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Movement in Martinu

The Sensible Flutist: Movement in Martinu

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Movement in Martinu

I was finally able to spend some quality time with my flute.

In my practice training layout, I had designated that day as a "Whatever" day allowing myself to transition based on what drew me, rather than a prescribed routine of Moyse and scales. I jumped into playing repertoire immediately, which isn't my modus operandi.

Although it takes longer, I've found that giving myself a two to three hour block of time gets me more in a state of flow than if I try to jump into my practice and get it done. Instead, having this block of time lets me rest as I need to while feeling like I'm not pressured for time. This state of flow happened to me as I was practicing the first movement of the Martinu Sonata yesterday, and I stood on the edge of discovering something really truly great about integrating my movement with the music so that the movement frees my body to release the music that is within.

I can't quite describe it yet, but the experience was there. I was grounded, letting the floor support me. And that support resulted in effortless music making. I stopped fighting my body and started letting my body do what it naturally does.

Then I got to the 6/8 section, and I resumed my old movement patterns of tension. But that brief moment of effortless music was enough to motivate me to get through the rest.

It's a process and I'm grateful to be able to start experiencing music in this way now. Through my study of body mapping, Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, I'm refining my awareness and learning more everyday and those elements are now emerging in my playing.

A side note about my practice routine. If I had used my time yesterday to practice like I usually do, I don't know that I would have ever gotten to the Martinu before I reached my limit. If that had been the case, I wouldn't have had the experience so that's certainly a plus for this practice like you train idea.

Explore your movement. Move purposely, move naturally, and move well.

Here's Dr. Kristen Stoner performing the 1st movement:

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At August 21, 2011 at 10:21 AM , Blogger Chip Michael said...

There's a point in rehearsal when you have to stop, slow the process down and practice in a way that is correct but not necessarily how you would play normally. Learning new "habits" takes time but worth it.

Nice article...

At August 21, 2011 at 10:50 AM , Blogger The Sensible Flutist said...

Excellent point. I love how everything we explore ultimately combines to produce higher levels of music making.

At August 23, 2011 at 3:17 PM , Anonymous Bill Plake said...

What great observations you'e making, Alexis! I particularly appreciate what you said about your movements and expression: "... I stood on the edge of discovering something really truly great about integrating my movement with the music so that the movement frees my body to release the music that is within. " Yes!

Something obviously changed in the quality of your movement when you started playing the 6/8 section. If something like that happens again as you practice, may I suggest (as an Alexander Technique teacher) that you use that as an opportunity to really notice as specifically as possible what has changed. A few things to notice: the sound of your breathing; what you do with your head and neck; your connection to the ground; where your weight is shifting; what your eyes do; what do you do in your shoulders; what changes emotionally. (Hope I'm not giving you too much info here! Forgive me if I am.) It's so inspiring for me to follow your process. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

At August 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM , Blogger anna said...

Nice! While technique has to be practised regularly, it is so nice for music to just *flow*. That is true music.


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