increase your peace

When I was five years old, my favorite toy was the piano.  I loved to stand on the sustain pedal, and reach up and pound the keys on the keyboard until the whole piano rang like a big gong.  And then I’d just stand there and feel the sound reverberating through my body. 

    I also liked to choose a couple of keys at random, strike them pretty hard and hold them down, and feel them fighting like gladiators.

    My mother was a musician, and she believed that ear training is the most important part of musical education, because the musical ear that you develop is the one thing that stays with you your whole life, influences every part of your life.  She even thought that I might have absolute pitch recognition, which is the mysterious ability to identify tones by ear. 

    When I was seven, she took me to the music teacher at the school where she taught, because this guy was really interested in ear training.  He taught ear training in the traditional way, which is, sitting at the piano, he would play notes, intervals, and chords, rhythms, and melodies, and I was to identify them by ear.

    He never actually taught me how to do this--it was left to me to figure that out.  By the time we split a year later, he could play any cluster of tones on the piano, and I could name them all, no problem.

    Years later, I went to music school, and started a career as a bassist.  I loved the bass because it’s so versatile; you can play with lots of different kinds of musicians, and also because--I loved it because I felt the sound in my body.

    As a teacher I specialized in ear training.  I studied the work of 19th century German physician, physicist, and musician, Hermann Helmholtz, who wrote a book called “On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music.”  I was also heavily influenced by Alfred Tomatis, the French Neurologist, and also the American music teacher, Gerald Eskelin.

    My methodology for teaching ear training and absolute pitch recognition is based on yogic toning, which is a millenniums-old practice from ancient India based on vowel-tone combinations that effectively focus and direct energy within the body.  It works this way: (demonstrates vocal sound, vowels sound, vocal/vowel combination, lips closed humming sound).  The concept is that tones resonate in specific locations in your body.

    In order to facilitate this teaching, I built something.  It’s a platform--the first ones were made of wood, with tactile sound transducers attached underneath.  A student could sit or lay upon this platform, and I could sing into their body and evoke the vibrational effects in their body that I was feeling in mine: basically, high sounds are felt high (sing high tone, indicate the head) low sounds are felt low (sing low tone, indicate the chest).

    One day I was teaching in my studio, the standard beginning lesson, my student was seated on the platform and I was playing sounds into the platform into her body, to show her how different sounds are felt in different places in the body.  I was playing bass, and she suddenly stopped me and said “Do that again!”

    We went back and figured out which sound it was that she wanted me to do again.  It was a B flat, 60 Hertz or so.  I played it, recorded it, looped it, and then played that through the platform into her body.  She melted, laid down, fell asleep, the music lesson was over.

    It turned out that she had been in great pain.  She was undergoing medical treatments, and taking powerful pain medications, and she said that Bb that I’d played into her body was the first real relief she’d had in months.

    After this my music lessons with the platform gradually turned into sound healing sessions.  Over the next 12 years, the platform evolved into what we now call the “Zadrozny Sound System,” which employs advanced technology.

    I’ve been working with physicists, doctors, engineers, and lots of people with pain and other kinds of issues, singing into bodies, creating sounds that actually effect sound healing.

All content ©Andy Zadrozny 2021

All content ©Resonant Body LLC 2021

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