in San Ferdinando, in Italy, near Reggio
based on the New Approach works for string players by Kató Havas took place from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 July
in the school of the the
Insieme... e per
tutti", ("Music together... and for everybody",
by Chiara Stella Capria e Lorena Rulli. Also this one was a
with participants who came from Trieste, Monza and from nearer towns.
The atmosphere was very friendly (like at all previous
Thanks a lot to
the organizers and to all participants.
As usual, the workshop in San Ferdinando on the New
Approach was open to everybody, in
particular violinists and violists, since, as I always say, many
the New Approach can be
applied also to other instruments and this time among participants,
aged from 10 to 50, there were teachers
of different levels: three violinists,
two violists, two singers, a drums player, a girl who played the electric bass
and two pianists.
the principles that all musicians can apply, it doesn't matter what
instrument they play, the first and fundamental one is that of
rhythmic pulse throughout their body, to release physical blockages, that is, the overall rigidity that
everybody has, that often makes one literally forget to breath,
thus remaining breathless. No wonder we then have problems playing
This aspect of breath is
particularly important for singers,
it would seem an obvious fact, yet very many seem not aware of
this. It was very enlightening to see how the elimination of tension in singers
remarkably increases the quality and the power of the tone they produce with
their voice, with no strain.
I repeat this for the umpteenth time because it's so important, singing the note names while playing
is the action that serves to coordinate
into one only and keeps the mind busy with music so that one cannot
possibly think other thoughts that cause fear during the performance.
We applied the concept of playing "from
which means with the movements that originate not from the fingers but
from the centre of the person, from the shoulders, the exceptional
importance of the use of imagination.
This means becoming one with the situation of the musical work,
when it was written and why, in the composer's time, getting to know
the composer as a person in order to better understand what he wanted
to say through his music, tell a story. All this, combined with singing
the piece with the rhythmic pulse before playing it, completely changes
the way a person later plays it. Everybody saw personally and in others
the effect, the "before" and "after". We also talked about
several other aspects, for example, how to practice fast passages, the
"no string crossing" etc.
Two participants had problems
because of serious pain,
one of them in the back of the neck and shoulders, another one along
the whole right arm that reflected in the whole right side of the body.
We saw what was the cause of those aches and pains and how to eliminate
At the same time as our workshop there was also a course for singers
run by the
Morigi and on Saturday night we all together gave an open air concert.
A very suggestive atmosphere created, in a piazza
against the background of an ancient convent. In the previous days we
had put together in a short time and then we performed the Brandenburg Concerto n.3 by Bach (with the parts of the
missing cellos split here and there between me and the piano,
where it was indispensable),
in a special version realized for the occasion, with the bass line
performed by the electric bass with piano and percussions, the first
movement of the concerto by Telemann for two violas and
orchestra and the singers performed their works.
This was a special occasion for the village of San
Ferdinando, not used to this type of shows and the residents came
little by little more numerous and seemed to appreciate.
For the participants of workshop in San Ferdinando it was an
opportunity to put into practice what we had been talking about, preparing in a short time some works
for the concert, which also meant to be a quite informal situation,
non terribly serious, which is very useful to eliminate stage fright.
During the rehearsals one of the participants said she hadn't had so much fun in ages!
A good result!
again, by having a mixed group of participants, everybody could see
that the problems are more or less the same ones for almost all players
and that the use of the New Approach principles benefits everyone and at all
Concert at the end of the workshop in San
Ferdinando in the Piazza del Convento
The New Approach concepts, as Kato Havas says, are
incredibly simple and once they are understood they seem completely
natural movements, not the forced ones, and playing with our head,
not with our fingers. This doesn't mean that
become familiar in one week, it takes some time to be able to put them
into practice completely, but they can be learnt in a short time, much
shorter than the time one has already dedicated to learn to play.
the New Approach and Kató
Havas, with videos of a
Some comments by participants at the workshop in San
course was very good for me. One of the things that I liked most is
singing the notes while playing the violin or beating the rhythm with
one's voice while playing the
drums, like in my case. I also
found out that when I press my lips together I become all stiff.
(drums, 10 years old)
Kato Havas's method taught by Monica is very interesting to
prevent aches and pains, tensions, to tackle the fear of playing in
front of people.
The impact with
this method makes me think a lot and also makes
me a bit confused, not because the
method is not effective and ingenious, but because one needs to
change it radically. I'll try to do all I can to apply the "advice"
given by prof. Monica Cuneo, also because having pains I cannot but try
to improve my posture
by eliminating physical
tensions, opening my mind
toward this new
approach, so that it leads me to playing without aches and pains, fears,
Learning to share one's own fears and tackling them together with other
people, learning from other
people's mistakes to correct mine.
This is one of the best things
of this course.
From this course I've learn that we need to
relax before playing and that we should not be tense, also that from
the things other people do, be
they right or wrong, it is possible to learn a lot.
(10 years old)
It's always good when music and singing entrust you with their
soul to "bring" it to others,
but during these days of the course
expressing this essence by sharing it fully and with joy exalted in me
their very essence. Thank you
Humility is the key to
access freedom. Thank you
Sharing the experience with other instrument players and
musicians helped me to
strengthen some concepts and open more and more my mind to music
without distinctions of any sort. Thank you
See you on the next occasion!
Come to the workshops on the New Approach by Kato Havas. Where? When?
You too can organize a
workshop, read here how to do
To learn more about the New Approach by Kato Havas:
Watch Kato Havas' workshop, with videos
causes and cures of physical injuries and anxiety
and viola books
Go from Workshop in
San Ferdinando to Kató
San Ferdinando beach
The brochure of the workshop in San Ferdinando on the "New Approach"
Photos from the workshop in San Ferdinando
Rehearsals for the concert we gave at the end of the workshop in San
Two articles published on the local newspapers after the concert that concluded the workshop in San