Whole Body Approach Cello
PART 1 In this video I will explain the basic idea behind my methodology called
‘whole body approach’, a concept based on unifying body and arms and initiate our gestures from
A easy way to experience the source of all our gestures, which I call the centre balance point, situated around the waist is the Japanese call this area “Hara” which means: ‘infinite sea of energy’. If we have a closer look to some daily gestures like walking and grabbing something: if we make a step it is the turning motion from the waist that actually causes the leg to move forward. Using strictly our legs would lead to a silly looking military step….
If we extend the arm to grab something, this gesture actually starts from a turning motion of the body and a follow up, passive gesture of the arm.
PART 2 I will now demonstrate with a small trick the use of the úpper body to pull and push the bow and not the arm, which I will keep still.
If we apply the whole body concept on the left hand: if we use the turning gesture of the upper body, initiated from the waist to move the arm, the hand will slide in a compact, fluent motion and this will keep the hand in a 90’ angle.
PART 3 I often notice that students are scarcely aware of the vertical element, that of gravity, to deliver arm- and bodyweight towards the string, the so called ‘leaning on he bow” If we combine this with the rolling action of the lower back , as explained in another video, this unified gesture will directly deliver the weight to the bow.
I will now play the opening of the Lalo concerto to demonstrate this combined action.
Another element where whole body playing is involved is in the stopping action of the bow. If we brake the bow speed, but maintain the weight on the bow, the string will respond by vibrating in a less ample way the audible result is a diminuendo without loss of intensity.
The Haydn D major concerto, performed in classical style, offers a perfect example of the application of both elements. Its phrasing is fundamentally defined by the sequence of heavy-light elements ,which we realize by the ‘leaning on the heavy note and breaking the bow speed on the following note to let the natural diminuendo sound.
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