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Paul Rolland Workshop Day 1

Today was my first day of the Paul Rolland String Workshop.  It has been really interesting.  So far, we have done a bit of Alexander Technique, a bit of fiddling, and a bit of Paul Rolland Posture set up.  Here are a few things I have learned so far.

1. Freedom of Motion & Paul Rolland – Paul Rolland was a huge believer in freedom of motion especially for the beginner.  Today we watched all of these videos of various levels of musicians and he did some really neat things including setting up students while marching to music (Stars & Stripes Forever), and then constantly moving them (their elbow, having them bend knees, even having them march around the room, many arm movements and head movements).  I am really excited to try these exercises not only with my beginners, but even with my advanced musicians, I think these exercises will relieve tension.

2. Fiddling – Well, first of all, I kind of LOVE fiddling!  I can’t believe that I didn’t even know this but I really enjoyed doing the little bit of fiddling that we did today.  We learned everything by rote and learned some cool techniques.  Also, I never knew this, but apparently you don’t hardly ever use vibrato with fiddlin’ techniques.  And they stomp while they play.  Interesting.

3. Alexander Technique – Okay, so apparently I have a super soft spot at the back of my head which made Alexander Technique especially difficult for me.  Also, to get your body centered, you can practice laying down on the floor, feeling your heels pushing into the ground, or rather, that the ground is holding up you.  After we did this, many of the other participants looked taller and they felt so much lighter.  I may not have experienced the same things because my head was bothering me so much that I didn’t really join in so much, but it was still interesting.

Okay, so that’s my update for the day.  Not quite 500 words, but it was a really long day, and I think I have more than made up for it in past posts 🙂

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