Creating the sound in your head, out loud:

I’ve always been interested in sound.

Perhaps because I was born deaf, and learnt to understand sound later than most. Whilst I couldn’t hear I had a massive amplifier with headphones, (it was the end of the 70s) that I would apparently drag and heave to the dinner table so I could hear the conversation. Although perhaps it was more that I was small that the amp was big!

My parents had to work hard to get the doctors to operate earlier rather than later, so I didn’t miss out on learning, as they thought it was really important to me to hear during the first years of school.

After a few operations, I had grommets and could hear, the loudest things were apparently the kettle and my sister! Prior to that, my Mum taught me to lipread. I could read before I could hear, and my first word was “butterfly”, spoken through a balloon to my Mum. If you know me in person, you’ll know I read very fast, and look directly at people for longer than most, both habits left over from those days. But I digress.

Photo credit: Jason Rosewell, Unsplash.

I designed leather mutes for the violin family to create the sound world I wanted to hear. An ethereal world that emerges when you put the mute on. (You can find them here)

Teaching Feldenkrais to musicians might seem a world away from that, but in my head it isn’t. It’s still all about sound: creating the world in your head, out loud. Communicating your non-verbal thoughts to the listeners.

When we learn to use ourselves better, we can find a more direct line between our thoughts and the musical outcome, with less of us getting in the way.

I have facilitated change in Feldenkrais workshops for music students that started with musicians who weren’t interesting to listen to, and ended three hours later, with players you would have paid to go and hear. Their intentions didn’t change, but their ability to manifest them did. In three hours. And the positive change in their self esteem was moving to all of them.

How many of us don’t reach our potential, are held back by ourselves, our lack of self belief, the amount of tension we hold, all of the physical manifestations of the emotional and metal habits we’ve formed?

The good news is that they are learned behaviours, and can be unlearned with a little time and consideration.

Join me for my next StringMoves workshop on the 6th of June, to find out how we can learn to move with the breath, to let go of excessive tension, and find greater clarity of intention.


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