Recently, I had an idea. What if I took the two things I’m most passionate about and smashed them together? Music and wellness. I’m not sure where this will take me, but I want to refocus my blog and subsequent entries on four pillars:
Our mental game is more than half the battle. Someone said that there are only three things truly in our control: our thoughts, our perspective, and our actions. Where to they all begin? In our mind.
I am currently reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It’s helping me explore yet another facet of the mind and self that heavily influences everything we do. Last January I stumbled upon a hiccup in my performance. I realized I wasn’t being mentally present and focused as I was playing the music. Between then and now I have had made significant strides in my viola playing and I don’t think it only stems from the hours spent in the practice room. I’ve been studying my mind and observing everything I can about my internal game. Several colleagues who heard me perform in January recently heard me at another festival this July. Unanimously, and without instigation they all commented on my significant improvement.
What are all the areas of mindset to explore? I’m not sure. Am I an expert? No. But I’m going to explore and take you with me as I learn!
Wendy Suzuki at NYU held a great experiment that transformed her teaching. She studied how movement effected learning. She found that is had an enormously positive effect! Today, I think she still runs a program where students engage in physical fitness before having their class.
I want to take her research, and everything else I can get my hands on, and apply it for musicians. Beginning with violists and violinists, for obvious reasons. Based on everything in the body, I want to come up with ways to warm up prior to practice and performing, and exercises and stretches to employ on a regular basis in order to keep our bodies able to endure the many hours of repetitious movement. There are so many angles. I can explore anatomy, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, mobility work… and that is only the tip of the iceberg.
Currently, I’m researching how I can get certified in movement and the training of it. NASM? CPT? The search is on for the best programs to make me considered an expert in that field.
Well, there had to be an “M” word for food! This is all about nutrition.
For the last three years I’ve been inhaling Podcasts from amazing people like Shawn Stevenson (The Model Health Show), Elizabeth Benton (Primal Potential), Ella (On Air With Ella), Kimberly Snyder (Beauty Inside Out), and the one who started it all Jeff Sanders (The 5am Miracle). The knowledge from these creators that I have put to use in my life has led me to incredible results in my health; everything from my managing my weight and body composition to improving my skin and hair, helping me sleep and simply feeling better all of the time. This nutrition pillar has become a side-hobby for the last three years and I’ve learned so much I can’t help but share it with anyone who will listen. Just ask my friends and family!
So, I think it’s time to get the necessary education and use my platform as a musician to spread the gospel of nutrition.
It’s what I do. On June 1, 2019 I will be handed a certificate that labels me as a “Master” in my field.
I am filled with pride when I think about this. I’m tearing up just thinking about it! I know the things that move me because of how they make me feel. When I think of music and all the positive differences I can make in the lives of people, I tear up. When I teach, I lose all sense of time. When I perform, and really get into the zone, I have a hard time recollecting what happened afterward. Imagining receiving that Master of Music certificate and hugging my family and friends on graduation day makes my whole body choke up as I stifle the tears.
OK… so what?
I am nearing a place in my field (music) where I can more confidently stand as an authority in the subject. It’s a bit broad, though. I don’t have a niche. And I have a feeling this is where wellness will come in to play. The reason I came to study with Sheila Browne is because I had years of a performance injury that, 1. I never learned to navigate and still play the viola, and 2. I didn’t know how to heal. This is Sheila’s wheel house. In my own way, I want to be a teacher for those who are working through injuries or simply want to perform at a higher level by improving their overall health and wellness. I want to curate a program, completely tailored to each individual, that infuses music and wellness.
Once I have my Doctorate in music, I will stand among those at the top of my field. In order to do what I want with music and wellness, however, I need to also be an authority in wellness. As my search progresses for the education, training and certifications I need in these ares, I will post my insights and updates along the way.
Bottom line: I want to help as many people I can to live their best life. As Arthur Ashe said,