Prompt: Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?
This is exactly how I feel when I’m playing the violin well.
Playing the violin is both physical and mental. My mind knows what I want the sound to be and makes body makes it happen. If everything lines up, the magic happens! I play the music exactly as I imagine it to be.
What can keep this from happening for me?
Pain: from injury or overuse. I am very susceptible to injury, particularly in my wrists and joints.
Tension: due to nerves, stress, improper warm up, too cold, cramped for space, tired, sick, etc.
Not practicing enough: lack of planning, lack of inclination, lack of time, too much pain
But when these things don’t happen, when I am:
I can play the performance of my life! I can love my music! I know why I have chosen my career!
Generally this happens during orchestral performances for me—I become ONE with the music, and I am absolutely swept away in the moment.
I was glancing back at my concert schedule from this year (so sparse in contrast to previous years) and thinking of concerts I LOVED playing…
The recent Chamber Project Concert definitely fit the bill in places…Werther with Winter Opera did as well…Shostakovich 10 with Columbus Symphony…I could go on.
So often, as a professional we get caught up in the details, the rehearsal schedule, our fee, the breaks, etc, and of course those things are important…but…we mustn’t lose sight of the forest for the trees!
This is exactly why I love to play the violin. To become ONE with the music. To have my mind and body absolutely integrated. This is what I wish for all of my students to feel some day!