By Chris James
Reconnecting to our musical instrument
Today I had a private session with a client who wanted to re-connect with his piano.
Why? . . . Because when it comes to playing music many of us have blocks that actually stop us playing with the freedom and inspiration that is our given, our natural state of being. As well as causing us to put our playing aside it also causes a tension that is unnatural to the body and can create chronic and painful conditions in the body over an extended period of time.
Connecting, or reconnecting, with an instrument can be a beautiful and powerful doorway into opening up our expression and in the process, deepening our connection with our body. In this session, my client was able to very quickly connect with the lovely feeling of gentleness in his body – a beautiful sense of warmth and the connection between the heart and the arms and hands…
Then, gently laying his hands on the keyboard my client noticed that there was immediately the sensation of ‘feeling mechanical’, and this feeling triggered a tightness in his head and body.
What happens is that so many of our old patterns of conditioning with regards to performance, music, expectations . . . all sorts of things can come up to be noticed and felt.
Understanding and releasing any old issues that arose in the session helped to return my client to that lovely feeling of balance and reconnection in his body. When he then tuned back to the piano he said that the instrument had lost its ‘coldness’, there was more a feeling of openness and connection.
And so the session continued. Some very beautiful notes were played which felt absolutely spherical, inspirational and limitless – and were played without an ounce of tension in his body.
Once we are ‘in tune’ and connected with our body the way we play music and the relationship we have with our musical instrument becomes an extension of that connection. Thus the foundation is laid for playing in a way that does not tense and harden our body but naturally re-energises and inspires.
What you have shared here Chris, is no small thing. How did we traverse so far from the true roots of music and its expression, that we could be caught at all, in needing to ‘be good enough’, ‘perform’ and the rest… losing our innate connection with music and sound, and the depth of Joy it can offer us?
and, thank-you deeply for your pioneering work here. How revelatory it would have been for your client to discover that it wasn’t so hard at all to simply allow himself and his body to play…