Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun with Flute: Somatic Release, Mind Body Connection

I am trying to learn how to play the flute. After a bit of occupational therapy and nutritional supplements, it is going a lot better. My hand eye coordination has really improved -- it takes a lot less time and repetition to learn new keys. I drill on simply remembering the fingering for the flute a couple times before I actually try to play the flute and it goes much much better.

I find playing the flute to be a very physical experience. It is not just the auditory portion of listening to the music, although that is important. It is the physical sensations that accompany flute playing: rhythmic breathing from the diaphragm, the feeling of good posture, and an emotional release that goes from my legs up my spine to the base of my neck. I do some of the Laban  exercises beforehand. I spread my toes out and sink my heels into the earth trying to root myself. I relax my calves and knees and pull my thighs in. I tuck my tail bone in and square my hips. I stack my vertebrae and let my rib cage float. As my rib cage floats, my shoulders float and my arms relax. I imagine that my head is attached to a string suspended from the ceiling and is floating.

With good posture, I get a better sound and I can control my breathing. I don't gasp for air in the middle of a phrase. I can get a nice deep breath and expel it in a controlled fashion. As I breathe from the diaphragm, I can feel my body expel tension. I can feel it from my legs and up through my spine. A sort of psychic "Ahhhhhh...." runs through my body and out into the universe. Old tensions and the old emotions flow through and out of me.

I wonder how much of the music I am missing with my whacked hearing... It will be interesting to see what happens when I start using an FM transmitter
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