Neutral – A Doorway to Flow
There is a common denominator between the making of music and the Alexander Technique.
Musicians are diligent about the purity of their playing, whether it is in working with a metronome, improving the intonation (attuning) or a Sisyphean work, musically, on suitable intonations, expression and countless emphasis.
Alexander Technique works on the cleanliness of movement and flow. We increase the awareness for removing the muscular load, thus open the way for growth, growth towards that desired UP.
See that the musicians, with my method, will know, very well, the Neutral state, which means minimum “doing” concerning their playing/singing. Just by having that knowledge they can achieve, while maintaining flow and freedom, different and various kinds of expressions.
Vibration (the oscillation) is the sound, and, in most cases, it is forced and carried out with too much pressure (of different kinds). The goal, therefore, is to achieve free vibration.
The End gaining, according to Alexander, is the greater problem. The pursuit after the purpose, that competitive ambition which consumes any freedom and suffocates the flow.
Unlike at the gym, less – is more.
Less strength means more flow.
Direction and Flow
Alexander Technique is different from other techniques in the world, mainly in two things:
The primary control, that is to say, the head-neck-back relations, and the up growth.
Alexander discovered that the body is a flowing matter, and that its different parts maintain the correct relations between them by a non-stopping flow of ‘impulses’.
These impulses, similar to electric impulses, are miniature but they have a great influence for a long period. When they move in the wrong direction, they create a lack of coordination and contrasts between the different systems of the organism.
Flow in the Alexander Technique and in Music
The word-flow is well known to musicians. As a musician, a clarinet player active in the Israeli music scenery, and as a teacher of Alexander Technique, it is clear to me as to my students that there must be a good flow in the psychophysical mechanism in order to have a flow in the music that comes out of us. Mental restraints and physical deficiencies bring that flow to a halt. In Alexander Technique, we say that no flow means traffic jams, primarily in the spine. In music, the lack of flow is being uttered in static. Alexander Technique has opened my eyes and my ears to this flow riddle.
From my experience of working with musicians for many years, I think that being a musician who teaches the Alexander Technique, is a most important factor.
Only a person that has experienced directly the tasks and the physical and mental difficulties that a musician endures would know how to change their habits and could keep a freedom of growth and flow. In this way, both the musician and the music are rewarded.