You are your primary Instrument…
Whether that’s a Strad or a factory violin is up to how you use what you have!
Workshops for String Players
Over the years, many of my string playing friends and colleagues have talked about the difficulties with playing the our instruments. And as a both a movement specialist and violist, this is my area of interest and expertise.
When we are learning an instrument, we are learning specific movements that lead to sound. All of our technique is about how we move ourselves, it’s just the end result is sound. Everything after that is varying levels of refinement. So if we improve how we’re moving, supporting and creating the movement, the end result also improves.
Many of the issues of discomfort, pain, or difficulty with a particular technique can be solved with:
- A greater sense of your skeleton and structure
- Feeling yourself from the inside out, to learn how to better support your hands, shoulders and head.
- Refining your sensitivity to how you are moving.
- This leads to a reduction in effort and
- reduction in excess muscular tension
- A physical understanding of how we transmit force
- Refining your self-image to be more precise.
- Changing from being goal-oriented, to process oriented.
- Reducing effort: minimum input for maximum effect
- more clarity of self expression.
Who are they for?
String-Moves workshops are suitable for professional musicians, music students and amateur musicians who play a stringed instrument, and want to improve their ease and comfort in playing and performing. We’ll explore different ways of helping us play better, more easily. Some workshops will be more general, others more specific.
String-Moves are for players of either bowed strings (violinists, violists, cellists, and double bass players), or plucked (guitarists, ukelele, banjo, mandolin, theorbo, harp, lute etc). The sessions will be practical, you’ll have tools to take away, and we’ll have time for discussion and questions.
(Dates, details, and registration below…)
In these sessions we’ll look at:
- How your whole body supports your technique. You are your primary instrument.
- Freeing your movement.
- Reduce aches and pains
- The ease of what you do, and quality of your movement is based on how well you support your head, shoulders, arms and fingers from the rest of your skeleton.
- Concentrating on skeletal movement is the key to easy movement.
- Developing your self-awareness and learning to reduce or prevent future discomfort/injury
- How work with your body not against it.
- How to lock into your organic learning abilities.
- learn new options for greater freedom of movement
What to expect:
Each workshop will focus on the relationship of our focus to the rest of our body. In the movement parts of the sessions, you’ll be talked through a sequence of movements, sort of like a physical jigsaw puzzle. We build up the picture a few pieces at a time.
Movements are repeated, and explored in different ways, to engage with your organic learning ability, curiosity, and ability to sense yourself. You’ll learn to use this awareness to release patterns of moving that are not serving you so well, and create new movement options to move towards, to improve your playing from the inside-out.
Many people report greater freedom of movement, easing of pain or chronic tension, greater clarity of intention, and depth of tone.
What you’ll go away with:
- Movement classes specifically thinking of string playing technique.
- Mini-StringMoves strategies to integrate into your practice.
- Q&A session
- Audio recording of the session to download to revisit the ideas again.
- Access to the video for 6 months after the workshop.
Sunday 28th March: 10am-1pm (GMT)
This workshop is focussing on:
- Freeing your breath,
- Finding support for your bowing arm
- Finding simplicity in the right hand
- Using movement to create smoothness
- Supporting your arms from your whole skeleton.
Saturday 3rd April: 2-5pm (GMT)
This workshop is focussing on:
- Finding simplicity in the Left hand
- Discovering effortless shifting
- Improving co-ordination.
- Refining levels of touch
- Finding support for the fingers from your skeleton
- Reducing tension and discomfort.
Suitable for bowed and plucked stringplayers
Registration & Payment
String-Moves Workshop place
One place on a StringMoves workshop The fee includes live attendance, audio recording, & video access for 6 months post-workshop.
Any problems with payment/registration, just drop me a line, by clicking here.
Dates for your diary:
Sat 1st May 2021
Double Bassists: Finding Comfort in playing
Interested, but can’t make these dates? Join the String-Moves mailing list via the form above.
What’s it like to attend one of these workshops? Here are some testimonials from recent attendees:
“Thank you for another wonderful workshop yesterday. When I was playing at the end I had a new sense of connection and freedom all the way to my feet. I was really aware of them on the floor; it reminded me of being on a lovely beach, standing in warm sand. I sense I will be able to cultivate that feeling as I ease back into playing the viola and violin.
The movement [you taught] taking the hands behind the head is the one that really gets into the knot in my left arm. It’s similar to a movement the physio gave me, but the way you did it is very helpful and I am hopeful it will get my arm working normally again.” Phil Darcy, professional violist.
“Thank you very much for the String-Moves session today. It was very enjoyable and informative. I was very grateful that today focused mainly on shoulders. This has been my ‘problem area’ for many years. I have pain around a vertebrae between my shoulder blades. I could really feel the pain at the beginning of the session. By the end of the session, I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. Fantastic!!” Sarah Wilson, Violinist.
Past Workshops available to purchase:
Finding Fluidity in the Shoulders – a recorded video workshop
This is a three hour workshop that took place in February this year. Its focus was Improving comfort, and freedom of the shoulders, and integrating the movement lessons into the Practice Room. Your purchase buys access to the videos for six months (via my website), and downloadable audio files of the lessons.