Breathing and stretching exercises for healthy practice and living
Compiled for Pianodao by ANDREW EALES
In this short video, I will explain and show you how to warm your fingers using an easy, gentle qigong massage technique.
This is a simple practice taking under five minutes, which I regularly teach to students in my studio as well as using myself:
For more information about the background and impact of Qigong practice and its benefits for piano players, see: Qigong and Piano Playing
Qigong for Pianists
Breathwork has made a significant difference to my quality of life, health and wellbeing, with a beneficial impact on my piano journey.
I hope that by trying the simple exercises in this post you will discover similar benefits and be encouraged to explore the practices further…
If you are ready to build on the Piano Qigong basics introduced on the Pianodao site, start your journey here!
In this article, I will build on the foundation of the exercises and ideas previously shared in the article Breathing at the Piano.
For those interested in Daoism (Taoism) this book of daily essays and insights is the perfect choice …
Are you sure that you breathe when playing the piano? It might seem like an odd question – of course we continue to breathe while playing! But to what extent are we aware of our breath, and how it affects our technique, musicality and comfort at the piano?
Here is a simple qigong practice that provides an easy hack for diminishing the effects of anxiety in our lives. It can help before performing, taking an exam, or simply enable us get through the basics of daily life.
Opening the Chest is the second movement from the 18 Taiji Qigong Shibashi form, and extends the Open and Commence movement previously shared here.
The Open and Commence movement from the 18 Taiji Qigong Shibashi provides a wonderful way to mindfully reconnect with the sensations in the wrist area, developing supple flexibility.
In this exercise you will focus on posture, alignment, balance, breathing, and release of tension. These are all crucially important for qigong practice, and of course for piano playing.
“For me, it is breathing that is vital. You must breathe naturally, like a singer. Pianists and string players often tend to forget the necessity of breathing and they can become very tense; then they get back pains and wrist pains and so on. Usually it can be sorted out through the breathing.”
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