Monday, May 28, 2018

180528 piano fitness - i have contact !

Piano Fitness is key contact connection.

The results of 3 deep tissue massages brings improved awaress of contact to the earth through the 3 points essential for the pianist: the feet on the floor, the sitz bones on the bench and the fingers on the keys.  More conscious of my left hip/right shoulder crossover link, i was able to find deeper release of the right shoulder through a heavier connection of the left sitz bone, more ease for inward rotation of the thigh bone and more weight on the left foot*.   Since about 2 months ago, April 1st-Piano Fitness Day,  my 2nd map connection awareness continuously strengthens.  It was about 2 weeks ago, awareness to release trapezius tension by balancing the shoulders both front/back and bottom/top**,  opened the back of the heart center.  Only a couple of day ago, for the first time, i was able to consistently focus on my hands on the keys through the glossy black mirror of the fallboard***!  It took concentration to not let my eyes dart from hand to hand, but instead, observe both hands (especially both leaders) at the same time !

In this morning’s rehearsal, with weighted left hip, released right shoulder, and with the most ease ever, i observed my hands playing the piano in the fallboard****.

When mapping the mind/body connection for piano, learning to listen to your body as well as the sound your body produces through key contact must be yoked***** with the mind observing the self PLAYING !

      * go into the pain to heal the pain-bikram mantra
    ** “sit like a king.”
  *** “it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Thoreau
 **** “Awake. Be the witness of your thoughts.  You are what observes, not what you observe.”  -Anonymous                                                                                                                                  
***** yoke-used of something that represents a bond between two parties.  I.e. the mind and body.                                                                          

Monday, April 30, 2018

180430 April = Piano Fitness Month

Piano Fitness includes 3 Balances:

1.  Mind/Body - connects through breath
2.  Man/Music Machine - connects through fingers
3.  Sound/Rhythmic Time - connects for music

1.  Connection to the earth:  Balanced hips on the bench, a braced core, and an elevated heart, maintain wide scapula with thoracic spine extended and slightly retracted shoulders to “sit like a king”.

Allow outward rotation in the upper arm to maintain a neutral elbow. Let the forearm supinate slightly, promoting a 5 orientation.  The wrist remains neutral side to side, while the hand/elbow allow the wrist and upper arm to circle freely from the shoulder.  (Circles = the balance of the 3 ways the body moves).  The fingers connect either on the key surface (space) or the key bed (earth).  How light or heavy the fingers rest on the key surface is intended through the sterno-clavicular joints at the heart center.  Rest on the key bed is ALWAYS light.

2.  Through the fingers, connection is made to the most complex human powered machine on earth. The beloved piano is a music machine.  Once connection is mindfully observered, the pianist intends the sound for every note.  Intention includes how the light/heavy fingers will deliver their mass through the point of sound to the key bed light resting. Options for delivery include:  the finger, the hand, the forearm, upper arm and shoulder. Intention also includes the slow/fast acceleration through the point of sound to the key bed. (F = M x A)

3.  Music is sound in rhythmic time.  Sound balanced in time includes dynamics, phrasing, melodic line, harmonic rhythm, voicing etc.

When all 3 balances are present, intended sounds, heard in time, connect to the part of the musical mind that observes yourself playing the piano.

All month long, clarity continues with the 2 map.  The Mind/Body connection with  L is the fundamental essential for promoting ease when playing.  Still learning to listen.

180405 Piano Fitness History

Piano Fitness History

June 2012

The origins of piano fitness from obtaining “What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body” by Thomas Mark

September 27 2014

Mapping the Mind/Body Connection is developed

Thursday, April 5, 2018

180401 Piano Fitness Day

Piano Fitness Day is April 1, 2018

The most significant awarnesses for mind/body harmony and sound technic have occurred within the last year:

May 1, 2017

Braced neutral spine insights- a strong core maps, from Stable hips, connects Creativity to Power !

July 3, 2017

Comments rom my Facebook post in Piano Technic Discussion group of Chopin Opus 53, brought improved awareness of finger activity and the releasing of the right leg for pedal improvement.

October 2017

Epiphany for mapping from the Heart to the fingers. Connection of Leader and 2nd, through hand corner alignment of their bridge knuckles, strenghens the map through the arms, shoulders and sterno clavicular as awareness of ease is finally observed.

February 17, 2018

Neutral wrist insight from a post in the  Facebook Piano Technic Discussion group- the inside and outside of the soft wrist must remain balanced as possible when playing.

April 1, 2018

First EVER consistent observation of Mapping  the Mind/Body connection to the 2nd  throughout Chopin Opus 10 No.3

2nd has been my problematic lynchpin for as long as I can remember.  Even as a 12 year old beginner, I intuitively knew my fingers didn’t “feel” right.

Significance of Number 2 in my life:

2nd boy in my family
2 head truamas in 2nd grade result in 2nd cervical vertebral misalignment and reversed cervical spine
(Improvements began about 20 years ago, practicing headstand on the intuitive mind’s eye) & lead to
2nd fingers frozen bridge knuckles with unconsciously elevated frozen shoulders.
No 2nd life-partner - living 87% of my life as a single man shapes my “odd” life perspective:
                                                  my life partner is the piano

Saturday, March 10, 2018

180310 piano fitness hypothesis update

Piano fitness  IS !

2/22/18 began the clearer mapping of the 2nd fingers.  Awareness  with inclusion of  neutral wrists along with helper orientation of the forearm, outward rotation of the upper arm, heart centered alignment of neutral (or extended?) shoulders, with braced neutral spine and balanced hips brought ease and mobility to number 2s...

With a few weeks of rehearsal and this updated piano fitness mindset, the intentions of the musical mind are ever more clearly heard.  Conscious correction  of the right shoulder’s alignment from rounding forward to wider clavicle with neutral and extension releases from the inner upper  arm through the elbow and neutral wrist allows clarity in the mind and freedom in the body for the 2nd finger to release tension and move with ease.  The leader and middle fingers release in response and the square hand corners soften.  The transfer of balanced arm weight through the fingertips is smoother especially L-2-M in both directions.

I am certain piano fitness hypothesis- developing mind/body harmony with consciously correct muscle rehearsal for sound technique  - is improving the ability to intend the sound and play with more ease.

Since 2/22, when rehearsal resulted in muscular fatigue,  I rested and stretched/strengthened until awareness was pain free.  The sensations from the 2nd fingersthrough the hand, forearm, upper arm, shoulder, chest and back continue to develop- feelings never felt before!

I’m still learning to listen when the right shoulder starts to “speak” due to forward rounded misalignment.  Over the few weeks of mindfulness, this happens less as neutral shoulders become the norm.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

170629 piano fitness f=m x a

Piano Fitness is sound communication.

Sound from the piano is created when the performer's mind/body mapped* fingers rest on the key surface, and there is mindful application of:   Force = Mass X Acceleration

 Force equals the performer's intended acceleration times the combined mass of both:
1) the mechanical action of the keys (this mass is "fixed" in every piano)         and                                2) the performer's intended body mass. (the performer varies this mass)

1)  Every acoustic piano, with its inward mechanism, is basically the same machine, some actions certainly preferred over others.  The mass of this mechanism is fixed for each piano, with obvious distinctions felt, when comparing the lowest keys, with biggest hammers, to the highest keys, with the smallest hammers, including the middle keys with their hammers.

2) With intentional listening activated, I trust we all can hear how each person creates a somewhat unique sound from the piano (which may be more pronounced on acoustic instruments).  It is the way we intend to accelerate our intended mass that creates our softest to loudest sounds or our unique dynamic range of sound.

The performers body mass, I believe, includes from lightest through heaviest body parts -fingers, through hands, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, upper chest/back.  Movements for all of these parts physically originate from the Sterno-Clavicular joints, at the heart center of the body.* From here, the whole shoulder girdle freely moves up/down and forward/backward when 20% of our core power stabilizes the braced torso.  When these shoulder movements are combined, forward/backward circles of the whole shoulder girdle become possible. The shoulder girdle factors into determining the amount of mass the performer can intentionally release into fingers resting on the key surface.  With awareness of how light or heavy the fingers are resting on the key surface included in the mind's eye,  the performer accelerates the key with the intended speed and mass, through of the point of connection with the mechanical action of the key (i.e. the little "bump" felt about half way between the key surface and key bed),  forcing the hammer to strike the string and creating the intended sound.

Piano Fitness Postural Fundamentals
Exploration Exercise 1:

Sit as you normally sit on the piano bench.  Place all 10 finger on any 10 keys,  where both arms are most confortable. Close your eyes, let the mind's eye watch the breath for several cycles.*  Begin to be aware of your feet on the floor, hips on the bench, fingertips on the keys. Take several more full breaths.  Allow the fingertips to feel heavier on the key surface and then lighter on the key surface.  Explore the extremes of your heavy and light feelings while observing several more full breaths.  Observe where changes in the body are occurring when exploring your lightest and heaviest sensations. How much, if any, is originating from the sterno-clavicular joints?

Next, allow the 10 fingers to rest on the keybed in the same comfortable arm position, while taking more breaths and repeating the light/heavy sensations.  Increasing awareness of your heavy/light extremes at both key surface, before the sound is created, and on the key bed, after the sound is created will enhance sound production, and must be included for every note/key/finger played.  Lastly, let lightly resting fingers feel heavier on the key surface until the keys, under the fingers, depress and the 10 fingers are resting on bumpy points of mechanical connection above the keybed but below th.e key surface.  If able, allow the heaviness to release through the connection bump to rest the 10 fingers on the key bed ligher to heaviest.  There may or may not be sound produced from this final release.

Including awareness of how this "sweet spot" bump is accelerated with intended varied mass
is best controlled with the developed sense of touch from the fingertips resting at the key surface.    Including the sense of touch increases brain activity and can enhances memory.

Awareness of finger/key connection,  physically initiates intended sound. With this connected awareness, the mind, intending both mass and acceleration, forces the hammer to hit the strings and the intended sound is created and communicated to the listener(s).

* email request for "Mapping the Mind/Body Connection" PDF, for more information.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

170615 Piano Fitness Introduction

Piano Fitness is conscious muscle rehearsal.

Piano Fitness Postural Fundamentals promote pure awareness, raising consciousness to include:

   balanced hips - sitting stably and securely
   releasing creative power - through the braced spine
   heart-intended sound - mapped from the mind through the fingertips.

Playing the piano represents the ultimate balance between :

                                                   Man             Machine
                                                   Mind            Body
                                                   Sound          Feeling

(PLEASE, correct me if the following statement is untrue) :

               The piano is the most sophisticated man powered machine in the world.

 The mind intends the sound and the body feels the sound.  Mechanically, the body's levers, from heart to hands through the fingertips connect to the piano's levers at the key surface.  The piano's levers are manipulated by the player to create the intended sound with an intended mass times an intended acceleration forcing the hammer to strike the strings.  (Force = Mass x Acceleration).  The player consciously chooses BOTH the amount of mass and  key acceleration speed to create the  intended sounds, from the very softest to the very loudest, with conscious muscle rehearsal.