Monday, August 8, 2011


Yesterday I found out about an open mic less than a half mile from my home.  In general I find open mics less than satisfying experiences, but decided that it would be good for me to get out & play in front of some people again. And hey, a 1/2 mile away.

Of course when I woke this morning I began talking myself out of this.  Always a sure sign I need to address a situation.  Writing in my journal I decided to define why I would go to an open mic. First to work on performing - can I get right down to it and make a statement in 10 minutes?  Secondly to network with some local musicians and others in attendance.  Third to do something new.  Next I asked myself what I could work on?  Then later I added I might even sell a few cd's.

But as I readied for going to work, the reality of my obligations and responsibilities began to weigh in.  I had already told Joann we could have dinner at the open mic, so now what?  The this gem arrived on twitter from Jamie Ridler:

       Osho Zen Card of the Day:
           Adventure. Move into the unknown with a trusting spirit and even the smallest things can be    the biggest...

Trust - always a key ingredient, but frequently forgotten.

Changing clothes after work I hit the floor for an AT lie down, packed my stuff, and warmed up for 20 minutes.  The beginning of the warm up was sloppy, mind racing, questioning myself again as to why are you doing this.  Reminding myself to trust the adventure.  We left and arrived at the place in minutes to find a sign by the door announcing that they had tried to get the word out to everyone and that the open mic was on vacation for two weeks.  We entered to see the renovated space of this eatery, examined the menu, and enjoyed our dinner.

Back home much sooner than expected.  Another lie down and some work on right hand arpeggios.  I am continuing to practice in short increments of 15 minutes or so and then another brief lie down to rest my muscle.  The theory I am exploring is that as we improve our use with the Alexander Technique that the muscles we are now using are not used to the work they are doing and require rest.  I suppose as they tire we slip back into our habitual use.  I returned to work with Remember Quiet Evenings and explored some chord inversions that sparked my interest.

One more lie down and I played through two pieces and played with the inversions in RQE.  Deciding that there was something there, I notated what I had.  The adventure was not as I planned, but my attitude remained true, and useful musical work was completed.

                Photo by Jackie Dervichian


  1. Congratulations on following through on your commitment to perform. As you stated, "useful musical work was completed." This is true not only because you were able to get some good practice in after you returned home, but also, because you paid attention and stayed committed to the process of playing before an audience. And for that reason, it doesn't even matter that you had no audience to perform for that night.

    As for practicing in shorter increments, I think I agree with your theory. It is not unusual for my beginning Alexander students to get a bit fatigued in the reorganization of their muscular work, whether in sitting, standing, walking or playing an instrument. The most important thing (as you mentioned) is not getting fatigued to the point of falling back into old habits. Wonderful that you are committed to this principle. Best wishes!

  2. I'm so glad that card showed up for you! What a beautiful reminder to step into the adventure. Yay you for doing just that! (btw, when I was doing theatre I'd always have that 'omg, why am I doing this?' feeling too!)

    And that's fascinating about using the Alexander Technique. It's beautiful to see the awareness you bring to your practice.