I Have Wide Experience in Performing, Performing Fragmented

The body is the medium to create sound and for some of us it’s the vessel and the beginning of everything.
Gabriela playing a snare drum solo.


A Fragmented Body

At the beginning I didn’t have awareness in my body.

I learned to play from watching movements and copying them. I practiced for hours, days, months, and years. Most of the time it worked, but not always.

My illusion was that if I matched all those movements and performed them, I was going to play correctly. Faithful to my ideas, I didn’t question and I followed the instructions.

Early in my studies I started having some pain and later I was labeled as a musician with tendonitis.


While my body was trying to heal my mind was active.

I didn’t practice for months and in the waiting time I started thinking that I had done something wrong. Perhaps I didn’t warm up before playing and/or the times that I did it, it wasn’t properly. I didn’t slow down and/or I speed up too soon in my exercises. In any case, it was my fault. Nobody else of my peers had problems, so it was me.


My case wasn’t that severe and I just waited for several months, but I know people who have suffered from this for more time. Sometimes, the people who don’t have the time to rest and heal keep playing in pain or they simply stop playing.


I started playing again. However, some days I still had the pain and some others not, it seemed completely random. I was confused, I wasn’t sure if in reality playing was the cause.  I kept playing.

Years later, I found a workshop in Body Mapping and the real recovery started.


In the present I can say very proudly that I have discovered my body. I know the causes for my tendonitis. I know how to deal with the tension in my body. All this also opened a door to understand better what music means to me.

Day by day I found new things. I keep practicing, but my intention has shifted.

The technique in the instrument that I’m playing needs to be based on my body. This body which is different from the one of my teachers and peers. It’s not copying movements, but finding what works for me. Translate the movements into my body. Also, finding what are the qualities of my expression and understanding what limitation is in a physical, emotional, or mental context.

The awareness in my body is a process. As my body changes, my patterns change too.

If you are a musician, injured or not, the questions for you are:
Do you think that your body is important for music making? Why or why not?
To whom are you faithful when you play?
Or rephrasing this, who do you listen to when you play or practice?

… Part 2 (E) motion