If you’re a musician, chances are you are aware of your fingers, lips, and breathing as you play. However, Erin Finkelstein helps musicians to be aware of another element that can put a performer in the “Magic Zone” of spontaneous and responsive artistry. According to Erin, it’s awareness of your skeleton that will get you there. She will share her long-time experience in working with musicians at all levels in a workshop, open to the general public (as well as to Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitionerscm), at the 2019 FGNA Conference in Boulder, CO.
Other than a general concern for posture, most musicians never think about their skeleton, let alone sense it. As a professional clarinet player with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, and Urban Nocturne chamber players, she also has an insider’s perspective. “When working with any musician after a mini-ATM® or FI® lesson, integrating the awareness of the subtle skeletal movements, and connecting that to the instrument, is the most fascinating aspect of the process,” Erin says. “What happens musically, once those connections occur, is indescribably freeing and can be a game-changer in one’s career, and in one’s life. Additionally, bringing a musician’s awareness to how much slower they can move, in order to make a new choice, or, finding that “magic zone” between spontaneity and a new habit or a new sound, is richly rewarding and endlessly fascinating.”
Erin believes that even though musicians understand the value of slow practice, listening, and repetition, “. . .we are not taught how much slower we can go to find our skeleton, and aren’t fully equipped with the ability to listen to our physical body. [Most conservatories don’t] . . .teach that our body/mind/awareness system IS our primary instrument.”
Erin has seen how the integration of body with instrument makes a huge change in the musician’s physical organization as they play; and how that awareness can improve one’s technical skill and even reduce performance anxiety. Participants will learn what elements of the Feldenkrais Method can help them in their own practice, musical or otherwise: namely, how to skeletally organize themselves in space for efficient movement; learning what habits in movement are; how to sense autonomic and familiar patterns in your nervous system; and how to change them. Attend Erin’s workshop and find your “Magic Zone.”
Learn more about Erin at erinfinkelstein.com
Erin speaks with Elinor Silverstein about her Conference presentation.