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Diana María Osorio Cárdenas - Masters research proposal

INTRODUCTION

This Project intends to investigate how the mindfulness practice could improve the musical
practice and performance in turn that improves other aspects of the life.

Months ago, I started to practice a new meditation technique for me, called Mindfulness. As an
over thinker person with anxiety episodes; but also a musician, I wanted to tried something that
helps me to feel better with myself and improve my capacity to manage or in that case accept my
emotions in my daily life, but also in my musical practice. Meditation techniques and plenty
awareness applied to making music definitely could give a change in both of the aspects, due to
recognition, the acceptation and compassion about emotions, feelings and everything what it’s
happening in the present moment always give us the possibility to transform it.

With a lot of ideas I don’t know exactly how to start this research, but it´s clear and interesting for
me put on the paper what I find important because my process with mindfulness meditation has
had certain relevance in my daily life but also in my musical practice indirectly

Most of us spend a lot of time practicing and practicing, only repeating, but the biggest problem is
that we are not aware about what is happening, or why we are making mistakes and the quality of
our performance is not enough good because we are not present totally at the moment. The
practice is almost a waste of time when we are not entirely focused on it.

In order to know about the issue in question, there are a lot of meanings of the Mindfulness word,
but, the closest definition to the musical topic is the following:

“Mindfulness is be present in what is happening at this moment, without judging or analyzing,


simply maintaining the serenity of the moment. Bring presence to everything you do; Eat, speak,
listen, feel… Each experience and each moment is an opportunity to bring more presence”. 1

As an annotation the analyzing process is one of the most important elements of the musical
practice, but also the over analysis affects in a negative way our concentration and the quality of
the performance losing the focus in the given moment.

The mindfulness as a meditation could teach us how to become aware about what is happening in
the current moment but also a broad perspective about what is occurring into ourselves. But also,
Mindfulness in practice which can be used without an specific space and place for meditation, only
being aware of the present moment wherever we are.

Mindfulness teaches us to direct our attention to what is happening right here, right now, with an
attitude of kindness towards ourselves and our experience. This “being with” ourselves is in
contrast with more habitual states of mind in which we are often preoccupied with memories,

1
Maria José Flaqué, Mujer Holística, Serenidad, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxQhaX2Vh3s&t=55s
fantasies, and worries or planning. Yet, the capacity to be present is innate to each one of us and
can be deliberately cultivated, alongside our capacity for kindness. Although we are often unaware
of the current of our thinking, it has a profound effect on how we live our lives, as well on our
mental and emotional health.2

Despite the meditation is an ancient practice with origins in the Buddhism, the phenomenon that
is happening since last 30 years, has a totally different approach with a more practical use. The
world leader in the introduction of this type of meditation in the West is the doctor Jon Kabat-

2
https://mindfulness.ie/about/what-is-mindfulness/
Zinn. About 30 years ago he decided to offer the rest of the world the innumerable benefits of
meditation. For that reason he founded The Stress Reduction Clinic located at the Medical Center
of the University of Massachussets. In a first moment Mindfulness was developed as an
intervention for patients with chronic pain. Soon the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR),
began to applied for other conditions. The MBSR program usually consists of 8 sessions of two
hours each, in groups of up to 30 participants. The practice of Mindfulness is central. The moment-
to-moment awareness and characteristic attitudes of mindfulness, such as acceptance, beginner’s
attitude or openness, are worked through different exercises adapted from the Buddhist tradition,
such as body scanning, the seated meditation, eating or walking meditation as well as conscious
communication. In addition to this and psychoeducation on the physiology of stress and healthy
ways of responding to it are also included. Within the program, participants are encouraged to
practice individually, often with the help of audio recordings for 45 minutes per day.3 meditation
exercises Kabat-Zinn has defined mindfulness meditation as “the awareness that arises from
paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. By focusing on the
breath, the idea is to cultivate attention on the body and mind as it is moment to moment, and so
help with pain, both physical and emotional.

The objective of this research master is find the how the mindfulness practice could improve the
musical performance but also other aspects of the life, using the typical exercises in the musical
practice with the principles of Mindfulness.

3
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1130527416300391