Is Piano-Yoga really new?

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 what’s 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,mcdonald@piano-yoga.com

Registration: Please email Richard McDonald, the Administrator of Piano-Yoga and GéNIA MUISC on richard.mcdonald@piano-yoga.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,

GéNIA

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from Kings Place to Media Advert

Lovely concert at Kings Place the other night – I was thrilled to be performing music by wonderful composers Max de Wadener, JS Bach, Buzoni, Siloti, Debussy, Cage & Bartsch whilst having an audience of fantastic musicians and composers, including (to name a few): Gabriel Prokofiev, Patrick Nunn, Will Dutta, Richard Harris, Jamie Telford and Hayden Parsey. Thanks to all of you for your creativity and for being such an inspiration!

Meanwhile I was really thrilled to learn that the piece that I commissioned with Hayden Parsey almost 8 years ago was re-produced by the composer and is currently being used in the new advert campaign for the Girl Guides where they tackle the problem of eating disorders for young women and girls:

“Girlguiding UK calls upon the Prime Minister David Cameron to introduce compulsory labelling of airbrushed images to help combat the rise of eating disorders and shape a generation of self confident girls and young women.”

Watch the trailer here

Which brings us to a question: “How much should art influence society?”

Now time for another cup of coffee…

Namaste,

GéNIA

xxx

My Inspirational Collaboration with Max de Wardener

My first collaboration with Max de Wardener took place when Max made a remix for John Richards’ “Suite for piano and electronics” that has been released on the Nonclassical label. The first time I actually met Max face to face was after my performance at the Cargo nightclub celebrating this release!

That was the beginning of the beautiful friendship and long-term collaboration. Since then, we have been working together on various piano solo and piano & electronics pieces. The challenging rhythmical approach of Max’s music, coming from an electronic background with the preciseness of computer generated rhythms, wrapped with the beautiful tunes inspired me to develop my playing further.

The 18th of October concert is yet another milestone in our collaboration. Premiering 3 new works by Max and ranging from the complete stillness to the vivid hypo mood of the dance scene, the music takes the listener through various “states”, enhanced by pieces of Bach, Cage, Debussy, Tanaka, Skempton and Bartsch,

Films, made by award winning video artists Ravi Deepres and Quolla, who are both long-term collaborators, accompany some of the music.

Promising to be “a chilling night” this Monday’s concert will hopefully set you in a good frame of mind for your week ahead.

Here is our programme:

1st SET

  • Max de Wardener Bees
  • Karen Tanaka  Techno Etude No. 1
  • JS Bach / Buzoni  ‘Ichruf zudir, Herr Jesu Christ’, Choral Prelude for Organ, BWV 639
  • Bach / Ziloti  Prelude in B minor (from the Clavier Buchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach) BWV 855a
  • Max de Wardener  Two short pieces for Peter
  • JS Bach   Overture from French Overture (Partita) in B, BWV 831
  • John Cage  In a landscape
  • Max de Wardener  Remix of the Remix by (visuals by Quoyola)

INTERVAL (20 minutes)

2nd SET

  • Nik Bartsch   Modul 13
  • Max de Wardener  Water
  • Le vent dans la plaine, No. 3 from Book I (Debussy Prélude)
  • Bruyères, No. 5 from Book II (Debussy Préludes)
  • Howard Skempton  Reflections 1-5
  • Max de Wardener  Lusitania (visuals by Ravi Deepres)
  • Max de Wardener  Until My Blood is Pure (visuals by Ravi Deepres)

It will be lovely to see you all there in the beautiful building of Kings Place.

Here is a little preview:

GéNIA plays Max de Wardener

Big hug,

GéNIA

GéNIA plays the music of Max de Wardener

Date: Monday, 18 October 2010, 8:00pm

Place: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG

Tickets

From Steinways to Kings Place

Dear All,

Big thank you to all those who came to my Steinway Recital last night.

It is always nice to see the a packed house! I am also very grateful to Steinways for making it possible for us to do a launch of my latest album with the music by Gabriel Prokofiev called “Piano Book No.1″.

Now, to the next thing! The recital of music featuring composer Max de Wardener, wrapped in gentle Debussy, deep Bach (also Bach/Ziloti and Bach/Buzoni), simple but profound Skempton, dreamy Cage and inspiring Nik Bartch. Accampanied with specially made films from London’s leading multimedia artists, including Ravi Deepres and Quayola.

The concert is on Monday, 18th of October, at 8pm at Kings Place, London (5 minutes from Kings Cross Station) http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/music/out-hear/max-de-wardener

Looking forward to seeing you there and sending you the vibes that will, hopefully, start you on the good pace for the week ahead!

With love,

GéNIA

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