Wednesday, November 18, 2009


“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." -Aldous Huxley

Earlier this fall, I played the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Santa Rosa Symphony and Jeffrey Kahane was the piano soloist. Kahane is an open-hearted performer--the listener senses that he is expressing his love for humanity and his innermost inexpressible thoughts in an intimate way. His performances are very moving, and he plays with technical brilliance as well. I realized as I was listening to him play that I trust him to rise to any technical challenge, but he's not a perfect player. Listening to him, you get the sense that perfection is not his goal--all technical feats are solely at the service of his expressive needs, his communication of something very important to the audience.

I don't always trust myself as a performer, but at times I feel I can do anything. The moments when I trust myself least are those in which I'm focusing on perfection; the moments I trust myself the most are when I'm expressing something to the audience.

When we know what we want to say, trusting how to say it is easier. When we know ourselves better, we trust better what we want to say. Here is a Feldenkrais lesson that explores the ideas of self-awareness and trust. You'll need about an hour to do it. Get deeply acquainted with yourself, and give yourself the gift of trust.