Category: Of Artistes & Musicians

Why Your Physical Health Is Important When Playing a Musical Instrument

Why Your Physical Health Is Important When Playing a Musical InstrumentYou may not be the next virtuoso of music or the next Mozart, but when you are in top physical condition or health, you may as well feel like you’re a Carnegie hall musical performer. Physical health matters in many pursuits, even in playing a musical instrument! Here are the reasons why.

1. Rehearsals have their physical and mental demands from the body.

Physical health provides the stamina that will allow you to manage the physical and mental exhaustion that comes from playing a musical instrument or having a full-blown musical performance. A well-conditioned body is like a well-oiled engine that will allow you to perform at your best. Some musicians claim from personal accounts that physical fitness programs are their ways of counterbalancing the physical stress that comes from practicing with a musical instrument. In a way, it serves to complement their musical goals.

2. Physical fitness promotes endurance, strength, and protection from injury.

Musicians face a high risk of psychological strain and injury. They are particularly fragile to physical injuries to the body parts that they tend to overuse. If you have a physical fitness regimen in place, you are better able to protect yourself from these injuries and psychological strain.

3. Good physical fitness promotes balance and good posture.

When you are physically fit, you are more conscious about how you carry yourself physically. You will immediately be in tune with your body and have an inkling when you are playing the musical instrument with poor posture that can cause long-term problems for your health. Physical fitness also encourages you to vary your position and not cause muscle cramps from staying in the same position for too long.

4. Physical health aids in muscular conditioning.

Your piano playing hands and your guitarist aspirations can only happen in real life if your muscles are up for the challenge of holding the instrument for prolonged periods of time. The more physically fit your body, the more energy you have to expend during your musical performance.

5. It helps improve managing stage fright and performance anxiety.

Physical fitness ensures that you do not have distracting discomfort from physical problems that will cause you to lose concentration or feel particularly nervous. This way, you can concentrate better on your performance.

6. Exercise helps you manage your energy levels.

When you are physically fit, you have an internal compass regarding your energy levels. You know the feeling when you are exhausted and you inherently have an instinct on your physical limits. You can apply this knowledge effectively when you are practicing with an instrument. You can condition yourself to perform when you have the highest energy in your body.

7. The best results out of a musical performance come from a state of calmness and flow.

Physical fitness is not just something produced out of sweaty workouts. In fact, some musicians go with yoga, meditation, Pilates, and other sculpting but non-taxing activities for the body. This state of calmness is something you can carry as you play the musical instrument and it can produce the best results or a state of flow, a very productive psychological phenomenon extensively studied by psychology researchers such as Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

One thing that you need to consider when choosing the right physical health exercise regimen for your musical instrument pursuits is that the chosen exercise must be compatible to the instrument you are planning to master. The best way to find an appropriate physical fitness routine is by looking at veteran musical instrument players and check out how they stay fit and adapt that style for yourself.

For example, if you are playing with the piano or guitar, too many exercises that can cause excessive strain on your wrist will overwork and cause harm instead of helping as you play your musical instrument. Violinists can focus on balancing their leg muscles since they are already exercising their arms very frequently with their practice. Drummers have a more total body workout because all regions in the body are used when they are rehearsing and may do better with reduced noise exercises like meditation. Undeniably though, a elliptical machine will be a good fit for any musician. According to home elliptical reviews at this site, these machines allow for low impact full body workouts. This means there is less risk of injury for musicians. Aside from the type of instrument affecting your physical fitness exercise requirements, you also need to consider your own lifestyle, routine, and preferences on what steps toward physical fitness you are more disposed to continuing consistently.

Also read: Is Trance The Modern Equivalent Of Classical Music?

Why there is So Much Buzz about Women Conductors?

Right from ancient days, women were subjected to various suppressions. For example, women were forbidden from taking part in various performances and fine arts. Now, there is a question that has arisen whether BBC is serious about women music conductors? This question came right after Xian Zhang has been appointed as principal guest conductor of the BBC national orchestra of Wales. It is agreeable that gender is not going to play a part in conducting a performance. It is not the anatomy of men or women going to conduct the music, but the person’s passion, skill and knowledge.

Like Xian Zhang, there are many women conductors in the world. However, most of them have not come to limelight because the media light did not fall on them. Media can be blamed for creating unnecessary tokenism that has harmed the women in the music industry. Xian Zhang stayed away from the media circus, which is nothing but a hoax. Generally, media focus on white men and stay away from the wider issue. For media, it needs to publish some sensational issues rather than finding some solutions to the on-going problems.

Xian Zhang is a Chief Conductor at the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. She has built a strong career in the whole of Europe. For many years, she has been working with BBC and their orchestra, which was revitalized significantly after the appointment of Thomas Søndergård. Xian Zhang got the job because she played a role in the improvisation. But the question is there are many women conductors around such as Sussane Maikki and will BBC appoint them as conductors? However, it seems that BBC does not even bother about them due to the lack of media limelight.

However, BBC will realize the quality of the orchestra, thanks to their decision of ignoring women conductors. A conductor should be recognized on his or her talent and music talent and not through other factors such as gender, media highlight, etc.

Also Read Remembering the Netherlands Music Legacy

Remembering the Netherlands Music Legacy

Netherlands is one of the countries that is known for producing many musicians since the past. Many old Netherlands musicians during 1930’s and 1940’s suffered and lost due to the persecution of Nazi. In this article, we will look briefly into different musicians of the Netherlands music legacy.

Mischa Hillesum

An excellent pianist by birth, Mischa Hillesum suffered due to various psychotic conditions. He was a Jew, and as a result, he was banned from performing in public. However, he was allowed to give performance privately for certain section of the audiences. Through William Andriessen and Wilhelm Mengelberg, he obtained permission to be in detention in a luxurious centre. This was done to keep him active for local music activities. In the year 1953, he joined Westerbork camp, where he was provided special status. He was sent to forced labour after his parents were deported to Auschwitz. His parents were murdered in Auschwitz while Mischa Hillesum was unable to survive in the forced labour.

Nico Richter

A non-practicing Jewish, Nico Richter was from Amsterdam. He was trained in violin initially. However, he learned medicine due to the pressure from his parents. He married a non-Jew, but he was not subjected to persecution initially. However, was arrested in the year 1942 and survived by working a doctor in the camps. He even managed to survive Auschwitz liberation. But the experiences he underwent throughout made him weak so he died soon afterwards.

Leo Smit

A Jew from Portuguese descendant, Leo Smit’s music sounded more like French. He studied music with a composer Sem Dresden, who went hiding in the year 1941. Smit was murdered in the persecution in the age of 43. By looking into his compositions and works, it has been found that Leo Smit was at his peak of creativity during the time of his death. He was young when he made most of the brilliant works.

Daniël Belinfante

Born in 1893, Daniël Belinfante is a great composer, whose most of his work got vanished and many of the got lost. He was married to Martha Dekker, a composer, and both of them taught at the Watergraafsmeer School. He went hiding during the war and was captured and deported to Westerbork and then to Auschwitz. Then he was deported to Fürstengrube, where died soon in the year of 1945.

Henriëtte Bosmans

An excellent pianist, Henriëtte Bosmans started performing with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra right from the young age of 17. Her compositions were banned, and she was banned in public performance except in a musical concert that was only meant for Jewish audiences.

Lex van Delden

Lex van Delden was born as Alexander Zwaap in the year 1919. He changed his name after his parents were murdered in Sobibor and went hiding. He was fighting for Resistance, and he lost his one eye during that stint. He died in the year 1988, and all his works before 1944 was lost in the Nijmegen bombing.

Rosy Wertheim

A victim of Nazi persecution, Rosy Wertheim was born in a wealthy family in the year 1888. She studied with Karl Weigl and Audbert in Vienna and Paris respectively. She lived hiding during the war, and most of her family members were dead. She died in 1949.

Great Opera Singers of All Time

Here, we will take a look at some of the great and popular Opera singers who lived in the past.

Jules Bastin

Bastin made his debut in the year 1960. In his debut, at La Monnaie, he sang Charon in L’Orfeo. He became very popular in a short time frame and featured in Europe’s major opera house. Before turning as a singer, Bastin was a teacher of French, German and history. Additionally, he also sang in the popular Opera house in North and South America. Some of the renowned songs are O Holy Night, Louise and Pauvres enfant.

Eula Beal

Born in the year 1919 in California, Eula Beal is a popular American contralto. She started her singing career by taking part in the local competitions held at the Redlands Bowl. In s short span of time, she became a reputed classic musician by the 1940’s. She is known for her upper voice without going away from contralto sound. Some of the works she featured are “None but the Lonely Heart”, St. Matthew Passion and Ave Maria.

Richard Tucker

A popular American operatic tenor, Richard Tucker is known for officiating as a cantor during Rosh Hashana. He is also known for having a long contract with Columbia Records. He is the only singer to have his funeral in the Opera stage. After the death of Tucker, his son, widow, friends and colleagues established the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. New York City has allotted a park naming Richard Tucker Square adjacent to the Lincoln centre. A corner of the street also named after him and various shows and concerts are conducted in his name.

Francesco Albanese

Francesco Albanese, a popular lyric tenor, is known for his work on opera as a great singer. He spent most of his career in Italy and also performed in South America, Portugal and London. He is very much known for Neapolitan songs. One of most popular Neapolitan songs is Dicitencello Vuje. Though he spent most of his life in Italy, he died in London. Some of the other songs he recorded are Ifigenia and La Traviata.  

Andrés Huc Santana

Andrés Huc Santana, a popular singer, began his career by doing a small portion in “Louise”. He made his first debut for Theatre Municipal in the year 1941. Apart from France, he also performed in other countries like Algeria, Italy and Tunis. In addition to singing and concerts, he was also acting as one of the juries in the International vocal competitions. He passed away in the year 1982 in Paris.

John Charles Thomas

Born in the year 1981, John Charles Thomas first studied medicine and then joined the musical troupe in the year 1912. He featured in many musicals such as Apple Blossoms, Her Solider Boy, and Naughty Marietta. Some of his popular songs are “The Last Time I Saw Paris” and “O du mein holder” and “Green Eyed Dragon”.

Dan Beddoe

Born in the UK in 1863, Dan Beddoe is a Welsh operatic tenor. During his career, he was praised by many of the reviews and magazines such as Cincinnati Enquirer, New York Evening Post and New York Times. Dan Beddoe is very much known for his clear and ringing voice. Some of the popular songs under his belt are “O Danny Boy” and “A Moonlight Song”.