Breathwork for musicians

(c) vitoscha koenigs

You have to breathe steadily, calmly.

You have to be able to control your breath.

These skills will be achieved by breathwork!

For windinstrumentalists and singers the need of proper breathing is obvious. This is a little different with string-players, pianists, drummers etc. But it is nonetheless very important for these musicians to learn how to breathe correctly while playing and performing.

A lot of musicians hold their breath when it comes to playing difficult passages. But that is kind of contraproductive, because retaining the breath in such situations results in uptight, sore muscles and high stress. A constant high stress level results in a very rapid loss of energy.

The physical demands of playing an instrument and performingmusic requires proper breathing, be it in public or just in the woodshed. A good breathing practise helps to remove tension in the body. Deep and fluid breathing transports more oxygen to your body being vital for perfect performance of your body. If the cells in your body are perfectly nurtured with oxygen, your mind works much better, your focus is better. By this high concentration your timing and musical, technical execution retains on a high level.

There’s another reason why all musicians should learn how to breathe properly: humankind „invented“ instruments to mimic the human voice. Windinstruments are louder than the human voice, just like the drum is. So it was possible for the people very very back in the day to transport messages and telling stories over a very far distance. To mimic the human voice and the way someone tells a story, musicians telling stories through music, have to phrase the music correctly and create natural pauses. As we all know some music phrases are very long, some are shorter. This is when control of the breath enters the scene.

(c) photosphaere.org

Now what you should do right away, before taking this breathwork-challenge for the next 5 days is to observe your breath while playing. What do you breathe like when it comes to technically difficult music? What’s your breath like when you have to play very smooth or very energetic and loud? How do you breathe when it come to playing for your loved ones, your teacher or for and audience? Just observe, don’t judge, you may want to write it down in a journal.

When you play your breathing has to be fluid, you shoukd breathe in a natural way. There’s no need for tensions in the body. These tensions often result in these typical msuician’s physical ailments.

When you play music your mind has to be relaxed but focussed, concentrated but open to the playing of your colleagues in the orchestra or the band.

This sound like a lot of stuff we musicians have to cope with. But in the end it is the same with lots of other things we do in everyday life.

Music and breathing are beautiful journeys we are able to take in our lifes. So let these rides be long-lasting and enjoyable also for the people listening to our art!

You can also book the course as a group. Please drop me a note if you want to see how we make that possible: andy@sheykah.com

For institutions like music colleges, music-schools, orchestras etc. it is also possible to do the course in a workshop-format. Be it one or two days. If you are interested in this option, I’d love to hear from you, using my eMail stating who you are, how many people will attend the course and where you are from. I will then prepare some special offer for you.

Due to pandemic resctrictions, the course will be held as an online-course.

Here’s a first testimonial by a pro-saxplayer and teacher:

“There are a lot of exercises I learned from the course to help a student. This student suffered from lots of stress, anxiety and even depression he developed while preparing for his final exams in music. Using the breathwork-techniques I was able to help him a lot, even we had to do online-lessons plus I learned some new things for myself. I’m continueing working on my student’s mostly mental problems using breathwork and I can say that after 2 weeks, there are significant positive changes in his mental and also physical health.

This course is highly recommended!””

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