Breathing and concentrating

How does this work?
I know I need to breathe but what does that have to do with playing the violin? It seems like another thing I have to do. I’ve written before about this and asked – Isn’t playing the violin enough? Breathing makes my violin bob up and down. How can this be right? Meanwhile, I try to inhale and exhale long slow breaths, pausing in between.

The musical reasons
Breathing helps identify and shape phrases. Including singing as part of your practice will help you create a fluid line and avoid slipping into “violinisms.” Vocalists call this singing like an instrumentalist. Why not find a way to practice your music without having to accommodate getting your fingers in the right place and figuring out what bowings to use? You learn to play your music in a more natural way.

The mental reasons
Breathing brings you back into the moment. It calms you and makes it possible to find creative solutions to life’s challenges. Musically, it slows time as if you could experience fast passages in slow motion. Like a character in the The Matrix, you can walk around and manipulate individual notes meanwhile playing passages in real time.

Violinist Linda Beers is the creator of the Inspiration for Violinists, a 50 card deck. Each card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

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