOT reach this goal most of the time, and you will attack yourself when you fail to play the way you want.

So, I’m asking as you learn to play the most beautiful difficult flute literature at the highest level, you use the most user-friendly flute technique. Sit or stand expansively balanced with the flute, using the least amount of physical work, with great self-awareness throughout this whole learning/mastering the piece process.

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