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Summerflute Thoughts, Part One

The Sensible Flutist: Summerflute Thoughts, Part One

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summerflute Thoughts, Part One

Summerflute 2012
Last week, I attended Summerflute at the beautiful Schwob School of Music on the campus of Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. The course was a week long immersion in the somatic fields of Body Mapping, Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais while integrating the work into musical performance. Amy Likar taught What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body (the Body Mapping course I am training to teach), Adam Cole taught Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement (ATM) classes, Laury Christie taught group Alexander Technique classes and Meerenai Shim was available for private Body Mapping lessons and also held the entire week together with her organizational prowess. Finnish flutist Liisa Ruoho taught 12 performers through the course of the week in daily 3 hour masterclasses.

I attended as a performer so that I could have the opportunity to play for Liisa Ruoho. Liisa teaches at the Sibelius Academy, and is a licensed Andover Educator. I first read about Liisa when she was mentioned in Lea Pearson's book Body Mapping for Flutists. Liisa is a licensed Andover Educator, and her way of incorporating the Body Mapping information into her teaching is astounding. Her teaching is so integrated that it never feels you are focusing on just the body or the instrument. Body and instrument are one. For someone like me who is too intellectual in their playing, being exposed to this style of teaching was very beneficial.

I will spend the next two weeks describing my experience at Summerflute via the three times I performed during the week, and how the somatic immersion really changed my playing in the course of 5 days. The course confirmed for me that I am on the right track with my Andover Educator training. The immersion also paved the path forward for continued progress and integration.

So stay tuned for Part Two as I describe my first performance with Liisa.

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At July 2, 2012 at 7:37 AM , Blogger Olya said...

Can't wait to hear about it! I have been meaning to tell you that just that one lesson with you did amazing things. I even had a fried approach me (she's never said anything about my playing before) after I played a solo at church that week and telling me that she noticed how fluid and easy I sounded. Only lasted a week but was a great experience! Thank you! Wish I knew how to keep those results longer. :)

At July 2, 2012 at 9:15 AM , Blogger The Sensible Flutist said...

Olya, that's so great to hear! When we are aware of our movement and there are areas of our body that have to be remapped or we have to retrain our movement, external feedback through a teacher is critical. Developing your kinesthetic sense will help you preserve the movement you want before reverting to old movement habits.

Anytime you want another lesson, let me know! :)


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