Daniela Braun, Violinist
„The right thing does itself“ - About my experience with Normisa Pereira da Silva
by Daniela Braun.
For almost three years now I have been grateful to Normisa Pereira da Silva for her lively, intensive and extremely fruitful work. What is set in motion in her lessons is essential to my life as a musician and as a human being. As a former student of the HfM "Hanns Eisler" I can vividly imagine what a great enrichment the Alexander Technique would be in Normisa Pereira da Silva's musician-specific orientation at this university. Why - that is what I would like to try to show on the basis of my experiences.
When I started taking lessons with Normisa Pereira da Silva, I was already a graduated violinist, had orchestral and chamber music experience and distinct ideas of my life as a musician. What preoccupied me: dealing with stage fright and any kind of resistance, reflective behavior while practicing and in problem situations with others, balance and coordination - things that were and are very important for me as for any musician - only took tangible shape in her lessons. Questions that are not all that individual appear here in a clear, realistic and yet very personal light. An enormous field of work was the preparation for the audition, which I found through the work with Normisa to be a very formative time full of insights into this special situation, musical questions, myself, human nature.... and from which I emerged rich in insights and happy with a wonderful orchestral position (I now play in the Staatskapelle Berlin).
Always flexibly adapted to individual needs and circumstances, the lessons are from the very beginning a center of very conscious work on dealing with the self, the so-called "use of the self" and the very concrete (self-)perception. Initially perceived as an oasis of well-being - "Here I am a human being, here I am allowed to be" - the experiences from the lessons are increasingly integrated into everyday thinking and feeling.
The everlasting work of a musician, the mental component which is in my opinion often neglected during the studies (where else, for example, is the topic of how I can constructively deal with disturbing and distracting thoughts about the expectations of the listeners? For example, to observe the time window between stimulus and reaction and to learn to use the power that lies in "pausing" - things that read beautifully in books, but for which with Normisa Pereira da Silva, wonderfully, the how and the way to get there can also be experienced. The work is always concrete and tangible - what the hands achieve cannot be said with words! One never becomes detachedly philosophical, but is always in context with the body, our first instrument, and with sound, the physical manifestation of music.
I think what fascinates me most about Normisa Pereira da Silva is the balance of great calm, serenity, radiant peace and the always alert interest, openness, sparkling spirit and temperament. Often it is small remarks on the sidelines of a class that resonate as "wisdom" for a long time in everyday life: For example, that a revolution is not necessary in order to change - this sentence had a great impact on me, and it also illustrates her working style excellently: attentive and consistent, but always positive and never radical. Powerful and flowing, but not hard - like water - a beautiful image that is often used by her.
Without going into further detail about the vast field of the Alexander Technique, I can only emphasize how crucial this consciousness work, which concerns and treats body and mind equally and as a unity, was and is for my development as a musician. I feel stronger and freer in my personality, have gained a much broader confidence in my abilities as a musician, and the subtlety of discernment is growing: working here where improvement is possible, leaving there what cannot be changed.
From the bottom of my heart, my deepest thanks, dear Normisa!