One Buttock Playing

“You know, a gentleman was once watching a presentation I was doing, when I was working with a young pianist. He was the president of a corporation in Ohio. I was working with this young pianist, and said, “The trouble with you is you’re a two-buttock player. You should be a one-buttock player!” I moved his body while he was playing. And suddenly, the music took off. It took flight. The audience gasped when they heard the difference. Then I got a letter from this gentleman. He said, “I was so moved. I went back and I transformed my entire company into a one-buttock company!” –An excerpt from Zander’s TED Talk

Music moves listeners and players emotionally, but it can also do so physically. Whether playing a challenging showpiece on the violin or leading a conversation with a large group, living life on ‘one-buttock’ allows for spontaneity and freedom. This collection explains the concept of living on the edge of one’s seat and offers a few examples of musical moments that push us to our side. It also provides strategies for being open to movement and change on a broad scale.

An Introduction to ‘One-Buttock’ Playing
In an excerpt from his 2008 TED Talk, Zander introduces and explains the concept of 'One-Buttock' Playing.
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” – Conducting Masterclass – (Part 1 of 3)
Getting large groups to play on 'One-Buttock' is a challenge. For all leaders, but especially for conductors. Zander explains his tips and tricks in a 3-part conducting class in Barcelona with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
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Mahler: Symphony No. 2, Mvt. II (Performance)
From the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra's final concert from the 2013 Tour of Possibility at the Concertgebuow in Amsterdam. This waltzing movement, nestled in the middle of one of Mahler's most gripping works, is all about flexibility and freedom.
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Bach: Adagio from Partita No. 1 in G Minor (Interpretation Class)
Most of Bach's solo works are in the style of traditional dances. But sometimes the buoyancy of movement is forgotten. In this class, Zander brings the concept into reality by encouraging violinist Leo Marillier to dance around the room as he plays.
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Wieniawski: Fantasie Brilliante (Interpretation Class)
BPYO violinist Mitsuru Yonezaki learns that the key to unlocking one of the hardest pieces for violin requires a specific type of freedom and movement. Dancing, to be exact!
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