TRAINING IN INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC “RIYAZ”

Dr. Rajiv C. Sharangpani
MS(General Surgery) Diplom Sports Medicine (Germany)

WHAT IS TRAINING?

Repeated skillful movements with full awareness. It is a stimulus which brings about desirable changes in neuronal circuits and musculoskeletal apparatus during rest. There is no end or limit to training; i.e. Riyaz

 BUT

it has to be done with total awareness

AWARENESS
• Awareness is continuous, simultaneous, nonjudgmental and total perception of internal and external environment.

RIGHT ACTION
• Effortless Effort is the right action. • Happens out of Awareness. • Total awareness leads to absolutely right action.

HOLISTIC RIYAZ
BODY BREATHING

MIND ATTITUDE SPIRIT

MASTER

THREE STEPS to HOLISTIC RIYAZ/ BECOMING A MASTER
Health Fitness Performance

HEALTH

Health is the ability to enjoy every moment of life without any cause.

FITNESS
Fitness is the enhancement of all motor functions and mental capacities.

PERFORMANCE

Performance is the ability of total integration of mind and body functions leading to a spirited spontaneity in any given task.

PRINCIPLES OF RIYAZ
       

Individualization Economization Specificity Optimization Recovery Doing and Happening Not doing Passive observation

INDIVIDUALIZTION

Every individual is different. Her requirements are different. Adaptability to training loads is different. Thus choice or technique of Riyaz has to be chosen accordingly.

ECONOMIZATION

‘More is better’- This is not true in Riyaz Learning skill needs a pattern of repetitions but this pattern should be as near to exactitude as possible. The ‘Quality’ of Riyaz is important, not the duration. Not one minute extra of Riyaz is necessary.

SPECIFICITY

This is the most ill understood part of Riyaz. Muscles respond to loads in different ways because the muscle fibers which respond to training load are different. A marathon runner and a sprinter, both run but both use different type of muscle fibers. Thus a singer who trains his lower octaves uses different muscles than when he trains his upper octaves.

OPTIMIZATION

Any movement, if it is to be done more and more skillfully, needs mental as well as physical repetitions. This balance has to be correctly reached. Excessive mental or physical repetitions do not help in actual performance but lead to injury, fatigue or both.

RECOVERY

After any activity, there is a time lag in which the human body recovers its spent resources as well as restructures its neuronal circuits & musculoskeletal apparatus. Training should not be instituted in this phase. In fact, the body changes for the better between two training sessions if properly placed. Riyaz is just a stimulus.

DOING AND HAPPENING

 

When one understands the task of producing a skillful sound mentally ,one starts doing efforts to produce it at will. Suddenly one finds that, by chance, one is able to produce that skilful action. However, it is not possible to physically reproduce this happening by chance every time. Here mental repetition is important because, although physical reproduction is not possible, mental reproduction is possible for few seconds.

DOING AND HAPPENING 2

Gradually this happening comes into the domain of doing. The artist is able to reproduce these sounds voluntarily. The artist is now in search of further happenings. Thus at every stage of his or her career, an artist comes across these happenings. If she accumulates them and brings them into doing she becomes great. If she fails to do the same, she remains mediocre.

NOT DOING

It is important to give complete break to Riyaz once in a while to give your body some time to recover. Surprisingly one starts performing better after the break.

PASSIVE OBSERVATION

Listening to others and observing their performance is essential to inculcate new ideas in one’s own repertoire.

ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS
 

Paradoxically Riyaz is all about repeated

analysis.

This analysis should lead to various forms of synthesis. Like building a house and dismantling it. Using the same bricks and building a new house till one is satisfied in all its aspects. Performance is all about presenting a spontaneous synthesis.

SPONTANEITY
  

Paradoxically spontaneity has to be trained. It is controlled abandon. The tools have to be polished and sharp; their use has to be with controlled abandon.

WHAT ARE WE TRAINING?
• Body: Strength, Speed, Flexibility, Skill and endurance
• Breathing

• Mind: Concentration, contemplation, Koan • Attitude:
• Spirit: Meditation

Exercises

• Physical.
• Breathing • Mental

• Doing

• Attitudinal
• Spiritual

• Happening

PHYSICAL TRAINING
• Static strength endurance training for good posture.

• General strength training for good health especially for females.
• Balanced training for instrument players to offset disadvantage of excessive use of one muscle group.

BREATHING
• Abdominal breathing leads to minimum internal dialogue. This in turn effects in increased spontaneity.

MENTAL TRAINING
• Concentration to be able to appreciate the place of the note.

• Contemplation to comprehend the intangible in Music.
• Koan to just stop the mind.

ETERNAL TRUTHS FOR CORRECT ATTITUDE
• Everything changes. Change is the only thing that is permanent.

• Time to make decisions not for regrets
• This moment is the culmination of the life lived so far. • It is always ‘Here and Now’. • Work is its own reward

SPIRITUAL TRAINING
• Who am I?
• What is happening around me?

• The awareness of the answers of these questions is important.
• It has to be there 24 hours a day. • Awareness before, during and after the Riyaz is absolutely necessary.

COMPONENTS OF RIYAZ
Time: Rhythms of the Body, time and duration of performance.  Space  Posture  Breathing  Duration  Dreaming

COMPONENTS OF VOCAL RIYAZ

All notes
  

Ability to move and stop at will Ability to express permutations and combinations of all notes.  Good pronunciation of the words of a composition  Training the “a” and “h” component
 

In natural octaves In a, aa, e, ee, u, ae,o and with mouth closed. In all volumes Have to be trained for

PHYSIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
All individuals strikes a different “Sa”  Even the same individual has slightly different “Sa” every day.  Lowest note on a day should be taken as “Pa” and the rest of the notes should be adjusted accordingly.  This leads to effortless singing.  Training a false voice is strenuous.

Damage to Physical Health
 Hypokinesia
 Bad Posture  Addictions  Wrong breathing: Breathing through the

chest as opposed to the stomach.

Damage to Mental health
 Desire
 Anger  Conceit  Temptation  Avarice

S T R

E
S S

 Jealousy

Fear

DAMAGE TO SPIRITUAL HEALTH
 Unawareness
 Inability to search for the answers to the

question - “Who am I?”

PREPARATION BEFORE PERFORMANCE:
Starts on the day of the programme  Managing internal and external environment.  Internal: Nature of presentation  External: Coping up with the accompanying artists, stage, hall, cultural background of the place.

ON THE DAY OF PERFORMANCE
Correct breathing: Through the Stomach  Correct eating  Inspecting the stage, mike, volume etc.  No discussions with anybody, especially no laughing.  Getting into the zone of the performance.

QUALITIES OF A TEACHER
Always a student.  Without ulterior motives  Minimum attachment  Knowing the two aspects of training : skill and general training of Individual  Able to adjust and adapt his training according to every individual student’s needs.  Egoless.

QUALITIES OF A STUDENT
Ability to completely trust and doubt a teacher at the same time.  Aware of his own shortcomings and strong points.  Egoless

LEARNING
 


 

Making new neuromuscular connections and musculoskeletal adjustments. Younger the age quick is the learning process as there are no established patterns of movement. Unlearning is extremely difficult as the set patterns refuse to break. Simple to complex but not necessarily. One can learn from almost everything around us

TEACHING
Nobody can teach.  Everybody can learn.  Teacher just produces a conducive environment for learning.

UNLEARNING
 Unlearning

is the breaking of pre-established neuromuscular connections.  It is rather difficult to break these connections.  Thus, it needs great awareness to unlearn.  In a sense, unlearning can be a great training in Awareness.

VIOLIN PLAYERS ADJUSTMENTS
Sit higher than the ground level. Press violin between chest and stand.  Lumbar lordosis. Right hand pronated with pressure on second phalanx of index finger. Left hand supinated,palmar flexion and ulnar deviation without holding the violin tight. Left hand correct position and light pressure, right hand variable pressure.  General adjustments of shoulder, knee etc.

Mistakes of a Teacher
Pretending to know something when ignorant about it.  Egoistic.  Ceases to be a student  Unaware  Attached to his art and students  Rigid in his outlook  Excessively methodical.  Suppressing spontaneity of his students  Excessive and continuous criticism or out of place praise of himself and his students.

Mistakes of a student
Inability to doubt and trust a teacher at the same time.  Gullible  Prone to excessive effort or little effort  Has ulterior motives  Gets disheartened quickly  Compares his or her progress with others

CAUSES OF MEDIOCRITY
Wrong person in wrong type of discipline  Wrong training as far as intensity and extent is concerned  Lack or suppression of spontaneity during training  False ideas regarding individual talent  Affected by six enemies and fear

CAUSES OF POOR PERFORMANCE
      

Poor or no preparation. Poor appreciation of space and time Poor choice of presentation Technically incorrect presentation Technically correct but non-spontaneous presentation. All attention to result and not process. Analyzing the performance instead of synthesizing it.

STATE OF PERFORMANCE
Excellent posture, peripheral vision  Still mind with no “internal dialogue” and an effortlessly moving body.  Pleasure in the body of the performance and joy in the mind leads to a blissful experience to all concerned.  Allowing the spirit to perform with no hindrance from either the mind or the body.

PERFORMANCE
Today's performance is audiovisual. Thus, the performer must have a pleasant expression on his face.  He or she must be well-dressed  Performer must observe time schedule assiduously.  Practice should be done keeping in mind, that a mike is present during performance though it is not there during Riyaz.

QUALITIES OF GOOD PERFORMANCE
Technically and theoretically correct presentation  Spontaneous happening  Correct selection vis-à-vis the audience  Correct duration of each presentation  Controlled abandon

EFFECTS OF WRONG RIYAZ

     

Pain in various body parts especially backache, neck pains and knee pains and specific pains like wrist pains for tabla players. Increased blood pressure found in vocalists who are doing wrong breathing, Menstrual disorders in female singers due to wrong breathing. Sleep disorders. Anxiety and mood disorders Disinterest, fatigue, irritability Loss of spontaneity in performance. Performance is technically correct but their is no fun or joy. This is the most serious effect of a wrongly done riyaz.

WRONG POSITION LEADING TO BACKACHE AFTER MANY HOURS OF PRACTICE

CORRECT POSITION

WRONG POSITION

CORRECT POSITION

WRONG POSITION FOR SINGING

CORRECT POSITION FOR SINGING

All our endeavours are in the known. We do riyaz to bring something of the unknown in our repertoire but very few even venture to comprehend the unknowable. We can perceive the world through our five senses. There is lot more to this world beyond these five senses and this is the unknowable.

A master gets in this realm through his riyaz.

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