The Resonanzlehre, founded by violinist Thomas Lange, is a sound-oriented body movement practice for musicians, singers and speakers. Also called “applied music physiology,” this teaching offers insights and practical exercises that can optimalize a musician’s musical expression. For musicians, by musicians.
Through practice of the teaching, the connection between hearing and movement is synchronized and intensified. As a result, the musician’s movements always originate from hearing. In this there is no room for unnecessary tensions and blockages that do not support the music and actually only get in the way. Unfavorable thought and movement patterns disappear and cannot even arise from the beginning. Musicians arrive at a balanced, musical use of the body that allows them to effortlessly share their feeling for the music with an audience.
Over the course of our musical lives, almost all of us – whether we are instrumentalists, singers or speakers – develop unfavorable movement patterns that we sometimes don’t even perceive as such. Whether these have been taught by our former teachers or not, many of us are constantly looking for new ways to share our feeling for the music with audiences both effortlessly and with strong expression and free of (over)tension.
We sometimes make limited use of our musical ability or ability to bring our emotions, as we feel them musically, into the sound wave and thus into the ear of our listener. Thus, we do not always “touch” the listener in the way we would actually like to with our playing.
Unfavorable movement processes sooner or later cause us difficulties in the form of unnecessary tension or pain, which in turn can get in the way of our free playing and our joy for making music. Research has even shown that 65% of Dutch professional musicians struggle with playing-related complaints.
By practicing the Resonanzlehre you learn to use your own body in such a way that your musical expressiveness is effortlessly translated into the form of sound waves. There are exercises for this, applicable to musicians of all instruments and singers/speakers.
The most important aspect of making music is sound. In this, the sound is more important than the movement. The point is not to find a better movement for a better sound, but a better synchronization of sound and movement.
In this synchronization process, the sound is the “chief”. The sound should not become like the movement, but the movement like the sound. Source: resonanzlehre.de
The richer the sound is in resonance (the more freely and evenly it can vibrate), the easier it becomes for the muscles to sense vibrations and respond to them with movements necessary for the music. Therefore, a key phrase from the teaching is: The more resonant the sound, the more effortless and free the movement.
For a musician, hearing should be the guiding action in movement. But by no means is the body always able to respond optimally to heard sounds. In cases of physical and mental tension, for example (e.g., due to bad habits or stage fright), the body is not free for musical movement, and the resonance of the sound is (partially) muted. The emotion and expressiveness of the music are then little expressed in the sound waves, and get stuck in the instrument or body.
Using the balance exercises of the Resonanzlehre, a process is initiated to synchronize hearing and movement. The exercises appeal to the audio-motoric system present in the body. Roughly speaking, this has to do with the fact that all movements of the body are balanced via the auditory and balance organs.
The balance organ connects the ear to all muscles in the body. By truly listening to the full spectrum of the sound and allowing the body to balance, our muscles are able to influence and change the sound as desired at any time.
The balancing quality created by the exercises is based on the physical law <a mass is most easily moved over its balance point>. When you learn to feel the balance points of your body parts, you only have to let the balance work for you, without adding unnecessary control or tension yourself. This form of balance feels like a mobile (like the one by A. Calder on the homepage); all parts of the body are connected and organize their weight naturally through their balance points. In this form the body is free to express sound effortlessly and rich in resonance.
In the sessions or workshop, the musician learns to perform the exercises in a clearly constructed structure. The intention is that the musician then performs them regularly in her/his life, in order to continue to address the auditory balance system. This is a self-help principle: through the exercise structure, you can integrate the balance quality into your body use by yourself, and thus after a while you are no longer dependent on a trainer.
In both individual sessions and in workshops with groups, there are two forms of training that I alternate:
In a workshop we do the exercises together with the whole group. We also want to hear the effect of the exercises in the individual playing of the participants. Each participant gets the chance to play/sing for the group as an experiment. This is interesting for your own experience, and also for the others to listen and see the effect of what we worked on.
The basic principles of resonant movement quality are the same for every body, and therefore the practice structure makes sense for all instrumentalists and singers/speakers.
During my training, I learned to approach musicians from all instruments. For each instrument, I know where the challenges lie when it comes to instrument-specific handwork.
Katharina Russland (classical violist):
“Yanna’s Resonanzlehre workshop had a big impact on my way of practicing. Especially, if I practice my daily etudes. I feel more aware of how my body moves, and that naturally makes that I feel more ‘in shape’ generally, without needing to do all of my routine of exercises.
My listening awareness and how to connect what I feel and hear is improving a lot! Thanks for your tips on how to connect myself better with my viola. And the best: I have much more fun again by playing viola and feel much more comfortable.
It also gave me good new ideas for my own teaching. The good thing is: I feel, that the students level doesn´t really matter. Everybody can profit from Resonanzlehre!”
Willem Romers (jazz drummer at In Contrast, Kika Sprangers quintet, Coal Harbour):
“De sessies met Yanna hebben mij in de eerste plaats geholpen om met mijn armblessure om te gaan. Door de oefeningen te doen heb ik minder spanning in mijn linker onderarm waardoor ik minder pijn voel tijdens het spelen. Daarnaast helpen de oefeningen mij om mijn hele lichaam te ontspannen waardoor ik meer contact kan maken met mijn instrument. Hierdoor haal ik meer klank uit mijn instrument, kan ik dynamischer spelen en ga ik bewuster om met hoe het geluid resoneert in de ruimte waarin ik speel. “
“Kijk met een heel fijn gevoel terug op jouw workshop. Fijne mensen, prachtig concept en heel prettig en vakkundig door jou geleid.”
Frank Jenniskens (intuitive violinist and multi-instrumentalist):
“Bijzonder om na al die jaren vioolspelen voor het eerst écht te voelen hoe de trillingen van mijn viool door mijn eigen lichaam gaan. Sinds Yanna’s workshop ben ik me zoveel bewuster geworden van wanneer ik de resonantie van mijn instrumenten blokkeer en wanneer die optimaal alles kan doorstromen. Heb ook gemerkt hoe dat ook weer de resonantie van de ruimtes waar ik speel én de mensen waar ik voor speel beïnvloedt.”
Perceiving sound in space
Letting the hearing lead the movement
Perceiving direct vibrations
Perceiving fullness and quality of sound
Expression and emotion in sound
Sense of weight of body and body parts
Feeling balance points of body parts
Feeling three-dimensional balanced, centered movement
Unity of the body
Body as mobile
Moving with “Schwung”
Audio motor skills
Breath support (for wind players)
Dosing muscle tension
Coping with stage fright
Strategies for practicing
Preparing for performances
Sound-oriented instrumental or vocal “technique”
Virtuosity and speed