reVoice

Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City


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Meditate to Create

Aaron Haas, guitarist, music instructor and long time meditator, encourages not just musicians but everyone to discover and nurture their creative spirit. He believes that silence is a jumping off point for our initial contact with creativity and that through meditation we can learn to experience the stillness of non-attachment, and allow the “quiet intelligence” of our being to emerge.

Ed Sarath of the University of Michigan, teaches “integral theory” which combines elements from various meditation practices. He suggests an openness to and awareness of all sensations and thoughts that exist in and out of ourselves to bring about a wakefulness and clarity that we can hope-fully carry into our everyday lives.

When it comes to making music, Haas utilizes improvisation, but in a new and different way. Incorporating group medi-tation into his teaching, he guides his students from the physical playing of their instruments to a more spiritual plane. He uses group improvisation to practice creative meditation. By having students focus on the unfolding sounds within the group, they eventually begin to listen differently, leaving behind their past training and experience to respond with fresh musical ideas. Instead of anticipating what they think should come next or impose upon the music what they have in their memory banks, students are encouraged to “play” creatively with the given sound collage at the present moment.

I’ve used this sort of improvisation in my workshops with non-professional musicians who are amazed at how in touch they feel with the others in the room once they “let go” of their inhibitions and begin to add to the vibrational field with their voices. Not only do they experience a feeling of peace and relaxation, but a sense of having created something unique, even mystical!

Mr. Hass recognizes that meditation is practiced by many for stress reduction and relaxation, but studies now show that it can also foster creativity in all of us. If meditation is not part of your lifestyle you might consider it, so that the next time you have a vexing problem that calls for a creative solution, try letting yourself be filled with silence and wait for your creativity to blossom!

Creativity through Silence: Exploring the Use of Meditation in Musical Performance, A. Haas, JOS May/June 2018, vol. 74, #5.

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