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Adam Bernstein: Music Mindfulness Program

The Music Mindfulness Program provides a way to be our very best and have a great time doing so. Read below what we are about.

 

Music connects us to the heart, it helps us to feel, and it helps us express what we cannot express in words. It brings life to the body.

 

Mindfulness connects us to our full being but it also helps us develop a witness to what we are experiencing. It can help us see our thought process and develop a less attached attitude to what we are thinking.

 

When we combine awareness with heart centered spontaneous music making we have an opportunity to express ourselves authentically in the moment.

 

We can ask ourselves – In the actual moment of music making, is our judgmental mind present? Are our judgments serving us?

 

If music serves us by providing a forum to express the depth of who we are and to connect deeply with our fellow humans, it is then beneficial to develop our ability to witness the judgmental mind for what it is – thoughts that can stop us from enjoying our expressive connection to life.  Instead we can create a nurturing environment where musicians of any ability level can improvise together.

 

In the Music Mindfulness Program, we focus on solo and group improvisation. We explore short periods of breath meditation to connect to ourselves and calm our minds to better understand the thoughts our minds are generating. Our primary goal is connect to each other, express our musical selves and have an extremely fun time.

 

Musicians of any age and ability can enjoy making music together in this way. Music is our birthright and everyone can play!

 

A typical agenda for a Music Mindfulness workshop


Objective: Introduce concepts of mindfulness and its relationship with music

 

1)    Welcome – explain the concept of Mindfulness and being in the moment. As we don’t judge our meditation, we don’t judge our musical contributions. There are no wrong notes. We take joy in the wonder of sound. Group improvisation is about communication. Degrees of experience don’t have to be a hindrance.

 

2)    Varied Periods of breathe meditation –Meditations instruction in sitting, walking and playing is provided.

 

3)    Vocal Warm-up – One quality sound – Connecting to our own authentic voice, learning to be comfortable with our unique sound, learning to listen to others and ourselves simultaneously.

 

4)    Rhythmic Warmup  - After sitting in quiet meditation, we begin a percussion jam session without instruction, seeing where our intuition as a group takes us. Reflection on our music making afterward. How did mindfulness affect our experience?

 

5)    Improvisation Exercises – For example -Traveling trios within one large circle – form circle – two people provide an ostinato while a person adjacent to them solos – when the person soloing is done, they begin an ostinato and the first person drops out. There are many similar exercises that can be employed. All with the goal of connecting to the community and observing the judgmental during improvisation. Is it truly present?

 

6)    Trios – break into groups of three, two exercises. Mirroring and Opposites. Either mirror (exercise 1) or play the opposite (exercise 2) of the person to the left of you. Start together, end together.

 

7)    Dance improvisation – Its important to connect to our bodies as a vehicle for mindfulness. Mindful movement can be part of a musical duet or trio – for example, two musicians, one dancer form a trio.

 

 

8)     Whole group together – How does a large group improvise together?

 

 

9)    Short sit and reflection