Harp – Practice Makes Perfect (Musicians, Psychology, Pain, Strain, Injuries, Posture, Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on September 21, 2014

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Harp 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 harp 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. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT IF THE FOLLOWING THREE THINGS HAPPENS. YOU KNOW WHAT PERFECT LOOKS LIKE, YOU PUT IN THE REPETITION TO INTERNALIZE PERFECT, AND YOU LET YOURSELF HAVE PERFECT IN THE HERE AND NOW.

“Perfect” from the Alexander Technique perspective is you identifying what parts of your technique don’t contribute to ease in performance or conducting, letting them go and replacing them with technique that works.

There is an extraordinary subtlety to this process in the Alexander Technique that not only looks at making large and small changes to your technique, but also letting go of unnecessary internal invisible tension throughout the whole body.

It is this identifying and letting go of this internal nearly invisible tension throughout the whole body that is so unique to the Alexander Technique session. (The reason I say “nearly” invisible, is because it is very visible to an Alexander Technique teacher.) It is this this internal tension not identified, not felt, and not released, that makes it nearly impossible to practice or perform “in the zone” most of the time.

Recently I watched the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament 2014. The commentators kept talking about how tight the players were in the men’s and women’s finals, and how they were attempting to loosen up. I didn’t see this. All I could see were tennis players hoping they would play better and win. I saw no indication that the players were IDENTIFYING what was not working in their game and attempting to consciously release this excess tension. Consequently the finals of both the men’s and women’s finals were boring blowout wins for the least tense players.

The second component of “practice makes perfect” is the practice time put in. THE MORE PRACTICE TIME PUT IN CONSCIOUSLY, THE GREATER THE TRANSFORMATION OF YOUR PLAYING, SINGING, OR CONDUCTING. So, the question is what is conscious practice time? It is the performer’s or conductor’s ability to LOVINGLY SUSTAIN the letting go of what isn’t working and replace what doesn’t work with what works.

It is so easy to put in the hours of practice with a very general goal of better performing or conducting, and to forget what is specifically necessary to do in the moment as you practice. “Brute force practice”, which is what I label putting in the time unconsciously and hoping for something better, is what so many musicians do. (Again, this is what I saw in the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament 2014.)

What I’m advocating as an Alexander Technique teacher is to put in as many hours of practice as you want. But be very clear about the changes you want to make to your playing, singing, or conducting, and sustain lovingly these changes throughout the hours of repetition, until they’re internalized.

The third part of the equation is to allow the perfect performing or conducting to happen by having faith in it, and to not postpone it for forever. What do I mean? IF YOU HAVE STRIVEN FOR PLAYING, SINGING, OR CONDUCTING PERFECTLY FOR YEARS, YOU MAY NEVER ARRIVE AT YOUR GOAL. WHY? BECAUSE UNCONSCIOUSLY YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT TO HAPPEN ON YOUR INSTRUMENT OR CONDUCTING IS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO ATTAIN THESE GOALS OVER THE YEARS.

The longer it takes to achieve your goal of “perfect” playing, singing, or conducting, the more your faith in achieving your goal is tested. In fact over the years you may have lost faith in this ever happening without admitting it to yourself, but you keep striving WITHOUT faith. To strive to be a wonderful performer or conductor without faith is a very painful thing to live with. It means you may feel good about your commitment to becoming a wonderful performer or conductor, being demonstrated by the hours you practice, BUT you don’t believe it will happen. What is the solution to this intolerable problem?

Just because you’ve never experienced your goal of perfect performing or conducting, this doesn’t mean it isn’t available to you. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over for years and expecting a different result, then wouldn’t the definition of sanity be doing something new and expecting it to work? THIS IS LETTING YOURSELF HAVE PERFECT PLAYING, SINGING, OR CONDUCTING HERE AND NOW.

This means you choose to have faith that all of the steps you’ve been taking to be a wonderful performer or conductor will work and can work here and now. You can get so addicted to striving, that you don’t allow that moment of GRACE to happen where it all comes together, and you’ve become the amazing player, singer, or conductor you want to be.

In other words, allow all of your conscious hard work to pay off, and let yourself have in the HERE AND NOW loving perfection.

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