To know oneself, to learn to let go, to remove barriers to creativity or expression, to learn to live in the moment- this is the training mindfulness provides.
We need to be aware of what has happened, where we are, and where we are going, listening and assessing the sounds, and communicating through our movements, our body language, and our facial expressions.
Like athletes, in order to accomplish this with ease, conductors need to develop an intimacy with themselves both in body and in mind.
Conducting workshops are designed to enhance and expand conducting techniques for more expressive and intentional gestures that allow to improve effectiveness and musicality. It is useful when trying something new to be able to remove any roadblocks set up by the thinking mind. This can be accomplished by actively releasing tension and cultivating a sense of curiosity rather than resistance or avoidance based on fear. Mindfulness can help in a myriad of ways, including sharpening listening skills, tuning into the body for awareness and authenticity of movement, releasing distracting or negative thoughts, and letting go of thinking about the music in order to be the music.
Spending a little time each day focused on developing the skills above will open avenues of musicianship, allow for openness and freedom of movement, and give conductors permission to be themselves ad work with their inner critics.