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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Arnold

How to teach the "Knowledge of the Soul" in music lessons - 100 Days of Soulforce #31

The "Knowledge of the Soul" is all about feeling, vitality, and those qualities that make each of us unique as artists. Teaching technique and repertoire - while it has its challenges - can seem far easier to grasp than how to teach the Knowledge of the Soul.

But the Knowledge of the Soul is easier to teach and access than you might think! You just have to know where to look.

Watch this live Alexander Technique lesson with Alexander Technique teacher Joseph Arnold and violinist Gabe Miller to learn more! We touch on lots of other fascinating topics - see below for more details!

Subscribe to my blog or this YouTube channel to stay tuned!

What's "100 Days of Soulforce"?

I'm embarking on a mission to spread the word about Soulforce Performing Arts because I believe it is a needed message for artists of all kinds in our times. To that end, I'm making 100 videos over the coming 100 days (or so) to explain all the different angles and ideas, and to hopefully spark inspiration in you! Each video will have inspirational and practical ideas for you to bring more Soulforce to your life as a performing artist.

These ideas are a part of my upcoming book: "Soulforce Performance Arts: Redefining Artistic Performance, Practice, and Pedagogy in a World That's Lost Its Mind." Subscribers to my newsletter will get early access and special perks. :)

Joseph Arnold

Violinist, Alexander Technique teacher, Founder of the Soulforce Arts Academy -- Sign up for my bodacious mailing list and blog!


Lesson Video #4 with Gabe Miller

00:00:00 - week recap / mirroring feels rather than technique / being a channel/vessel of others as well as yourself

00:03:00 - Soulforce education style! Skill acquisition is based in “having mode” but that isn’t sufficient and doesn’t move us

00:04:00 - transferring the knowledge of the soul

00:04:56 - exploring the different ways of teaching/pedagogy - immersion/demonstration

00:07:58 - unpacking the student teacher power dynamic/relationship

00:09:20 - playing from heart “unifies a false dichotomy” - playing from the heart is a whole way of being

00:10:33 - why not play scales from the heart?? Discipline can lead to freedom but not if you’re always being bored!

00:13:11 - It’s less about the specific music you're playing and more about your relationship to it / how you're interacting with it

00:15:47 - curious about Joseph’s experience with “playing from the heart” with younger kids

00:17:12 - “I could hear his listening happening” - when a young student starts playing from the heart while playing Minuet 3

00:19:45 - curious about Joseph’s experience with the “doing” vs “receiving” modes

00:21:13 - when you’re getting in the way of yourself and you can release the tension, it opens yourself up to increased awareness

00:23:50 - takes time and practice to be in the receiving space

00:24:40 - pay attention when we’re curious or intrigued by something

00:25:40 - you can’t force a flower to grow, but you can set up the conditions and receive the gift

00:27:07 - is the “gut feeling” always what we should do?

00:28:15 - firstly we should just focus on being able to consider and trust our gut feelings, even if we ultimately choose to go against them

00:30:44 - what is the gut feeling telling us? Is there underlying tension that I need to address? We are the "king" and we have all these "council members" (emotions and feelings) that we could ignore or consider. We have to listen to our council and then decide!

00:34:30 - walkabout

00:35:39 - Gabe's eyes relaxed and helped unify him

00:36:10 - visual field / sight is created inside our brains ! No one’s ever “seen” the world!

00:38:20 - threats to the separate self

00:38:50 - non-dual perspective

00:39:58 - "fear of losing my mind" - what would you be losing?

00:45:36 - playing some violin

00:50:23 - playing “The Rainbow Connection”

00:52:12 - organize practice based on trying to realize the “wishes” you have

00:55:14 - honoring my wishes but not being able to do them! Taking note of what you want to practice later. Also how do you recover when things don’t go your way?

00:57:14 - what is a mistake, exactly?

00:58:00 - don’t sleep on “The Pause”!

01:02:17 - play the melody and just pause after a mistake ; don’t try to workshop it necessarily

01:04:24 - what happens if you want to play something that’s on the edge of your abilities? More important to release the tension because you don’t want it to build up. More on connecting the ideas next time!

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