Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Holding tension
I’m currently in physical therapy because of overly tight hip muscles. It could be because of my age. It could be because of a fall I had a couple of years ago. It could also be poor posture or a spine that isn’t quite straight. But I feel it could be from holding tension in my body while playing stressful orchestra concerts.

How much motion is too much or not enough?
Over the years, I’ve heard that as a section violin player, I should not move more than the concert master. However, it feels as though if I move even an inch, the performance will be negatively impacted. Players around me and the audience will become distracted and disrupted. Akin to the level of perfection we are typically held to in terms of our playing, our bodies also reflect a super human level of control.

Freedom of motion
When attending chamber music concerts, solo recitals and non classical concerts, I see musicians moving freely with the music. The lack of affect among orchestral musicians when performing may also contribute to the decline in ticket sales. I’ve heard concert goers say over the years that classical musicians are stone faced and don’t seem to really enjoy what they’re doing. Taking care of our bodies is important for self care and longevity in performing. Being able to let muscles move more naturally also helps musicians be more present and responsive to each other and those listening to our music.

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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