Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Discover I'm Unbalanced (Could Anyone Guess?)

I saw a great concert tonight in the theatre at the Orff Institut. Gerhard Reiter, the percussion teacher I have in the afternoon brought his group Melange Afrique with a special guest artist Carl Potter. It was genuinely a World Music performance and these guys are virtuosic. It is amazing what they pull from drums. It is so appropriate for this course given the great emphasis on rhythm (the Orff approach grows from rhythm rather than pitch.) The performance covered African, Spanish, Middle Eastern and Oriental styles. It was a great complement to the class.

These days seem very long right now. I'm glad to be having tomorrow afternoon off. I think I'm going to definitely take the cable car up the Untersberg, that huge mountain outside of town.

I used the microwave here tonight with a 1,99 Euro frozen meal that was really quite palatable. The huffy cashier even smiled and said aufwiedersehen. I am less at war with the supermarket. I'm almost worried I've been here too long - I'm doing a lot of retyping because I'm capitalizing all my nouns.

I was introduced to a Turkish woman today who is a graduate student at the Orff Institut. We had an interesting chat about Orff Schulwerk. We were comparing notes on American and European approaches (she had Doug Goodkin as a teacher at one point) and I was able to ask her quite a bit about the Institut and life here during the year. My only regret is I didn't have time to find out about life and music teaching in Turkey.

Re: movement: I think I figured out some of my movement problems, especially around folk dance. In Andrea's class balance problems came to consciousness. I always thought the problem was footwork, but it is really balance. I'm fairly heavy with a high center of gravity. I get some momentum and its hard to get the weight shifted. My feet fall behind and it's all over. I notice the same problem using frame drums in Gerhard's class. It was difficult to perform some of the left hand taps and finger snaps because I was not feeing secure and balanced holding the drum. It's hard to be successful with any instrument if you feel you are going to drop it.

I'm beginning to suspect that many rhythm problems might be due to some form or other of balance problem. Probably throw posture in there for good measure. I guess you can't get to the answer if you don't know the question first.

1 comment:

Ann Stanton said...

Your comments about balance remind me of how important balance is for elders. I'm part of a Strong Living group that meets 2x weekly to work with weights and balance.

So I'm wondering about Orff classes for elders. I know that you are already "booked up" with your teachng, but it's something to think about -- maybe for the likes of me. Or maybe someone in the Montp. area already does this.

I can see having 3x a week group that does weights + balance twice and Orff + movement once.