In the field of body awareness methods there's one approach that happens to find a special appeal among certain musicians. This approach says that a musician who has tensions should just stop doing superfluous, "wrong" movements. These would then be saved and the "right" movements would appear by themselves, efficient in their completion, elegant in their aspect.
I call this "efficiency of movement".
At first glance, this approach seems rather coherent. Some would use the image of a sculptor, who likewise frees the statue from the excess stone, the statue being there all along inside of it in the first place. Makes sense, doesn't it?
"Efficiency of movement" doesn't work for musicians.
On the contrary, music being a different form of artistic expression than sculpture, it doesn't make sense at all. The matter with which we work is as far from stone as can be: our material is our living, breathing organism, our emotions, and our sound, which brings these emotions to our listeners. The direction is always from the inside out, not from the outside in.
A musician who, through her tension, is restricted in her freedom of movement needs a release of this tension through a more "lavish" form of movement. She needs a more direct contact to her body sensations, to the impulse that helps her bring emotions from the inside out, and she needs to be less in her head to achieve that.
The freedom of movement is taken away
With the approach of "efficiency of movement", reasonable as it might sound, her freedom of movement is taken from her once and for all. Instead, she learns to be aware of making the "right" movement choices, as if they were a guarantee for a fully completed expression, as if she could thus take away her tensions. She has to create an instance inside of herself that counsels her to inhibit "wrong" movements, an instance that acts from the outside in. However, the musician cannot be where she actually wants to be: with her music, with her sound, and with her emotion, because her attention is divided.
Thus, she's caught between what feels good and what "is right", remains inside her head and doesn't learn to trust the impulses of her body. This situation can lead to the musician, believing that the "right" movement will free her, eventually ending up unable to make a single sound.
The blocks in the body of this musician can only be released with a "lavish" approach to movement, i.e. a non-judgmental way of movement that gradually frees up the body. This way, more and more energy is won, there's no need to save up movement: the body can balance it all and starts to play the active role.
I see three ways to achieve this.
A liberating, releasing movement has three components:
- it goes from the lower body to the upper body,
- it goes from the center of the body to its periphery,
- and it goes from the bigger muscles to the smaller muscles,
which the body movements of Resonance Training support and increase.
In the musical-artistic realm there is no "right" and "wrong" movement, but movement, in which the emotion finds completion - or not. A completed movement doesn't spend strength - it creates new, healthy, open strength and energy, and the availability to fully express the next sound, and the next.