Articles tagged with: mindfulness

19 March 2018

Run the balance between Wildness and Precision

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Working this dialectic can expand your playing amazingly

Run the balance between Wildness and Precision

I was speaking last night with my neighbor Geo, when he said:  "Somewhere between the party animal I was in my marriage and the zen meditator I've been in my current relationship... is the real Geo."

I could see the axis, drawn in space before our eyes: on one end of the imaginary "number line" was Geo as Beer-Drinking-Good-Timing-Party-Animal... and at the other end was Geo as Peaceful-Meditating-Man. And Geo's quest right now was to feel along this axis and understand where he belongs.

In my opinion, he exists all along that axis, occupying different places at different times, as everyone does.

And the very same thing applies to wildness and precision in your kalimba playing.

23 March 2018

Split Brain - Can your brain do two things at once?

Posted in News and Announcements

Yes, but for most of us it takes some practice

Split Brain - Can your brain do two things at once?

According to general understanding, we can only really concentrate on one thing at a time. But I know that this isn't actually true.

There are two of you (at least!) inside your head - a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere. Most of the time these two sub-brains work together. But our two thumbs are quite capable of doing quite different things from one another.  Probably the most interesting music on kalimba happens when the two thumbs are working independently, but in a coordinated manner.

 

25 September 2016

Kalimba and Mindfulness - 2

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Please study this application of mindfulness to the process of learning to play specific music on kalimba

Kalimba and Mindfulness - 2

Have you ever struggled to learn a piece of music on the kalimba, really studied in detail the exact notes you need to play?  It seems that the kalimba is a simple instrument - there are only a few tines for your left thumb and a few tines for the right thumb.  Surely this is simple.  You should be able to master this instrument after a week of playing it, right?

But as soon as you approach a challenging song on the kalimba (and "challenging" is relative to where you are in your kalimba development), you may well feel that it's impossible.  The notation system seems confusing.  You are getting hopelessly lost on the instrument.  Maybe you can connect three or four notes, but you cannot get any momentum, and you cannot get any flow.  You cannot create music - certainly not the way you can when you just let your thumbs off the leash and start free playing.

Here is how mindfulness can help you.

15 September 2016

Kalimba and Mindfulness - 1

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Conscious attention can bring many benefits to you and your music

Kalimba and Mindfulness - 1

What is mindfulness?  For me, mindfulness is being as present as I can be to the moment that is unfolding.  

Consider music as a sort of plow that is able to cut a furrow through the present moment.  Good music invites the listener to become entrained in that furrow as the musical plowshare cuts through the unfolding succession of present moments .  Good music, happy, sad, or otherwise, can be a great comfort as it can largely take us from whatever pathway we were wandering down, and instead directs our internal gaze (our attention) to fall upon something wonderful and beautiful.  Mindfulness can help us to be more attentive to the music and to experience it more deeply.

Can the kalimba be a tool for mindfulness?  Of course!