So many people, when they hear the words Piano-Yoga think: ” well, another trendy new system”, or, “all this new age holistic nonsense” (the classical music purists) and on a more positive side “well, finally, someone came up with the way of playing the piano which is simple, easy and natural”.
But whats interesting is that there is one idea that unites all these people, with their rather different attitudes, as they believe that Piano-Yoga is a new unorthodox system of playing the piano.
But is Piano-Yoga really new?
Piano playing methods and techniques have existed for at least a few hundred years, and yoga has existed for much longer. Originally, yoga was a philosophy, the exercise of thought, which later developed into many other branches, with some embracing the physical practice, now so popular in the West.
However, as every philosophy covers thoughts about creation, through various processes, understanding those on a multidimensional level can easily be applied to other aspects of life, be it parenthood, work, personal development ethics, building a house, working on one’s physical state or playing the piano. Playing the piano particularly benefits from applying yogic principles, as it is a discipline that requires a combination of thought, emotions and physical manifestation. Without these three ingredients, the performance would not be complete. This is what makes it so close to yoga, the combined practice of philosophy and it’s manifestation through the physical exercise.
It became apparent to me that there was so much that piano techniques could draw from yoga: ability to concentrate, ability to control the technical work, consistent work on one’s body and thought. For example, intelligent stretching of the hands and fingers increases people’s ability to play a much wider repertoire and increase their strength. There is no “heavy weight” exercises required and no hours and hours of practicing. You just need to be in a right frame of mind, doing the right thing at regular intervals.
This is why I was so delighted with the latest review from Nadia Lasserson, from the EPTA Professional Piano Magazine, who at first was very sceptical of the method. As the secretary of the European Piano Teachers Organization in the UK, Nadia represented the thoughts of many piano teachers in the UK and I really had no idea what she would think about the method. I met Nadia and gave her a two hour session at the piano, explaining the method. I then did not hear from her for almost a year! I started thinking that she found the method not even worthy of mentioning, until one day we received the review in the post:
“It really does work . . . Many ailing pianists have been helped with this unorthodox and unusual method . . . All teachers should try it”.
I was really thrilled, as, of course, personally I knew that it does work, as it has been a foundation of my life and playing for many years. It was really rewarding to hear it from someone who never came across the method before and was not very inspired by the idea in the first place.
By this time we also had another fantastic review from Nancy Lee Harper from EPTA Piano Journal: “This is a book for a lifetime of healthy piano playing! … This book gets 5 stars from me!”
To give everyone the opportunity to get to know Piano-Yoga we are holding various events from the end of 2010 through 2011:
Date: Sunday 12 December 2010
Event: Workshop on “Piano-Yoga®: Transform your hands : A Complete Ten Week Course of Piano Exercises”
Location: Schott Music Concert Hall, 48 Great Marlborough Street, London W1
Admission: Free to all members of EPTA who register in advance. There would be a small number of tickets available for non-Members, Please enquire @ richard,firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration: Please email Richard McDonald, the Administrator of Piano-Yoga and GéNIA MUISC on email@example.com or call on +44 (0)20 72269829
In spring 2011 we will be holding a Piano-Yoga retreat at Steinway Hall in London as well as a one week Piano-Yoga retreat in Cyprus. The details of both events will be released shortly.
Please stay tuned for more information, news and updates.
Meanwhile you can:
Read Nadia Lasserson’s review in Piano Professional on Piano-Yoga book here
Read Nancy Lee Harper’s review in Piano Journal on Piano-Yoga book here
Look inside the book here
Read on tips, articles, back release exercises @ the free members section of the website here
Quickly download the book as eBook or get a paperback here
With all the warmest wishes,
Your Piano-Yogini friend,