Author: Emily Wright

breathing, part 1: the foundation of basically everything

  If you’re one of my students, you’ll be familiar with me barking “breathe!” from time to time, or more subtly encouraging respiration with an exaggerated sigh of my own, hoping you follow suit. Although it may seem silly to focus on this elementary stuff while the hands are being asked to do such extraordinary things, breathing is as essential to technique and musicality as it is to staying alive, itself. Breathing Basics Physiologically speaking, breathing brings oxygen into the body and flushes out carbon dioxide. The mechanism seems simple: the diaphragm contracts and causes the ribs to move...

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tell me something good

Hey all: it’s been a ghost town around here of late. Sure, I’m working on a giant post about breathing, and also have a good chunk of the next book in the hopper, but the reality is that I’ve been struggling with this chronic pain stuff. I’m going from PT person to chiropractor to sports massage, and the only thing that is definite is they all drain my bank account. I know hopelessness doesn’t do the body any good, but my reserves are on low, my friends. So I turn to you: what’s going on in your world? How’s...

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The search continues!

Last year, I nearly had a retreat set up when the venue ended up falling through. I’d like to do a few small 3 or 4 day workshops around the country (or any country, really), and I turn to you in search a place to hold them! Criteria: A space that is largely available for 3-4 days, Thursday through Sunday. Can be a church, synagogue, school, community center, campsite, whatever. Needs several rooms for private practice, lessons, group activities. A space that is not prohibitively expensive to use. I’m going to do these initial retreats on a “by suggested...

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Happy New Year lesson giveaway bonanza-stravaganza

If you (or someone you know) if having a rough go of the cello, dealing with financial difficulties and can’t afford lessons, or maybe feeling a little detached from the instrument or lost on the path, I’d love to start out 2018 by helping in any way I can- so the first 3 people to comment each get 2 Skype lessons (usually 45 minutes, give or take) for free, plus notes describing strategies, specific techniques, and small bespoke studies I prescribe for my students. All levels welcome, from the conservatory grad to bare-bones beginner. Ages 15 and up, please....

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meditative practice

Creating a meditative state for your practice may sound like some kind of hippie crap or a fantasy, perhaps an urban legend. Too often, I find students fostering a mindset about practice that is akin to battle. You have to thrash the cello into submission. You want to beat yourself against the rocks. Kill the problems, attack the pieces. No matter what your process is, the reality of improvement is much more like the wind carving a canyon over a millennium than an earthquake, revealing new things instantly, in heaving jolts. The thing about a calm, measured practice is...

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