How to position your arms/elbow when playing...

Posted: 4/21/2011 7:47:27 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I wrote:
"You don't sing like that, so why are you playing the theremin that way?"

Amey replied:
Hmmmmm... Maybe because I've only been playing for a couple of months and I am still learning?


So what you are saying, Amey, is that you are not technically able to vary the volume of your theremin playing because you are not yet sufficiently skilled on the instrument. Fair enough! It takes practice to apply what you hear in your musical imagination to your theremin playing. The important thing is that the expressive shading of the volume level is in your head. Now that it has been brought to your attention, it will quickly migrate to your hand.

One of the big differences between teaching music to children, and teaching adults, is that kids are blank slates while adults come with their own tastes and predilections already formed. While you can teach technique to adults, it is almost impossible to teach them "music" (and by that I mean how to apply the techniques). **PLEASE NOTE: I am not talking about you. I'm just talking generally.**

For instance, you might want to illustrate some particular musical approach to something, and suggest to an adult learner that he or she listen to the second act of Wagner's LOHENGRIN, with special attention to the way in which the composer develops some aspect of the piece.

The response of an adult could be, "Oh, I hate opera!" The door is closed.

With kids, who have never heard of either Wagner or LOHENGRIN, there is at least the possibility of discovery.

Clara Rockmore said in the "Gift Tape" interviews, that if you want to play the theremin, ".....first have music in your soul." Everybody loves music, but very few have music in their souls.

So what does it mean to have "music in your soul"?

If you have music dancing somewhere in your head every waking hour of the day, regardless of whatever else might be going on around you, you have music in your soul. That's my personal take on it, fer wut it's werth.

Posted: 4/21/2011 9:32:29 AM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

Hey There Coalport :)

"... Music in your soul ..."

Argh. Yes I have music in my head all the time, new song ideas, new melodies, lyrics... I keep rehearsing in my head what I've been playing on the Theremin the night before... It becomes a sweet hinderance because most of the time, I cannot tame these thoughts down so I can do my work. I can't wait to get home and have more time to do what I love. We were not made for a cubicle life!

I am still teaching my brain (who is talking to my body ) to work my 2 arms independently from each other. It's getting better and I know it will be ok in a month or so with practice and patience! It is amazing how fast 1 hour goes when you are near a Theremin... :)

I love to learn new things, that's the only way (in my opinion) to keep your brain ageless. Problem solving, learning new motor skills, reading etc are activities to keep your old noggin' in shape :)

Thank you for always commenting on my post, Coalport. Everyone's input are always so helpful. Thank you all.

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