If Covid taught us anything, it’s about how quickly lives can become completely out of balance. The world went crazy and things are just now starting to come back to “normal”, albeit a completely different normal! We are having to find our balancing point in so many different areas, like how to balance work and home life now that so many have worked from home for so long; how to shop now that everything can be directly delivered to us without having to go out; how to balance our health with all that went on during the pandemic; and how to balance our body, soul and spirit once again.
This brought me back to my students, because what doesn’t bring me back to my students? I started thinking about these three aspects of life – Body, Soul and Spirit; the three different realms in the world – Physical, Psychological and Spiritual; and how all of these relate to the three levels I have been talking about – Fundamentals, Musicianship and Artistry.
First I had to go back and get a clear definition of the distinctive parts. The Body is our physical being. It substantiates the physical realm, and in my theory, relates to the fundamentals level. If we don’t take care of our bodies – in the case of my students, who are all vocal majors, their instrument – then we cannot make music. The instrument is broken, and this is why I stress the need for sleep, eating, exercise and rest. This is also the area where we need them to begin to understand what it feels like to make music. How did the breath feel? Where did that sound placement come from? Do I have tension anywhere in my body?
The Soul is our “personality”. It includes things like our intellect, emotions and will. The soul substantiates the psychological realm and relates to my musicianship level. This is where the learning begins. It’s where technic is taught and skill is developed through practice. Once again, this takes me back to one of the fundamentals of learning how to schedule, how to organize, how to practice, how to understand the music. If you don’t do these things, then you also cannot make music. Your instrument might be working, but if you don’t know how to play it, what good is it?
The Spirit substantiates the spiritual realm and is the deepest part of our being, created to communicate directly with God. This is the point of artistry. It is where we learn how to communicate deep truths using our body and soul as the conduit.
All three of these components must be present in order to have a well balanced musician. Without the Body, you have nothing to work with. Without the Soul, you have no ability to create anything. And without the Spirit, you will only be a technician, you will never be a true artist.
In future blogposts I will go into more depth in regards to how we teach these things to our students, but for now, I’m going to go balance my body with some lunch and a nap!