After my “discovery” of DR this summer, I began experimenting with ways to improve and refine this idea. Working with myself, I often found that subtle changes in the way I stand could have noticeable effects on my sound quality. Of course, this may be subjective so I needed to test my ideas with others, to find out if they could hear and feel the differences as well. What better laboratory than with my own private students.
I began by finding out if the students could “feel” the sound vibrations in different parts of their bodies. Having read several interviews with Evelyn Glennie, the famous percussionist, I was inspired to expand the realm of listening beyond that of the ears. Playing various pitch levels, I asked the students to notice if, and where they felt the sound vibrating in their bodies. Interestingly enough, the strongest places were in their feet (from the floor) and chests. The next step was to have them play and notice if they felt their own sounds.
After establishing a general sense of sound, I began having the students stand in different ways, again with the focus on feeling vibration. All of a sudden, the issue of how they stand became much more interesting to them because they could notice differences in tone quality determined by their posture. My posture suggestions began to take on more significant meaning because it wasn’t just teacher telling his students to “stand up straight” (although if you’ve read my other posts or the DMS books you know I would not say such a thing), but they could hear AND feel the difference. From those experiments, my students have become much more mindful of how they stand than before. One of my weekly lessons are with brothers and they could even hear the difference in each other’s sound.
Clarifying this relationship between posture and sound is nothing new, but understanding it this way, in that the body is an essential component of the resonance makes the question of posture richer and more interesting.
I would be very interested to hear about your discoveries and ideas on this issue.
Thanks for reading!
Be sure to check out the DMS podcasts, Feldenkrais mini lessons for musicians and speakers.
You can purchase the “Dynamic Musician Series: Dynamic Stability and Breath, Vols. 1 & 2” here.
Chili notes (in Germany and Europe) Volume 1 Volume 2
If you have any specific questions or comments on breathing and posture, send me e-mail and I’ll try to respond in a future blog. Until then, breathe well!