Reconnect musicians with their natural mechanisms
Julia’s passion for cello playing has been joined by an interest in understanding the human body that makes the music. Over the past decades spent in the musical profession, she saw how questions of “best use” of the body – often ignored at the start of musicians’ working lives – could come to play a determining role in the development and sustainability of careers.
‘For years, I had my own neck and back pain that I took as an inevitable part of the profession. My perspective changed by luck in the mid-2000s, when I had the fortune to meet a teacher, Joachim Schiefer, who showed me that playing with pain was not only unnecessary, but even detrimental to the desired outcomes. Joachim was teaching Dispokinesis, a biomechanical retraining guide for musicians created by the Dutch physiotherapist and musician, Gerrit Onne Van der Klashorst. The principles and exercises of Dispokinesis not only helped unwind years of accumulated tension, but also connected the dots to the easiest, most natural way to produce sound on my instrument. I gradually became freed from pain, and discovered more endurance, accuracy, and enjoyment at the instrument than ever.
Looking with each individual, she helps to find the right adjustment for their bodies to ease that discomfort in the shoulder, find the breath support across all registers, or get that spiccato jumping easily from the string.’
Julia completed the Dispokinesis teacher’s training at the Gesellschaft für Dispokinesis nach G.O. van der Klashorstin Essen, Germany, and since then, has given Dispokinesis lessons and workshops to countless colleagues and students in Europe and North America, helping them also connect the dots towards an easy, natural way to make music. Her work has won praise of musicians at the Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as from internationally-famed artists such as Myung-Whun Chung.
Maestro Myung-Whun Chung after a Dispokinesis session in May 2019.
Ken Hakii, solo viola, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Ken Hakii, solo viola, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Japanese version.
Laurianne Chenais, principal harp Noord Nederlands Orkest, former academist Concertgebouw Orchestra. I worked with Laurianne in Dispokinesis during her year as an academist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and here I asked her: ‘Do you think Dispokinesis should be offered to conservatory students?’
Laurianne Chenais – French version.