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A professional pianist:

"Thanks to practising the Feldenkrais Method I have found a way of playing with the whole body. Everything in me is working together. And when everything is moving with you - supporting the action instead of blocking it - you can do more with less effort".

In spring 1998 Connie made up her mind to find out if the Feldenkrais Method could help her return to playing without unbearable pain stopping her after a few minutes. Her predicament was due to a nasty fall on black ice. This had resulted in a trapped nerve in the neck, two years of numbness in the left arm, and pain in the shoulders and right side of the neck. A cortisone injection had made things worse; osteopathy had not helped; so this wonderful pianist had to give up playing altogether until the trapped nerve was released through surgery. Soon after the operation she learned from a dentist and a musician friend that the Feldenkrais Method had helped them get over bad back pain. This encouraged Connie to come for a consultation.

The first lesson started with Connie playing a little tune on the piano. I could see immediately that only her arms and shoulder-girdle moved while her pelvis remained quite still. As the session proceeded Connie discovered that it was possible to let go of useless tension in her legs and a habitually tight jaw. When Connie played the piano at the end of the session her pelvis and breastbone began participating in her action and everything - even the sound coming from the instrument - seemed to flow a little more freely.

After a couple more individual sessions Connie joined one of my Awareness Through Movement classes. She has remained one of the most regular attendants ever since. Doing a little Feldenkrais every week helps her stay in touch with herself - and also with the main lesson she derived from this self-help approach:

less effort = more awareness = less strain/pain = more spontaneity

Body-Mind-Unity in Musical Performance

Feldenkraisnow

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