Utilizing Ki with Music
Ki Principles which are the basic foundation of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido are utilized in many different fields of activities and sports.
There are many members of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido who are professional musicians, such as pianists, singers and professional drummers, just to name a few.
For pianists, they have come to realize that if they are relaxed when playing the piano, they feel that the sound of the piano tune changes and becomes very clear.
Music is made up of a collection of many different notes. This is why it is very important when playing the piano that between each note the flow of Ki is not stopped. The end of one note is the beginning of another note, even in the space or pause between notes the musical flow continues.
For anyone that is involved in an orchestra, it would be very useful to apply keeping a calm mind.
When we play with a calm mind, not only can we hear the music that we are playing clearly, we are also aware and able to hear other sounds and music that is being played around us. When our mind is not calm, we will not be able to hear clearly the music that we are playing and the music being played around us. As a result, we will not be able to give a good performance.
When our mind is calm, all the sounds will come together in harmony.
For singers, practicing breathing exercises, especially exhaling, will be very useful. With Ki Breathing, we practice relaxing during exhalation and letting it be natural. This directly connects to the quality of the voice that is being projected and sung.
When our consciousness is up in our chest when we practice Ki Breathing, our breathing becomes shallow. When we calm our mind at our one point in the lower abdomen, our breathing naturally becomes deeper and calmer.
Practicing exhaling for using our voice aloud (to sing, talk or count), actually helps make projecting our voices easier. Sometimes, it can also help project tones of our voice that we had difficulty trying to project before.
Musicians, who are especially sensitive, are usually not very good at controlling their emotions. They go through very intense changes in their emotions which lead them to suffer from stress.
When Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei went to the U.S. to spread the teachings of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido at seminars, a very famous American pianist came to join.
This pianist, who was very sensitive, always went through intense emotional changes, causing him to take medication to try to keep these emotions under control. This took a toll on his body and health which made him unable to see a continuation in his music career.
He was able to learn from Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei the principle of keeping calm at the One Point as well as Ki Breathing, which he practiced daily and made into a daily routine. He was then able to reduce using medications, which led to a continuation in his musical career.
Mind Moves and Leads Body
The state of our mind will appear in the music we play or sing. Therefore, if we do not control our mind then the performance we give can never touch a chord in the heart of others. Calming our mind is very important before performing or giving a show.
I have been learning about music since a very young age. My teacher was a student of Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei. Her teachings of music were all based on Ki Principles. I remember clearly her advice of “Keeping a Calm Mind” before doing performances.
Shinshin Toitsu Aikido teachings and practice can be applied even in the field of Music.