Thursday, July 18, 2019

FBSMC11, Making the Most of What You Have, Video 7, Your Experiences

Connecting to Nature is a wonderful way for a human being to feel more unity with life outside of usual urban day to day life with its speeds, timings and agendas. We all have experiences and relationships with color, people, plants, rocks, animals and more! We can connect to these experiences and put them into our music making. Nature is the Living Art and when putting our connections with nature in our music making, our music becomes a living Art as well. 

Now a person does have their internal goings in our psychologies, mental wiring, emotional waves, physical body stuff on all levels and all of these interacting with our environment and various relationships. We can have our art, music making, be a wonderful way towards our own personal development and deepening of our art's content. Our art can become more nutrient dense with more substance the more we bring the fullness of our life into it. 

Starting with our experiences, gives us a chance to feel something that is in us. This is usually more graspable than something outside of our personal experience. So this video really encourages that exploration which can be a useful way of linking our life into our music making.

Video 7 Your Experiences link:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

FBSMC11, Making the Most of What You Have, Companion Notes for Video 6, "The Juggler"

If everything is going fine in our playing, we don't have a need to break it down into parts. If  we are starting out, there are a lot of parts to 'juggle' with aren't there?  The teacher needs to be sensitive to each individual student and their specific ability to take on more and more. Think of what it takes to get a sound out of a brass instrument. Vibrating of the lips, a good inhale and exhale of air, air support. When we want to be more specific about quality of sound, other things need to be put into the picture like: an example we can hear and try to reproduce, a better structure in our embouchure, the quality and speed of the air might need to alter, mouthpiece placement might have to come into it and so on.  It certainly can feel like a juggling act. This is where a good example to have as a model can be useful. Also a concept, eventually a personal concept, that makes it real for us and comes from a feeling within ourselves.

Once a player has a basic foundation where they have basic command over the foundations of playing, they can start to add more to their repertoire of various kinds of articulation, timbres of tone, musical nuances and more. This is an expansion of what they have and certainly can produce another kind of juggling act. Improving and adding more to what we can already do challenges our playing and what is comfortable for us. Once some people get comfortable, the thought of making changes doesn't sound very appealing! But, there are those that want more out of their playing because there is a need to express more or frankly, they get bored with what they have and want to be challenged. This is because at some level, for those who want to go further with their art, there is a sense that more is called for, for they are feeling unsatisfied and sense something is missing in their art.

This video talks about tone color using the elements, water, earth, air and fire and finding how to express these natural elements of nature to our playing. It also gets into expanding our kinds  articulation listening to other instruments and so much more... My recommendation is to try to catch the way of it instead of trying to memorize the words of what is being said.  Build relationships with rhythm, pitch, timbre, other instruments, the elements of nature, everything,  and see how they can enhance and teach you much on all levels about your music and technique as living thing which will certainly help you in making the most of what you have!

Video 6 "The Juggle" link: 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

FBSMC11 Making the Most of What You Have, Companion notes for videos 2,3,4&5

Hi everyone!

FBSMC11 is well on its way! One of the themes that is emerging from the videos so far is how everything is so integrated.

In video 2, I'm talking about making the most of your  T.E.A. time. No, not the nice relaxing time they enjoy mid afternoon in Great Britain, but how you are spending your time, energy and awareness in your practice sessions. When we spend time practicing we are also using energy. When we put our awareness (attention) on something, it takes time and uses energy. This can lead to some very fascinating contemplations! Think about it: time is a specific amount of space, energy is fuel that is needed for awareness, awareness is consciousness even though we can be conscious but not aware! Beware!, meaning be aware that you are 'in' when you are engaged in practicing (and other activities), so you are not just unconsciously acting out of habit when you don't want to be.

Some suggestions to help this along:
1. Practice in shorter time periods paying attention to what you are doing
2. Know what you are trying to get accomplished
3. Ask yourself questions like, "Is this closer or further from what I want?' "Do I even know what I am looking for?"
4. When you feel yourself not 'in'(meaning with what you are doing), STOP and collect yourself in a calm matter.

Try this method:
1. Set  an alarm for 10 minutes
2. Focus on an aspect of playing
3. Stop each time you are unsatisfied with it.
4. End the session when the timer goes off.
5. Rest for 5-6 minutes then start the session again.
NOTE: During the rest sessions, walk in place taking breaths through the nose or mouth for 5  counts in and then 5 counts out. Think thoughts that inspire you and give you energy and enthusiastically remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.

Video 2 link

The above exercises also go well with Video 3 which is called Practice Time. This video takes the concepts of T.E.A. time  and applies it to our individual practice sessions. Video 3 emphasizes the need to prepare ourselves for more productive engagements in our practice sessions and gives some ways and means to hep this come about. Tuning to the task at hand is a surely a way to have more awareness and energy to make the most out of our time. 

Video 3 link

 Videos 4 and 5 focus on the tripod of music's physical body rhythm, pitch and timbre. Video 4 centers around tone (timbre) and video 5 focuses on rhythm. But!! In video 5 something amazing happens when I realize that if we are working on rhythm playing our horn, how can I ignore or not think about articulation? Rhythm speaks of clarity and specificity and so does articulation and of course pitch does too! So feeling the interrelatedness of all these things triggered an explosion of awareness in seeing everything as one thing and the value of a concept being a compact unified idea made up of many working parts. All the parts come into service and under the banner of the whole. So, within the one (concept in this case), lies the many. The other videos 6 and 7 will dig into this in more detail with more practical exercises!

Video 4 link

Video 5 link