I spent two weeks in Montreal where I did a lab with composers, artists, and performers. The music and the development of creative processes was extraordinary! I learned so much, however I want to emphasize the discoveries I found with my body.Continue reading New trips, Old patterns
Women musicians! Let’s get together and learn about our bodies!
The body map is a representation of the body in the brain, the perceptions that we have of our own bodies that influence our movements for any activity. Interaction with people and all the messages from the “outside” shape the body map, our own perception of the self.
So, bodies are not just bones, muscles, and organs; bodies also have different meanings.
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.
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!
September is here and by the time you read this, it’s mid-September.
For a lot of people September is like a new year. It’s a new beginning, new projects. It’s the start of a school year or a new concert season. Continue reading Ten things to ask yourself when starting a new year of music practice
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!