Experiment, Move & Play

Register by Saturday Feb. 25!

*Please note that the registration and contact forms were broken for part of the month of February.

Please email to:  contacto@bodymapstudio.com
or call: (709)  770 -3342

The exploration of the body and learning accurate information about it has been fundamental in my process as a musician and as a person. My training in classical music, and my past beliefs, shaped me so that having control and the search for perfection were essential in my life. The exploration of new forms in music was not encouraged.

After experiencing tendonitis, in an effort to connect with my body, I started practicing yoga.  Years later I gave it up for a busy performance schedule. I assumed that body, movement, and music couldn’t exist together. Body Mapping allowed me to make that connection and start a new process…

The idea of Experiment, Move & Play is to open a space where we can link the exploration of the physical body with the creative self. The body is a medium for our performances. Using Body Mapping we will learn about how we are naturally designed to move, not only to avoid injuries or tension, but also to identify and work through limitations. At the same time, we will give room for the spontaneous through some improvisation.

Uno (3)

Continue reading Experiment, Move & Play

Recharge with Five Minutes of Constructive Rest

Winter landscape

It is the end of the year, winter is starting and the day light savings and the upcoming solstice are making me feel drained. It doesn’t matter how important or exciting the events in my life are, my body is tired.

We are so used to demanding a lot from ourselves and in this thinking sometimes we believe that sleeping and resting less would increase our productivity. Productivity meaning: practicing more, playing more, planning classes, writing, sending emails, etc. Continue reading Recharge with Five Minutes of Constructive Rest

Releasing the tension in the jaw

Last week I bit my food in a weird way, and this produced pain that has lasted all week in one of my teeth. Since then, I’ve been more aware of how I eat and of the amount of tension that this pain has produced in my jaw.

However, the tension around my jaw is not new. Since I started being more conscious about my body, I’ve noticed the patterns that I repeat which produce tension in this area. For example, usually I clench my teeth when I’m stressed. This happens in different circumstances when I practice, play or even when I’m writing an email. Do you experience something similar?

Are you aware of your jaw when you play?

What do you know about the jaw?

Have you noticed if you clench your jaw when you’re trying to play faster or in any other situation?

In the next video I explain some things to help you to reduce the tension in your jaw.

 

An hour of learning!

Jennifer Jihnson and Gabriela Sanchez starting their presentation at Resonate 2016.

On October 15th Jennifer Johnson and I presented in the music educators conference Resonate 2016-NLTA.

Our presentation focused on recognizing some of the cultural myths and postures that produce pain and tension in the body. We talked about how these patterns interfere with the natural design of our bodies and explained accurate information about the body. We also shared some of the tools that we can use to help our students to develop a balanced body while learning to play an instrument.

Some of the topics discussed were neck, shoulder, and lower back pain; as well as tendonitis in the arm and carpal tunnel syndrome. Continue reading An hour of learning!

Breaking Bad Habits in Music

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a colleague who expressed some of his concerns and questions. This is my answer which I wanted to share with everyone.

The message had two parts. The first is the issue between tension and relaxation concepts for learning to play an instrument. In the second part he asked some questions: How to unlearn wrong ideas? How to make a change in students’ ways of thinking so that they can learn to relax?

I will begin to answer the questions, and then I will use relaxation and tension as an example. Continue reading Breaking Bad Habits in Music

3 Suggestions for Percussionists (and Other Musicians ) to Avoid Tension

Concert hall with percussion instruments and Gabriela playing vibraphone

1) Be in balance while standing

If you have pain in your lower back or your legs feel tired after practicing while standing, it’s likely that your body is not balanced. This means that some parts of your body are doing extra work. They try to do the functions that other structures should be doing. Continue reading 3 Suggestions for Percussionists (and Other Musicians ) to Avoid Tension

Connecting Bodies

Gabriela Sanchez playing marimba and Corie Harnett dancing.

I am excited. This time it is a different type of excitement, different from any other.  It’s a first time.

I am a musician and I have been playing music for about 15 years. I love music. I love playing in the orchestra, in a percussion ensemble, and with other instrumentalists. Playing is absolutely exciting, challenging, and addictive, as any other musician would know. Continue reading Connecting Bodies

Your wrists in music

This is a quick explanation about the wrist and an example of how to transform a mis-mapping.

Watch the video and play music without tension in your body!

In my last notes I explained what body maps are and also that Body Mapping is about identifying and correcting mis-mapping that can cause pain and tension, and compromise our health while playing music. I mentioned a common mis-maping in the perception of our wrists.

Some mis-mappings are acquired by observing how the people in our lives move, our parents, friends, or teachers. When learning music we follow the instructions of the teachers and things like: “your wrist moves like a hinge” are the type of information that is not accurate and contributes to our mis-mappings.

Now the next step for you is to try to relate this information to your performance. Observe yourself practicing and notice how this can affect and improve your playing.

Let me know your discoveries and/or questions!