Unlock Your Playing in Lockdown!
Due to the Covid-19 situation the residential course at Benslow Music, Playing with Ease – Explore Your Potential led by Jo Horder and Yeu-Meng Chan, was cancelled and a shorter online version on Zoom was offered in its place. This took the form of 2 hour sessions daily over 3 consecutive days from 15th – 17th June.
Sticking to the agenda originally offered in the residential course, the following topics were covered:
- How you sit to play
- Use of shoulders, arms and hands
- Performance Anxiety
- Injury Prevention
- Effective Practising
Each of the daily sessions included Awareness Through Movement lessons, discussions and practical applications for musicians of the Feldenkrais approach. Audio recordings of all the sessions were made available to the participants afterwards.
There were 14 instrumental participants, including percussion, piano, woodwind and string players with a high proportion of cellists. Each day offered a brief “before” and “after” experience of playing in the privacy of their own rooms with everyone muted.
A couple of people were already familiar with the Feldenkrais Method but for most, it was their first experience of the work. In hindsight, it was perhaps rather ambitious to attempt to cover as many topics as had been proposed for the original residential course. We soon realised that this impacted on the amount of playing time available for the participants.
Nevertheless, the feedback was very positive with some expressing a wish to continue exploring their music making from this perspective of body and mind awareness. With this in mind, Jo and Yeu-Meng have been invited by Benslow Music to do a more intensive 2-day follow up online course Playing with Ease – Unlock Your Potential on the 20th – 21st August. This course will offer more playing opportunities with the option for all participants to explore their playing issues in front of the group if they wish to. Again, audio recordings of the Awareness Through Movement lessons and other course materials will be made available to participants.
The course is open to musicians of all instruments and abilities, and no previous experience of the Feldenkrais Method is necessary. Whether you are dealing with frustration with your practice or struggling with anxiety related to your playing, this course aims to unlock those doors for you and even reveal new doorways to fresh possibilities. To ensure that all participants have some individual coaching time, places will be limited to 10.
Please contact Benslow Music for booking and more information.
Quotes from participants on the June online course:
“Everything explained very clearly, calmly and supportively. Plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.”
“The teaching on this course was excellent, very well communicated and effective. I’ve really gained a lot from this course and it has dealt with a lot of playing and tension issues that I carried for a long time – playing has really taken off as a result! I also really appreciate the follow-up contact offered so I can continue to build on this.”
“The tutorial content of the course was excellent, leading through the increased awareness to more freedom in expressing one’ musical intentions.”
I hope to see you there!