Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Multidimensional Music

Music is one of those things that the love of a particular song lies in the eye of the beholder! No two people have the same musical taste or likes and dislikes. And music that one person may consider relaxing or invigorating may be like fingernails on a chalkboard to someone else.

When it comes to new age bodywork modalities, the common perception is that it must be non intrusive music and have a certain sound to it. Without some of the normal nuances one would expect to hear in "spa music", many consider it not worthy to be played with body work.

I remember several clients over the years who have asked I do massage to all kinds of music from Jazz, to Classical to Rock or whatever was playing at the time. At first, I began to wonder how I could do it. Than I realized that the music was for the client, and not necessarily for me.

As I did the massage, I began to notice that I picked up on various beats within the beat of the music and various sounds within the notes. I used whatever rhythm or musical sounds I needed to help achieve what it was that I was doing at the time. I learned that I could do massage to just about anything and mix in what I was doing, what the body needed with what that client was hearing on the table and where they were at in that moment. What came through to my hearing was matching the vibration of the body at that moment.

When I hear a song, whether it is fast or slow, I hear many parts of it. To my ears, there are notes and sounds within the notes of the song. It is what lies between the notes that are played which I pick up. One could call this the vibration or resonance of the music. In addition, my ears pick up various layers of the beat or the rhythm of a song. There is the main rhythm of the song but to my ears, they pick out different beats or sometimes my ears knock out certain beats so in effect, I'm slowing the rhythm down. For a song that may sound too fast to some, it sounds much different to me.

For me, I take it one step further when I'm doing bodywork sessions with clients. I begin to match my movements and what I do with the tempo or the sounds that their body needs in that particular moment. In the next moments, things may have already changed in their body and so then I began matching the things together again. It is like a flowing melody where the tempo and sounds change but they match together with the movement and transition of the body. All of this happens automatically without even thinking about what I am doing. If I thought about it, most likely it would not happen as easy because it is just part of where I connect with the client and their body.

Music is more than playing a few notes with a rhythm. It is multidimensional and if we stop and listen, we will hear things within the music that weren't not necessarily intended but they are part of the song. This gives the richness and fullness to the song and gives it life that connects from one heart to another. I am very moved by music and when I've used my own music in bodywork sessions, I've had people tell me that they felt as if my hands were playing their body just as if I was playing my piano. It was as if I was creating music with the body just as a musician would do with an instrument.

Here's a homework assignment. Take some music that you listen to and some that you would not normally listen to. See if you can pick up the other rhythms and beast within the songs as well as the notes between the notes. See if you can play with what you hear to achieve a different effect in your own body or that of a client. It is an amazing experience if you allow yourself the opportunity to do this. It adds so much more to the music experience.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

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