9:00 - 10:45 am
A. Healthy Practice Habits
When is practicing productive and use-ful and when does it become a complicit partner in your own mis-use? Too often "work harder" habits are actually creating excessive tension and making things worse musically. This workshop will share practical strategies you can implement for creating healthy and efficient habits for Warming Up, Navigating through the "Hard Part" and Rehearsing for an Audience -- leading to freer, more supported and integrated music-making.
B. “How Do They Make It Look So EASY?!!!” (STRING TRACK)
The Secret to Mastering Any String Technique With Ease
Great musicians have one thing in common: they all know how to stop sweating the hard stuff! In this workshop, you’ll stop struggling with your technique and start enjoying how easy it can be to play better. Bring your instruments!
11 am - 12:45 pm
A. Confident Creativity
This workshop will explore how the quality and nature of your relationship to yourself, the performance, and your audience influences music making, and can often undermine your self-confidence and expressive potential. Several guided, practical activities will lead you to reconnect with your authentic passion and love of music, spontaneity, and true motivation to play -- opening up a renewed confidence in your own creative potential.
B. Moving Air, Making Music (WIND TRACK)
This workshop will focus on how your own body balance and general organization as a wind player influences your playing. We will explore your interface with the instrument as you support and balance your instrument (sitting and standing). We will look specifically at embouchure, how airflow interfaces with and through yourself and your instrument, and the attack of the sound. We will end by putting it all together with excerpts and phrases of music. Bring your scores and instruments.
2:15 - 4:00 pm
A. Sitting: The First Technique
Together we will explore the importance of sitting as the first technique to master for optimal playing — being both first in action and first in importance. You will discover and practice an easily grasped approach to sitting through squatting, called the squat-sit, as well as some basic tips for standing with optimal support.
B. Alexander Technique and the Singing Voice (VOICE TRACK)
The Alexander Technique helps you create the conditions in which you can sing your best. This workshop will explore using The Technique to access your structural support for breathing and resonance, create a productive mental state for practice and performance, release habitual tensions, direct yourself to make effective artistic choices, and allow your natural breathing and postural reflexes to work for you. Bring sheet music to a 1-2 minute song, curiosity, and a willingness to explore the possibilities.
4:15 - 6:00 pm
A. Performing Without Anxiety/Auditioning With Our Optimal Self
Performance anxiety is an energy source that you can learn to take advantage of. You will
explore techniques to redirect that potential energy in order to alleviate the stress symptoms that
so often plague you and interfere with your best performance. Practical tools for optimal
preparation and somatic insight will be used as you model the process of a mock audition or performance, giving each participant the opportunity to use these tools in the maelstrom of anxiousness. You are invited to come prepared to perform an audition selection.
B. 12 Commandments for Piano Playing(PIANO TRACK)
“Rest at the rest” and “When in doubt, expand” are examples of guiding rules developed over the last 25 years of teaching by Debi Adams to help pianists play with greater freedom and expression. From slow legato playing to fast, technically challenging passages, come explore these 12 rules for pianists by learning to synchronize your senses. Please bring a passage to experiment with!
9:30 - 11:15 am
A. Theme and Variations:Breathing Support (VOICE/WIND TRACK)
The “Whispered Ah” is a procedure that F.M. Alexander developed as way to study his own breathing. This workshop will investigate the Whispered Ah along with The Twisted Ah and The Wingéd Ah as variations that further clarify the best use and functioning of our respiratory system as it applies to singers and wind players. The path of the exhalation, the inherent support of the structure, and the role of auxiliary musculature in breath management will all be clarified. Please bring your instrument and/or music.
B. The Use of Our Arms and Hands (PIANO and STRING TRACKS)
Through a series of practical procedures, we will take a look at what constitutes a good use of the arms and hands as well as some of the erroneous beliefs around the arms and hands that are liable to cause interference and strain. We will also explore the components that make up the foundation which must be present in order for us to use our arms and hands well and how we can apply all of the above to making music on our respective instruments. Please bring your instruments.