During my education, and especially afterwards as a professional musician, my aim was to reach an optimal ease of playing the oboe. It was a challenge since the oboe is known as a very demanding instrument.
I always claimed that being a musician is like being a professional athlete. The only difference is that during our education there isn't enough preparation for the challenges that come with playing an instrument and how to deal with them. I started with myself. Solving my own problems and constantly upgrading the possibilities. Constantly searching for and deriving ideas from practicing yoga, Alexander technique, and Argentine tango. They led me to my own comprehension of the mind flow, body mechanics, and body movement that corresponds to a musical phrase. What is the key?
Balance and unity of body and mind within the movement.
Besides the basics of the oboe playing technique, I found that this unity is the beginning and essence of any instrument teaching. That usually comes in question at a higher level of performance. Based on my experience with students, where each of them has their own foundations and predispositions, setting the ground for a unity of body and mind in the early stage of education is key for faster progress with fewer physical injuries in later years and fewer problems with stage fright and stress. It is where it all begins and where we create the idea of the sound, the inner movement and a musical phrase. Our mind is a leader that takes us through the steps to reach it and stay on the right musical path.