Qi Gong for Musicians

Qi Gong for Musicians, created by Scott Lee, does for the body what my book, Effortless Mastery, does for the mind. It is another way around the obstacles and illusions the mind creates to inhibit our creativity and our brilliance.

That path is the organice connection between the mind, heart, soul, the body, the instrument, and the language of music.

Kenny Werner

What Is Qi Gong?

The daily practice of Qi Gong offers a way to shift our energy away from agitation, tension, and preoccupation – and towards calmness, relaxation, and focus.

Besides being a healthy art, Qi Gong is a collective name for specific Chinese forms or exercises.

Qi (or Chi – pronounced “chee”) is the Life energy that flows through all living things.

Gong means work or discipline.

So, Qi Gong is the practice of learning about the flow of that energy throughout the body…

It is Movement and Meditation

The exercises (which can be done in the small space where you are standing) gently stretch the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and massage the internal organs. The forms are elegant and simple and help teach us about inward awareness.

Their practice is suitable for any age and almost any physical condition.

Can You Benefit from Qi Gong?

Most musicians experience difficulties in their playing at one time or another. The common problems we face usually fall into these following areas:

  1. Practice issues – Too often, our practice time is not focused or thorough: it can be avoidance, a bad attitude, or just not knowing how to concentrate and use the time well.
  2. Performance anxieties – Many musicians experience the fear of playing poorly, or disappointing oneself and others by not performing up to certain standards.
  3. Physical problems – From repetitive stress syndrome to the random and/or chronic numbness, ache or pain, every musician will eventually encounter these difficulties and need a remedy.
  4. Creative blocks – Being able to bring out what you already know and expressing your own musical history and personality is frustrating at best. Finding your own voice and staying strong in your unique way of playing should be a constant goal.
  5. Inconsistent improvement – Maintaining an enthusiasm for learning as much as possible is the path to improvement.

What to Expect from Qi Gong

The daily practice of Qi Gong offers a way to shift our energy away from agitation, tension, and preoccupation – and towards calmness, relaxation, and focus. Doing this series of exercises before you touch your instrument sets up a new attitude of mind and body:

  1. In your practice time, the distractions of the day fade away and you will find it easier to concentrate and use that time more efficiently.
  2. The anxieties of playing with others will diminish as more thorough practice brings better preparedness. Because you know your instrument and the music better, your nervousness subsides as greater confidence enhances your performance.
  3. There is less likelihood of developing physical problems because the body is carrying less tension: the gentle stretching reduces stress and tightness in the body.
  4. Finding ones creative resources is greatly facilitated because the breathing aspects of Qi Gong quiet the mind. Without that customary mental chatter, new ideas have a chance to emerge as you access your inner musical voice. You discover your Sound as you express what You have to say.
  5. All of this re-invigorates the enjoyment of learning. You will look forward to playing your instrument because you see consistent progress. It will become easier and more fun to play music.

The DVD takes you through the classic Qi Gong routine, The Five Elements.


Let Scott Lee show you the way. Your musicianship will undoubtedly improve if you can master the techniques and bring about greater mind and body relaxation

Dave Miele

Jazz Improv Magazine, Summer 2007