Lise Enochsson: Let's dive in. Find your comfortable, free breathing. Check your posture while standing. Now, it's time to explore the limits of your balance, what happens when our balance is challenged, and also try to stimulate symmetry. Being out of balance will otherwise steal valuable energy and create strain. Being out of symmetry - as we often are while playing certain instruments including the harp - doesn't necessarily create the same strain, if our foundation is stable. But we should know what asymmetry feels like compared to symmetry.
Lise Enochsson: Two weeks ago at the Nordic Harp Meeting a group gathered for a workshop on "physiotherapy for harpists", a pretty ambitious workshop title from the arrangers, but which was actually a condensed and hands-on (feet-on!) version of the plan for this article series.
In the previous article (Instrumental technique 1: breathe), we've become aware of our breathing and explored ways in which we can free it up. Next, we can become more aware of our habitual posture and try some small adjustments. If you really get into feeling how you normally carry yourself, you may find some surprising tendencies.
The questions following the posts New school year! and Instrumental technique have shown numerous and often similar physical issues that harp players have to face during their life. In the next few weeks, Lise Enochsson will publish a general synthesis portioned into a few posts, each one answering specific points. For those of you who will be present at the Nordic Harp Meeting, she will give a workshop on physiotherapy for harp players.
In the previous post "Musicians: do we need technique?", we have seen how professional and amateur musicians can develop their instrumental technique in the daily life. This technique is essential to us for the reason that if it carries us it can also stop us even before putting our fingers on the strings. Whatever repertoire, whatever instrument, we all have to develop this technique and even more as soon as we try to reach a higher level.
Because your body and mind are going to be under stress, a good preparation is necessary for a recording session as well as for a concert. The first time is always a time of surprises and we discover ourselves more and more all along. Here are ten tips to better anticipate what should be a precious moment in your musical life:
This article is based on a previous publication written for the New Zealand Harp Society Journal, 1st October 2010, in which I was raising the question of instrumental technique, what should be done and issues to be avoided. I highlight here the main lines of the article and develop them in a more general context.
Imagine that you are at a concert. A talented and broadly gifted musician is performing on the stage. With reason, listening to this stunning musicality and irreproachable technique make you question your own skills, how do you play yourself. More personal and less academic, his way of playing is nevertheless more precise. Why is your technique, the one you have learned during so many years, suddenly swept aside so easily? What extra technique did he learn, something you have missed? We all have experienced this situation sometimes and more or less in a good way. What makes him so different?