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Music or No Music for Tai Chi

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Mitch Powell:
I have trained with teachers who use music when practicing Tai Chi and Chi Kung, and those that don't. Which do you prefer and why?

I've used both way in my classes.
I use music because it helps to add a relaxed mood to the class.
However there are times that you need t be able to see if relaxation can be gained with normal back ground noise going on.
We cna't always carry a radio around with us

I remember doing a "Fragrant Chi Kung" that used a tape that called out excercises.Between excercises there was music. It helped to keep an even amount of time for each excercise. In all the tape was about 15-20 min.long.............now I need to find the tape. ;D

Training with music is something that I believe we should try to move away from as we become stronger in the internal component of martial arts.  For one, music is a source of external motivation which is detrimental in the internal arts, and even in the "external" arts.  If we can motivate ourselves from within, we will no longer depend on a favorable environment or situation to motivate us so that we may excel and prevale in combat or life's little games.  Also, listening to music helps pass the time nicely and relax your mind, but it also makes it difficult to perform one of the most important tasks in the internal arts; listening to your body so that you may correct it's mistakes and improve on it's strengths.  The first step to improvement is mindfulness of the oppertunity to do so, and if we do not focuss every last drop of our attention on the area that we are working on, then we are not practicing at our full potential.

Having said that, have you ever waited in one of the standing post positions for half an hour with no music?  Do you have any idea how incredibly boring standing there in silence with nothing to occupy your mind around is?  How about an hour?  Would beginners feel the same, class after class with no external motivation?  I don't think I am a srong enough person to train in an art as boring as Tai Chi (yes, I said it, sometimes it can be very BORING!) with no music, but I hope to be soon.

So, in reallity, music is like a nicotine patch.  It is an unhealthy way of leading ourselves in a healthy direction.  While the idea of introducing nicotine (music) to our body is bad, using it untill we no longer need it, in order to break that dependency, is a good thing.  

I think I'll stop now before I really loose everyone.  :)

Not supposed to use music.  If it helps you relax and do the form correctly though...


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