“Don’t throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again”
Peter Allen, 1974
It was 2016 and Peter Frampton thought, “If I am ever going to do it, now is the time”. His best selling album “Frampton Comes Alive” was celebrating its 40th anniversary and he had yet to play all of songs live front to back. On the tour, Peter kept hearing the same question, that the words and melodies were the same, but the guitar solos were different from the record. Frampton explained, like a jazz musician, he improvised new solos for every show. It made his old songs feel new and alive. Critics and fans both agreed his guitar playing was better than ever.
Just as Peter Frampton steps into his old songs in a new way, we may repeat a movement lesson in a different manner. With time and practice, our skill of awareness improve and creates new learning opportunities. You may discover how to use your eyes to improve movement quality or how to soften the chest for more freedom in your head and shoulders. Each movement is a new world to explore with limitless discoveries.
Like a master musician, it is also possible to improvise when teaching a lesson. Experienced practitioners often start with a basic lesson framework and tailor it to the students in the room. Are the students confused about the instructions? How can I repeat them in different ways? Is the movement too difficult for them? How can I break it down to simpler components? Are they ready for a more difficult variation?
Long ago, Moshe Feldenkrais would visit Mia’s Segal’s (his first associate and collaborator) home and they would do movement improvisations. They would find a starting point and explore it. These free improvisations were the origins for many of Feldenkrais’s future movement lessons. Recently, I have been taking the beginning of a classic lesson and then like Peter Frampton, improvise with it. When I finish, everything old feels new again. Visit us here at s3nse.org and learn how to make your same old self be new again.