Oboe – Brute Force (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on September 14, 2013

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Oboe 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 oboe 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)

Recently I’ve watched a lot of tennis and golf tournaments, and I’ve been astounded by how consistently certain players win and how consistently certain players always come up short.

I listen to the commentators, like John McEnroe or Arnold Palmer, and they clearly see what it is that the tennis player or the golfer who is coming in second needs to do to win. Do the coaches of these players not see what these expert commentators, who won all of the time, see? Do the players not know what people like McEnroe or Arnold Palmer are saying?

I think they do know what these experts are saying. So, it begs the question, “Why aren’t these athletes, who have every bit the potential to win as the ones winning, do what needs to be done?”

Now, why doesn’t the almost amazing oboist do what needs to be done to be a first tier performer, given that it would be easy to gather a group of fine oboe players together who could make a list of what the oboist needs to do to be phenomenal?

Here’s why. I LISTENED VERY CLOSELY TO WHAT MCENROE AND PALMER HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE TENNIS AND GOLD PLAYERS. AS A FORMER CONCERT GUITARIST I LISTENED INCREDIBLY CLOSELY TO WHAT GUITAR TEACHERS AND OTHER FINE MUSICAL PERFORMERS SAID I NEEDED TO DO, AND I REALIZED THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE WITH BRUTE FORCE. What do I mean?

My guitar teachers were very clear about what my weaknesses were on the guitar, and they could tell me what I needed to do, and that I should do it over and over and over until I got it. But they had no idea of how to do what they thought I needed to do and let go of what isn’t working, tied to what really works.

Let me explain. If I tell an oboist to play without immobilized shoulders which impair the oboe player’s ability to take in a full breath, and the oboist feels like he or she has lost support, then the oboe player is likely to tense and immobilize the shoulders again, confusing shoulder tension for breath support. So, what I teach the oboist is how to support the arms with the shoulder girdle with the least amount of muscle, and experience breath support from the torso.

There is a famous saying, “The devil is in the details.” These details can keep an oboist, a golfer, or a tennis player from performing at the highest level, when someone points put the performer’s or the athlete’s weaknesses, and wants them to do endless repetition trying to HOLD the right posture, hand, and arm positions etc.

I believe intuitively every performing musician or athlete with amazing potential knows something is wrong, when they can’t ever seem to become the best no matter how much endless repetitive work they put in.

In the non-Alexander Technique world musicians and athletes simply don’t understand what they call refining their technique is using BRUTE FORCE to get where they want to get to. How do you know when you are using brute force to attain a goal?

There are two indicators. First, you’re not as good as the best oboists in the world. Second, you’re consistently in pain and/or getting injured.

This does not have to be. Identify the weaknesses in your oboe playing, and then go find an Alexander Technique teacher to show you how to reach your goals without bullying yourself, by continuing to do what hasn’t worked yet.

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