Jan 012014
Kinesthetic Sensation: Meeting Place of the Mind and Body

Sensation as Knowledge

When someone startles me I jump. I jump before I know I’m startled. It never works the other way around. I never think I’m startled — and then jump. The body is the first to know something happened. It owns this primary sense of the feeling of what happens. This feeling is knowledge of the body’s state and it does not need words for its knowing. read the rest
Feb 282012
Finding the Kinesthetic Feeling of Rhythm

The Problem

Rhythmic pulse is spontaneous and visceral, straight from the mind of the body. Counting out loud feels forced and comes straight from the mind of words and concepts. A basic task for any student is to bring these two minds together to form the rhythmic unity which is the energy of music. Finding this unity is especially difficult for adult students. read the rest
Feb 272012
The Fossil BodyThe body of the fossil is not too old to learn, it’s just fine. The fossilization of the body is a myth. It’s an exaggeration. Even in our “advanced years” the body is marvelously capable. As we get older we become aware of the changes in our bodies that make us physically stiffer and less responsive. read the rest
Nov 282007
Recent exchanges on the MusicalFossils message board expressing concern about memory lapses offer valuable insights. I would like to talk about this issue from a different perspective than I have before. I often hear my adult students bemoan that they don’t memorize as well as they did as children. The next statement usually has something to do with aging and memory loss. read the rest
Jan 012004
What One Student Learned - Letters From St. Petersburg, RussiaThis installment of MusicalFossils is a series of e-mails written between Victoria (Vica) Achim, from Russia, and me. Most of them are hers. Vica is an adult amateur pianist studying in a culture where classical music is held in higher esteem than it is in the United States. Russia has (I do not know if this continues) a national system of musical education that seeks to find and develop the best and brightest young musicians as a national treasure, somewhat like athletes in the US. read the rest