Prevent injuries, tension, and discomfort caused by playing music! Learn about the relationship between your body and your instrument!
- Understand and experience how the body moves by following its natural design.
- Identify your own patterns of movement and learn how to transform them for playing free of tension.
- Discover the benefits of being aware of your body!
We will explore:
- The importance of body awareness in learning music and what body maps are
- Sitting and standing while playing
- How the legs move
- Common injuries in the arms
- We will apply Body Mapping to your instrument (Bring you instrument! Piano is available)
Continue reading Musicians of all instruments, levels, and genres are welcome!
The body is the medium to create sound and for some of us it’s the vessel and the beginning of everything.
A Fragmented Body
At the beginning I didn’t have awareness in my body.
I learned to play from watching movements and copying them. I practiced for hours, days, months, and years. Most of the time it worked, but not always.
My illusion was that if I matched all those movements and performed them, I was going to play correctly. Faithful to my ideas, I didn’t question and I followed the instructions.
Early in my studies I started having some pain and later I was labeled as a musician with tendonitis. Continue reading I Have Wide Experience in Performing, Performing Fragmented
Barbara and William Conable, who are Alexander Technique teachers and developers of Body Mapping, are the authors of How to Learn the Alexander Technique: A manual for students. They explain common misperceptions in the body that musicians have that cause them tension. The part for percussionists says: Continue reading Are percussionists the freest instrumentalists?
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!
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!
A couple of weeks ago, friends started sharing a video on Facebook about injuries in musicians. In thirteen sentences the minute-long video mentions some of the issues that musicians suffer within the body and the beliefs around this.
It’s very important to address musicians’ injuries and talk about them. Then we can understand, avoid, and treat these problems efficiently, and better understand our profession.
My intention in the next five points is to think in a more detailed way about the content of this video. Since this video is in Spanish, I have translated it to English:
1) Video: “To be a musician demands great discipline that may cause injuries.”
Certainly, studying and playing music requires discipline. We need to set and follow our personal schedules to practice, have rehearsal(s), attend different classes or teaching, and do all the things we have to do in our personal lives outside the musical context. We need to become organized with our time and in the ways that we practice.
However, discipline is not the cause of developing an injury. Continue reading Examining Video: Injuries in Musicians