Sunday, March 29, 2009

5 Ways to Create A Deeper Connection with Your Music : Part 2

Photo by Kaylyn Oshaben

5 Ways to Create A Deeper Connection with Your Music : Part 2
by Jim Donovan

View Part 1 of this series. It contains Steps 1 and 2...

3rd step: Integrating your breath into your phrases. Learning how to integrate your inhalation and exhalations with your musical phrases.

This process involves lining up your exhalations with the downbeat. Simply breathe in a little before the beginning of the first phrase and exhale at the very beginning of the next phrase on the downbeat (also known as beat "one"). It's not necessary to do this on every phrase, but the key is to get into the habit of connecting your breath as you play as often as possible without hyperventilating. This kind of process not only keeps you relaxed, but it significantly helps you to remain focused and in the moment.

4th step: Aligning your intention with the music you are creating.

Here are a couple of ways to approach this:

1st way: If you are playing a piece of music with lyrics, and you know the meaning of those lyrics, you can hold in your mind the message or idea that the particular song is trying to convey. Bring this idea into your mind every so often as the song progresses. In this process you are aligning your own personal energy with that of the music.

2nd way: If you are not aware of the meaning in the lyrics of a particular song, or if it is an instrumental piece, it is still possible to inject intention into the music.  You can decide to hold a specific emotion or idea inside of yourself as you play.  For example; you can hold the intention of being an instrument of peace and imagine that every note you play resonates with that idea and actually helps to push that idea out into the world.

This step underlines something vital about the responsibility of a musician. Knowing that your instrument serves as an amplifier for the intentions and emotions you hold as you play.

To utilize the gift of music to it's fullest potential, it's important to take a few moments before you play to clear your mind, center yourself and reflect on your intention.  Remember your reason for playing in the first place.  Use whichever techniques you enjoy; stretching, yoga, deep breathing, going for a quick walk, meditation, etc.

Stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon...

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