The current "What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body" course includes a terrific group of participants, including my editor from GIA. (The revised edition of the text by the same name will be out this year!) The first session included an introduction, exploration and discussion of awareness. We used the Renoit painting "Luncheon of the Boating Party" to experience concentration, scanning and inclusive awareness.
The second session began with a debrief of our week and ways we were able to incorporate some of the concepts into our own performing, practicing and teaching. After all of the participants shared their wonderful thoughts and experiences, I wanted to share my own experience. I have been doing Body Mapping work for twenty-five years, and I am still discovering, refining and honing the practice in all areas of my life.
Inclusive awareness has become so much a part of my work at church (leading the music from the piano), that I can't imagine not having it immediately available to me. This week, I was reminded how important inclusive awareness can be off the bench.
Our church, like all others, has struggled through the pandemic. We had hopes of beginning to recover, only to find ourselves nearly back to square one. Meetings which focus on the best way to move forward can be long and stressful. However, when I enter a meeting with a my own awareness intact I find the following:
I am a better listener.
I give myself time to think before I speak.
I'm more likely to consider a different point of view without rushing to judgment.
I can more easily empathize with others.
My awareness has an effect on others.
Others will sense my calmness and openness and will be more likely to respond in a calm and respectful way.
Just as we model excellent movement in our teaching, we can model excellent awareness in all situations. I hope you will take pause and consider this.
Try it on. I'd love to hear about your experience. You can an email me or post in either the Choral Mapping Forum or the Choral Mapping Facebook group.