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Nervous and Tight? Exhale!

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When I was a kid, and I was a nervous kid, I used to sometimes have shaky bow and I got nervous when I performed and that type of thing. My teachers were always like, "Relax, Paul, relax, relax!" And I found that I got so frustrated and so annoyed because I was like how? And also, why, because I was thinking I want to be up to perform. Then one nervous day when I was in my 20s and I was sitting in a practice room getting ready for a concert, suddenly I had a flash back, kind of a revelation of when I was six years old and I fell. I broke my wrist and my mother took me to the emergency room to have my wrist set. In those days, this doctor came at me with this chloroform mask that he was going to put over my face. I smelled that stink and I just panicked. The doctor stopped and said, "Okay, Paul, you win, you win." "I'll make you a promise. If you decide that you don't like the smell, just let me know, just blow it away, and that will be my signal to stop and I promise you I won't come closer." Well, I wanted to be a good little boy, so I agreed to that. So the doctor started coming at me this way and I sniffed it a little bit and then I decided I didn't like it, so I really wanted to let him know so I went like that. And as I went like that, [Deeply inhales] I realized I'd been tricked. So 20 years later sitting in the practice room, it just came back to me, "Breathe, breathe." You know what? You will always breathe in. The trick is to remember to breathe out. And so I started in my own playing thinking a lot about the exhale, the release. And, of course, the release of the breath is one of the most— the body's most powerful way of releasing muscle and releasing tension. So what I learned from my doctor's experience is that—to think about the exhale. The inhale always happens automatically, you need not concern yourself with it. So when I—I'll give you a musical example— when I come at the cello for example, I'll exaggerate my breathing so you can see it. When I come at the cello, I'll do it with an exhale. [♪ music ♪] [♪ music ♪] And I let my air out there rather than— [♪ music ♪] rather than taking air in, because taking air in, now my body is tight. If I go out, now I'm loose. And the same thing here, [♪ music ♪] if I— [♪ music ♪] we talk about you need a release or a shift, that exhale before I make my shift. [♪ music ♪] Helps the feeling of release in the hands. [♪ music ♪] Now you're in concert, are you nervous? [exhales deeply] [♪ music ♪] Helps you get there and so on.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 51 seconds
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: destella on Apr 13, 2015

The inhale can tighten, but exhaling loosens.
Cello lesson with Paul Katz.
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