Oboe – Splinting (Musicians, Psychology, Pain, Strain, Injuries, Posture, Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on March 13, 2015

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)

I recently was giving an Alexander Technique session to a client who is a medical doctor, and she used the term SPLINTING to describe a posture that a musician, or anyone in any specific activity, assumes to do the activity over a prolonged period of time.

She said that she had observed in her patients postures that reflected the bad posture of playing an instrument, and had become a permanent part of the person’s general everyday posture.

Example: If a singer, instrument player, or conductor practices for hours and hours slumped over and hunkered down leaning to one side, then he or she will wear this poor posture all of the time.

This isn’t truly a completely new revelation for me as an Alexander Technique teacher, but it is a new framework for my looking at how clients use their bodies in everyday and specialized activities.

This very perceptive doctor had made a connection between what her patients do for hours and hours in their specialized activities, from making music to working at a computer all day, and she had become aware of how the specialized activity had distorted the patient’s posture the majority of the day.

Working with performing or conducting musicians is a wonderful way to use the Alexander Technique to help create a balanced elegant posture all of the time. Why?

BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT THE PERFORMER OR CONDUCTOR WILL HAVE A HEALING/TRANSFORMATIVE EFFECT ON THEIR POSTURE 24/7, WHEN THE BODY IS BALANCED PLAYING, SINGING, OR CONDUCTING.

Why does playing, singing, or conducting maybe only a couple of hours a day have such a profound negative effect on the person’s overall posture?

IF THE PLAYER, SINGER, OR CONDUCTOR IS REALLY DEDICATED TO BECOMING A FINE PERFORMER OR CONDUCTOR, THEN THE TENSION OF PERFECTIONISM WILL TYPICALLY CAUSE POWERFUL HOLDING PATTERNS THROUGHOUT THE BODY.

This is what SPLINTING is. Splinting is the carryover of doing something regularly with great intensity, tension, and bad posture, and locking that poor posture into the body causing a permanent loss of range of motion.

So, a player or singer, or conductor who plays hunkered down for years will find it impossible to stand or sit fully upright. This will be experienced and viewed by many bodyworkers and others as a permanent part of the performer’s or conductor’s posture. Is it? NO!

If a player, singer, or conductor goes to an Alexander Technique teacher and is splinting, what is it that the Alexander Technique teacher does that can reverse this loss of range of motion in the performer’s or conductor’s body?

THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE TEACHER TEACHES THE PLAYER, SINGER, OR CONDUCTOR HOW TO PERFORM OR CONDUCT WITHOUT LOCKING THE BODY INTO RIGIDLY HELD POSTURES, IN AN ATTEMPT TO CREATE ACCURACY IN PERFORMING OR CONDUCTING.

I want to say at this point that hunkering down and immobilizing the body to perform or conduct is not something the musician is usually conscious of. In other words, the player, singer, or conductor from the beginning, as a beginner, unconsciously evolves a posture that seems to get the job done but DOESN’T!

Let me be clearer. If you become a fine player, singer, or conductor with a splinted posture, then you’re still a fine performer or conductor, but for how long? By definition a splinted body is a body in a permanently poor posture and a limited range of motion. If you continue to live this way, then you will get into physical trouble. Probably by 50-years-old you will begin to hurt constantly, and your playing, singing, or conducting will deteriorate.

The splinted posture of a player, singer, or conductor is a carryover into mastery. This means that the performer or conductor is still trying hard to stay in control of performing or conducting, as if he or she was still a beginner.

So, even after mastering the instrument or conducting, you may still be embodying the hunkering down of the frightened beginner. PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY THIS IS BEING A BEGINNER AND A MASTER OF YOUR CRAFT AT THE SAME TIME.

This cannot be sustained, and you will begin to hurt constantly. You will attribute this hurting nonstop and not performing or conducting as well to getting older, but this isn’t true if you’ve been splinting.

WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY GIFT IT WOULD BE TO YOURSELF IF YOU WERE A TRUE MASTER OF YOUR INSTRUMENT OR A CONDUCTOR, WITHOUT BEING A COMPROMISED COMBINATION OF SPLINTING BEGINNER AND EXPERT!

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