-- -- . .. ... Last month 's article focused on nknowing the enemy n: witnessing the nerves and their 11Wnifestation before coping with them. This month's article will focus on cdping with nerves on a physical level. When a situation is stressful (in our case a performance, concert, audition, exam.);we tend to do two things: we hold our breath, or we breathe very shallowly. Either way, our body tenses up. Whenever I give a workshop, I always ask "wher_e do you feel tension in your body?" and invariably the answer is in the neck, shoulders and in the back. So I would like to offer here a few exercises and techniques to alleviate tension. Some useful exercises you probably already know, such as head rotation, shoulder lifts and .shoulder rotations. But let's try an exercise ' specifically to release tension in the neck: the Pendulum. Drop your chin to your chest. Slowly turn your head to the left and then to the right as you breathe de~ply in and out. Feel the stretch at the back of your neck. This exercise can easily be done waiting in the wings (where the simpler the better). More ... Peros Music Studios artistic and business side of music in Canada to work with artists to make their projects a success. THE ONTARIO FOLK HARP SOCIETY President: Angelica OttewiU Phone: (416) 494-4919 Fax (416) 494-1504. E-mail: Fisher63@interlog .corn. Event co"ordinator: M arty Moo re, (41 6) 469-3567. The Ontario Folk Harp Society was formed as a chapter of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen (ISFHC). Its mission is to promote the music of folk harpers and the work of harp makers, both amateur and professional. To that end, we have sponsored two harp festivals and numerous workshops, featuring such prominent harpers as Sylvia Woods, Kim Robertson, Tina Turin and Mary Anderson. Although many of our members play Celtic music, we encompass a wide variety of styles such as classical, Latin medieval, renaissance, sacred, jazz and even Jewish music. Our harp newsletter keeps members informed of upc01ying events an~ is also a good place to advertise a harp that is for sale or rent. Monthly hwper circles are a good place to meet other harpers and jam with them. Some are mini worlcshops where you can learn more about harp technique, 0~,. (/1.1 ~ ""l L ~ ,. s w ,.,t-~ , , , , MUSICA VIVA gifts and to Moscow critics. Living Arts Centre, effective Musica Viva makes a March 1998. Mr. Donaldson JrBCtice of commissioning UNIVERSITY brings with him an extensive Canadian chamber music SETILEMENT background in the arts, gems, their latest Halifax's MUSIC & ARTS SCHOOL including the General Scott Macmillan 's Suite for University Settlement Music Manager positions of The their newest CD, bringing & Arts School has a Centre In The Square, Musica Viva into the Celtic flourishing CHAMBER Kitchener, the tradition, and featuring the MUSIC PROGRAM, Ki tchener!Wa terloo exciting violin playing of directed by Peter Stoll. The SymtiJony, the Oakville Cape Breton 's Natalie current session ends on Centre and the Kelso Music MacMaster. Announcement Sunday, March 8 with an Centre. of CD launch concert in the informal concert at 2:00pn. - next wholeoote. The next six-week session TORONTO I begins on March 28 - SCHOOL OF MUSIC PEROS MUSIC STUDIOS registration deadline March William Shookhoff and Peros Music Studios' latest 20. All instruments, levels & David Warrack will direct project is a CD called Songs ages. For information call the Toronto School of MY ¥other Taught Me Annette or Cindy at 598- Music's Summer Opera and featuring Joan Watson, 3444. Music Theatre School. The associate principal french School, locaated at 366 Bay hom of the TSO, to be ELMER ISELER SINGERS Street, can be reached at released on April 4. CBC Dr. Flmer Iseler, considered 416-366-6699. Television's The National the dean of Canadian choral will broadcast a profile of conductors, has recently CHEAPSEA TS A HIT Ms. Watson in March, received two awards. On The Canadian Music . including clips of the January 31 he was awarded Centre's David Parsons recprding session. an honourary Doctor of tells us that this season Letters by University of 125 students have taken TORONTO Toronto Chancellor, the advantage of the CMC's SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Honourable Hal Jackman. In New Music Pass. The 0 The Canadian Embassy in December, the Royal Cheaps$ats pass allows Moscow recently Jiioned the Conservatory of Music students to attend any of Toronto SymtiJony Orchestra honoured Dr. Iseler by the 90 eligible events for . to inquire about the TSO's naming him as Fellow of the . Spearheaded by the most recent recording of Royal Conservatory. Canadian Music Centre Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Continuum, it and Love for Three Oranges, LIVING ARTS CENTRE involves 15 new music (the latter is apparently all MISSISSAUGA presenters. Catr 961-6601 the rage in Moscow). The . Daniel S. Donaldson has I for information. Canadian Embassy has been appointed Chief Next "members write" purchased copies of the Executive Officer of the deadline: March 20 recording to distribute as repertoire, or history. ~~~~~~--~---~T,O~R~O~NT~O~S~O;N~;C;O;M;ffi;E;H~E~NS;IV;E~M~O~N;T;H~LY;C;~~SS;I_CA~L;&~C;O;N;TE;M;PO;;~;~~C;O=.N;C;E R;T:L; I~;IN~G;S;O;U;R;CE;:::::::::::::~ ; '
. r I G~ .. ~lJ5~ "J Now, with your hands together this way, move your anns -from side to side; up and down; circling them in one direction and then· the other. Finally, repeat the whole exercise, this time bringing the right elbow over the left and intertwining the arms until palms come together. This is one of the only exercises that will open the upper back and release tension stored there. FISH Another exercise I find extremely helpful and use a lot is The Fish (adaptation of a yoga pose) Sit in a chair with your spine erect. ·Your two feet should be firmly planted on the floor. Hold the sides of your chair as in the illustration. Inhale and, pushing on the chair with your hands, lift the ( chest towards the ceiling bending the torso backwards. Exhale and slowly come back to your starting position RELEASE BY BUILDING Another technique I find very helpful is "tension releas.e." You build tension in a group of muscles, increase tension and th~n release. Crea~ing tension actually exaggerates the feeling of release, which is what we want to highlight. Let's try one example: create some tension in the hands by making a fist, squeeze the fists, increase the tension, hold it for 5 seconds . . . let it go, and take a breath. You can repeat this exercise with tensing shoulders, arms and so on. Rather than being overwhelmed with tension, these simple techniques help you act and be in control of the situation. In next month's article we'll look at some more breathing exercises as well as how to use the mind efficiently to eliminate mental blocks. Elisabeth Pomes is an award-winning soprano, a voice teacher and a certified yoga instructor. She has created a series of classes called Performance Awareness a,nd a workshop called Performance Without Fear which she presents at the Glenn Gould Professional School (Royal Conservatory of Music).