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Musical Experience as Light on the Path: Guidance and Healing through Rudolf Steiner’s Six Auxiliary Exercises With Gotthard Killian

How do we cultivate creativity in the age of news media and technology? 

What kind of "life tech" will best help us to harness the forces within and around us in order to navigate the modern world as free human beings? 

Rudolf Steiner provided six exercises to help us discern our relationship to the many voices that ask for our energy and attention. We will work with these exercises in relation to the musical forces in the world, the cosmos, the earth, and the human soul. The gesture of the interval will guide us from its planetary expression in the Harmony of the Spheres to the inner soul experience and from there to social harmony. Thus, a quantitative understanding of the musical interval will deepen into a qualitative listening--beyond the tones, in the most intimate way--to find the wellspring of joy from which our truest creative work in the world springs.

As teachers, artists, and musical health care practitioners we are called upon to connect the inner work of spiritual creativity to concrete musical forms of expression, so that we can convey the experience of the inner life. We will improvise with musical instruments - some of them very simple tone instruments, which means no-one will need to be a trained musician. Simple instruments will be provided, but participating musicians are invited to bring own instruments from home (violin, cello, flute, clarinet, sax, guitar, mandolin, uke, lyre, etc.). We will also explore Pär Ahlbom's social and rhythmical games, which are a constant source of inspiration in the Waldorf grade school classroom. We will develop our ability to distinguish the musical forces from the formative forces in the creative field through sculptural work with Elizabeth Auer.

Gotthard Killian, born into a Swiss musical family, studied cello with his father, Christoph Killian; flute with Raymond Meylan; composition with Christoph Peter and Cees van As; and choral conducting. He studied Eurythmy for two years at the Eurythmeum Zuccoli in Dornach. He has worked at the Goetheanum stage as a musician in all branches; performed with the Japanese acting group "The Blue Hill-Aoi Oka"; was part of the Portal Production theater group based in London, traveling with the Mystery Drama The Souls' Awakening; and has toured widely with his concerts and workshops. Since 2004, Gotthard has been based in Melbourne, where he works in local Waldorf schools as a music teacher.

Gotthard Killian and the Lyre: Gotthard has conducted historical research into the development of the lyre and its connection with Kathleen Schlesinger's research, as well as Edmund Pracht's diary about the new creation of the "Kithara/Leier" in 1926. This research forms part of Gotthard's book Die Monochordschule des Pythagoras, now also available in English. Gotthard taught the lyre in the Curative Teacher Training at the Sonnenhof and also composed and played for patients treated in their Hoerraum-Therapie, according to the method of Susanne Mueller-Wiedemann, with Gisela Koop (curative eurythmist). Gotthard has been teaching the lyre in China since 2012 and has developed a progressive path for learning the lyre, specifically designed to meet the needs of Chinese lyre students. He has published lyre music for beginning to advanced lyrists in China. Gotthard's compositions for lyre suit a wide number of contexts, including exercises for students, pieces for eurythmy performances and lower-grade classes, pieces for the planetary scales according to Kathleen Schlesinger, pieces for the celebration of the Act of Consecration of Man at the Christian Community, for theater, solo and ensemble concert pieces, and music to accompany The Dream Song of Olaf Asteson.

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