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August 19, 2009 / Angela McCuiston

Welcome to my blog – music, flute, fitness, and anything else that crosses my mind!

I finally have a blog and I’m excited for you to share in it with me!  Welcome to my reality.  Between working as a personal trainer, a health enthusiast at Vitamin Shoppe, cooking, practicing and working on my website, articles, recitals and presentations, I workout and spend time with my husband, that’s about all the time that’s left!

I have just returned from the National Flute Association’s annual convention in New York City as of Sunday night.  It didn’t have a great start (81/2 hour delay, on my birthday!!!) nor a great ending (a 3 hour delay due to a flight attendant not showing up, getting in at midnight and coming into town during a tropical storm) but the actual convention was marvelous!  So many good things happened.  Besides getting to see some great presentations and exploring the city, I walked away with a ton of music, a ton of inspiration and two new instruments!  I am now the proud owner of a brand new Hammig 651/4 cocus wood piccolo with solid silver keys and wave headjoint.  It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever played, in both tone quality, easy of playing and looks!  There was no comparison between this instrument and any other.  I also was fortunate enough to purchase an alto flute from J.L. Smith and Co. for an amazing price because my new alto….is a prototype!  Apparently, the company that made it decided against making the rest of them, so it is the only one in existance….and it sounds marvelous!

My inspiration has come in the form of needing to unite my two passions: music and fitness.  Flutists are HORRIBLY out of shape – and I don’t just mean physically, but mentally.  We get so wrapped up in our own heads with the music, it’s easy to stop paying attention to our posture.  We love what we do and end up playing for hours without a break; locked into a posture that one can at best describe as awkward and at worst possibly as debilitating.  And yet we press on, oblivious to the pain and contortions into which we form our bodies.

This is why I believe methods like Feldenkrais, Dynamic Integration, Alexander Technique and even Dalcroze Eurythmics are so vitally important.  These methods take us out of our heads and into our bodies where we can finally notice what’s going on, we can become more self aware and THIS makes us better musicians.

I walked away from the convention with plans to write articles about these issues, and give presentations on dynamic warmups/stretching and postural improvements to help these problems, give recitals with my new instruments, compete in the piccolo artist and young artist NFA 2010 conventions, expand my flute studio in 100 different ways (not just offering lessons but other classes, like self awareness, posture, music history, flute choirs, etc) and have even been prompted to think about going back to school to pursue my DMA in this area.  I love flute and fitness and the two together seem to be a vastly underexplored area, to which I feel I owe it to my fellow musicians to help them.

Stay tuned for more….and welcome to my world!

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