Body Mapping

I currently teach Coordinate Movement for Musicians at Willamette University and am also available to teach Body Mapping privately and in a group setting. Please contact me for details.

I became interested in Somatics during my graduate studies at Indiana University where I registered for the course The Feldenkrais Method and its Applications for Musicians taught by noted developmental psychologist Esther Thelan. Throughout the class she focused on the scientific evidence that supports the Feldenkrais Method. I pursued this interest during my doctoral work at McGill University first completing an independent project on the Feldenkrais Method and its applications for oboe pedagogy, under the guidance of Eleanor V. Stubley, and then during my comprehensive examinations, in a study of Somatics and their applications for performing artists. This included a detailed study of the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis, NLP and Body Mapping.
My work on applying the Feldenkrais Method to music education has been published in Music Educators Journal

In 2007, I moved to Portland, OR where I trained as an Andover Educator. I am licensed to teach “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body”. I have presented sessions on Body Mapping at the Washington State University (Pullman, WA), Portland State University and at the International Conference of the Andover Educators (Montclair, NJ, 2011 & Portland, OR, 2015).

What are body maps?
The body map is one’s self-representation in one’s own brain. If the body map is accurate, movement is good. If the body map is inaccurate or inadequate, movement is inefficient and injury-producing. In Body Mapping, one learns to gain access to one’s own body map through self-observation and self-inquiry. The student carefully corrects his or her own body map by assimilating accurate information provided by kinesthetic experience, the use of a mirror, anatomical models, books, pictures, and teachers. One learns to recognize the source of inefficient or harmful movement and how to replace it with movement that is efficient, elegant, direct, and powerful based on the truth about one’s structure, function, and size.

What is Body Mapping?
Body Mapping is the conscious correcting and refining of one’s body map to produce efficient, coordinated, effective movement. Body Mapping, over time, with application, allows any musician to play like a natural. It is a tool that is useful in many different settings from music studios to exercise studios and to all of the somatic disciplines such as those mentioned below. Body Mapping not only helps musicians avoid injury; it also enhances musicians’ technique. The practical application of Body Mapping to music making was developed by William Conable, professor of cello at the Ohio State University School of Music. He observed that students move according to how they think they’re structured rather than according to how they are actually structured. When the students’ movement in playing becomes based on the students’ direct perception of their actual structure, it becomes efficient, expressive, and appropriate for making music. Conable’s observations are currently being confirmed by discoveries in neurophysiology concerning the locations, functions, and coordination of body maps in movement.