…that musicians should do pilates! I have had the pleasure of working with a few musicians, both professional and amateur. I connect deeply with musicians having been both a musician and a performer myself, and it is fun to see how something like pilates can help strengthen their performance.
Pilates creates balance. Musicians tend to be even more one-sided strength-wise then the general population. Often they are holding their instrument at an odd angle, and although their technique while playing can be correct, holding their head or their arms in a particular position can take a toll when it is held for hours at a time. Pilates helps them to strengthen, stretch and balance out both sides of their bodies so that they don’t create imbalances that can hurt them later on.
Pilates posture! Sometimes after practicing or performing for hours at a time, posture can become sloppy. Musicians tend to become completely engrossed in the music, and if they lack that mind/body connection, their posture can suffer. This can affect their breathing if they are slumping, which leads me to the next point…..
Breath control! A big emphasis in pilates is the breathing- When I teach I like to hear the inhales and the exhales of my clients- that way I know that they are connecting their breath and their movement. Breath control in music is extremely important, particularly if you play a wind or brass instrument, or if you are a singer.
Mind/Body connection. All musicians have an inherent Mind/Body connection- they all use their bodies in some way to play their instruments. However that connection is generally related to what the arms and fingers are doing. By practicing pilates musicians learn to connect with their whole bodies- which as performers is very important. Performers on stage move with the music- and having a healthy and strong body means that even when their focus is on their technique, they are moving in a way which will not hurt them or hold them back.
Stress relief and human connection. This may seem like an odd one- but often professional musicians are alone for hours at a time, usually practicing or creating, or getting to their gigs. Its nice for them to have a break and get out of their heads for a moment, and exercising either with a private teacher or in a group can create a camaraderie that is healthy in more ways then just a strong body.