You become what you practice: application of Tai Chi principles to piano playing
Popa, Ana Sorina
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This work explores the interface between Eastern philosophy, body mechanics, mental attitudes and breathing patterns found in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, and the Western approach to piano playing. Through a thorough process of integration, the application of the principles learned in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan leads to an optimization of expression in piano playing and a clear path for rehabilitation from injury. Chapter 1 discusses the general philosophical, cultural and scientific environment in which the Western pianist develops. Chapter 2 shows that this environment gifts the pianist with a set of inherited assumptions which lead towards injury. Chapter 3 presents a summary of salient points about Chinese philosophy, art and medicine, and their embodiment in the martial art of Tai Chi Chuan. Chapter 4 discusses the application of Tai Chi principles to piano playing through training methods that include both static and moving postures, alone or during partner interactions; it also includes observations about breathing. The work concludes with a commentary on pedagogy and retraining.
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