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The Sensible Flutist

The Sensible Flutist: October 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Demystifying movement

Photo: Gwen Vanhee
One of the things I love most about Body Mapping is how it helps demystify the body. Body Mapping within the scope of Andover Educators provides anatomical information that can help musicians discover freedom and joy in their performances. Discussing movement as it relates to music has been an abstract concept for me that, at times, has been difficult to clarify and translate.

Demystifying movement as it relates to performance is simple. How do you move with your instrument? What movement habits do you think you need when you play? How can you change those habits so that you replace your current automatic response with one with a correct body map?

When I realized this simplicity of movement, I was thinking about my hands. How can the structure of my hand maximize musical freedom? I can palpate the joints of my fingers and I can look at my hands as they type these words. I can look at pictures or examine anatomical models. All of these elements can contribute to changing the mental representation I have of my hands in my brain.

When I play my flute, I know from where I move my fingers and that awareness is freedom to engage more deeply in the music. As long as I play with awareness of how my hands are designed, I will play with freedom. This is the demystification of movement that I've been after for a long time. This is only the start, but I'm beginning to realize the simplicity that is there. There isn't some magical formula of movement that will help you play better. It's an ability to keep moving and the ability to bring yourself back to balance.

Pre-conceived notions interfere so easily with what we know. Art mirrors life so much that if we cannot apply what we learn through somatic disciplines to daily life, we are cheating ourselves of additional opportunities to learn more about ourselves. We are practicing every waking hour. We may move differently when we aren't playing our instruments, but we can learn just as much.

Awareness of movement enables us to be close to our art any time we choose.

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