When my grandmother gave my family a piano, my siblings began taking music classes. I remember that my sister would give me the occasional piano lesson. But by a fateful coincidence a few years earlier my father had bought a violin for one of my sisters; a violin that ended up forgotten in a wardrobe. When my mother came across the violin, she asked me if I’d like to take music classes. And that’s how it began… from that day, I embarked on my journey through music; a journey full of satisfaction, achievements and challenges.
As a child I had the good fortune of being able to travel because of my music, as I was one of a group of 12 children at the school where I began learning violin selected for a tour of Japan in 1985, and again in 1987. That experience marked my decision, at a young age, to become a professional musician.
The decision entailed a very strict regime of daily study. I have to confess that although I loved music and was able to express it on a stage, there were days when I had no desire to study, and on those occasions practising turned into an obligation rather than a pleasure. As time passed, my passion for playing in front of an audience began to be accompanied by the infamous fear of making a mistake and being judged. This feeling began to create a barrier between me and the music, which led me to experience not only mental and emotional but also physical tensions. But in spite of all this, my decision to pursue music as a career was clear and resolute.
This life decision led me to continue my studies in Lugano, Switzerland. It was not an easy time in my life as my father had died just months before my arrival in Lugano, leaving me feeling vulnerable and uncertain of what awaited me, as it was the first time I had lived alone and in a foreign country. Nevertheless, I was able to adapt quickly to my new personal and musical environment.
But a few months into my new life in Lugano I realized that… I didn’t know how to study! This caused a lot of tension, not only in my relationship with my teacher at the time but also in my relationship with the violin. I remember that on one occasion I mentioned to my teacher that I felt physically distant from the violin. Indeed, at that time I felt a distance from my instrument and from the world of sound; a distance that even led me to stop playing for a couple of months due to an apparent tension in one of my hands.
But thanks to this “distancing” and to my perseverance, the seed of what is now THE CONSCIOUS MUSICIAN was born. I came to understand that all my technical and musical problems resided in my mind, and it was in my mind that I needed to resolve them. I became aware of the great potential that we have in our minds and the magnificent benefits it can offer in our daily music practice. I also discovered the realm of my emotions and the importance of knowing and feeling exactly which emotion I want to convey to the audience. These two discoveries led me to a positive transformation of my physical state, and I began to feel free of tensions when I played the violin, and, above all, I began to grow “close” once again to music in a healthier and more creative way.
It was then that practice was transformed from an obligation to a time of creativity and enjoyment. I began to work out how to study using my true mental, emotional and physical capacities. And like everything in life, through such a profound internal change my external situation also changed, as I found a new teacher whose classes filled me with enthusiasm to improve, to study and to be in contact with the magical world of sound.
From that time on, my contact with music has been transformed in a very profound and enriching way, leading me to teach and also to experience music from a holistic perspective. After 15 years working as a performer and teacher under this new musical vision, I am totally convinced that the more real and honest our contact with the world of sound is, the greater its impact will be on our society, which now more than ever needs an art that resounds within us and that raises our awareness of our true essence. May the true power of music be expressed in all its splendour in our learning forever.
This post is also available in: Spanish