Students new to taijiquan often ask what is a pipa when they learn the “play the pipa” posture in the Wu style tai chi form. I found this video on facebook.com of Wu Man playing the instrument, the four-string lute, with Haruka Fujii playing Japanese symbols. View and then see for yourself what a pipa is. Also check out the Silkroad Project, Yo Yo Ma’s current project. https://www.facebook.com/rsrc.php/v2/y4/r/-PAXP-deijE.gif
This article is from Medscape Medical News. “‘The traditional Chinese discipline offers possibilities for older people who can’t or don’t want to exercise strenuously, said Linda Pescatello, PhD, from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.’” http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/864177
If shoulder sits on dantian or hips, it’s good. If you can’t get this then coordinating shoulder with hip movement works and serves as a starting point to get shoulder on hip or dantian more fully, or whole body which includes mind, energy, and physical. This in itself is a stepping stone towards grasping “gravity” or “weighted in gravity.”
The more to the side you turn in cow gazes at moon the more you have to spiral up and down in the horizontal turn and as you extend towards your back and look at your opposite heal.
Everyone who comes to tai chi brings skills of their own to apply to learning tai chi and improve in the process those very same skills.