Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Anyone doing T'ai Chi + Cello?

Last night was my fourth T'ai Chi class, more specifically, T'ai Chi Chih. Over two years ago I decided to look into it based on things said by Vic Sazer.

The classes are 45 minutes of soft motions, led by an 80-some year-old instructor. For the second time now, starting at about the 25 minute point or so, my arms start to get that feeling of lightness and effortless-ness that I've only rarely managed to feel behind a cello. Like my arms have lost some weight and the joints have had a squirt of graphite applied. I know at least a handful of you know what I mean.

One thing that concerns me is that "T'ai Chi Chih" is a registered trademark. Apparently it was "invented" by Justin F. Stone in the 70's. Hmmm.

As if I don't have way too much to do as it is, I hope to pursue this T'ai Chi thing some more, doing it immediately before some cello practices, IF I can keep my motivation and patience up for it. Has anybody tried it?


Emily said...

I did Tai Chi in college, as my PE requirement. It was awesome and did a lot for all kinds of disciplines. I ended up doing it before practicing, though not immediately. I would drive about 15 minutes down to the music bldg and then do a few hours at night. Since the class ended at 9pm, it was a nice unwinding process. We would all practice until we were just too tired to continue, then do it all over the next morning. The hardest part about Tai Chi was ending up where you started the form...it took me until the very last class to get a handle on that.

Rose said...

I have just come back to the cello after playing growing up and have practiced Tai ji (Tai Chi) in the last many years on a regular basis. Tai ji is a practice of stillness in movement and the art of moving with complete relaxation, so yes it is a great fit with cello playing. Also the focus on raise hands which allows you to move your hand without moving your hand translates well to bowing. Would love to hear people's continued thoughts on cello and tai ji. It seems that Tai ji would help to cultivate the skill of mindfulness and attention without tension which is so important in playing music. Thanks for the blog!