Feldenkrais Method® and The Arts: Musicians and Vocalists
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MUSICIANS and VOCALISTS
A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Piano Pedagogy
Jill Beacon, 2015 University of Ottawa
Recent research has revealed high prevalence rates for the development of playing-related pain amongst professional musicians, including pianists ... . Theories about the development of playing-related pain often implicate poor postural alignment as one of the important risk factors ... . Therefore, many pianists have turned to somatic training approaches, such as the Feldenkrais Method, to help them discover more comfortable and sustainable movement and posture strategies. ... The Feldenkrais Method is a popular form of somatic education that aims to improve postural alignment, efficiency of movement, and body awareness.
JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCES AND LAW, Sept 2012
Bellafiore Marianna, Forte Caterina, Venturella Agnese, Caramazza Giovanni, Battaglia Giuseppe, Forte Andrea, Bianco Antonino, Palma Antonio
Depart. of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Palermo (Italy), Forte Feldenkrais Training (Palermo and Milano, Italy), Regional Sport School of Sicily CONI (Olympic National Italian Committee, Italy)
Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore whether Feldenkrais Method was useful for improving muscular flexibility and reducing back pain in professional orchestral musicians.
Conclusion: Our outcomes illustrate that Feldenkrais method has positive effects on muscle flexibility and supports the use of this method for dissolving muscle tensions and contractions that can cause pain in professional orchestral musicians
Allegro Volume CV No. 3 March, 2005
Associated Musicians of Greater New York
Playing is a complex process. It begins with a musical intention that is translated into a series of movements involving weight, speed, orientation in space, and relationship to gravity. When these movements are inefficient and not optimally organized, the result is excessive strain, unnecessary wear-and-tear on the muscular-skeletal system and unsatisfactory musical results. Magnified by long hours of practice, this wear-and-tear produces many of the playing-related injuries that are so common among performers.
The Feldenkrais Method, developed by Israeli physicist and engineer Moshe Feldenkrais, is recognized around the world as an elegant and effective way to improve performance and eliminate pain by changing the quality of the movements we do when we play.
SenseAbility, Issue # 34 1st Quarter, 2005
produced by the Feldenkrais® Educational Foundation of North America (FEFNA)
- Using the Feldenkrais Method to Heighten Musical Awareness and Skill –by Elisabeth Reed, GCFT
- Feldenkrais Method Can Expand Musical Freedom, Experimentation and Imagination –by Uri Vardi, GCFT
- Artist/Teacher Finds Relaxation, Grounding in the Feldenkrais Method –by Nancy Galeota-Wozny, GCFT
- The Magic Piccolo by John Tarr, GCFT
Allegro Volume C No. 9 September, 2000
Associated Musicians of Greater New York
During the Explorations in Singing workshop held at Marywood University earlier this summer, master singing teacher Thomas Houser made the following statement about one of his colleagues teaching at the workshop: “I have learned as much about singing from her as I have from any singing teacher.” He was referring not to a singing teacher but to Joan Pfitzenmaier, a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education, who has a private practice in Manhattan.
Singing with Your Whole Self - The Feldenkrais Method and Voice
SAMUEL H. NELSON AND ELIZABETH BLADES-ZELLER
This is a book and transcripts are not provided on the internet
Singing with Your Whole Self teaches performers to use the Feldenkrais Method to ameliorate problems of tension, muscle strain, and illness in order to obtain optimal vocal performance. It contains an important and unique feature: modularized Feldenkrais "Awareness through Movement" lessons. These are specifically designed for liberating function in all musicians and in singers in particular. Modularized lessons allow the user to choose between functionally useful short segments or entire lessons. The first part of the book presents the theory explaining why this approach works in an easily understood and concrete fashion.
iSing Magazine, issue 12, October 2017
Moshe Feldenkrais ... His methodology is an invaluable tool for developing vocal efficiency because it focuses on the nervous system and provides an insight into the workings of our “somatic map”. As singers we often exhibit postural habits that compromise voice production. We are told that we need to tuck our chin in, not raise our eyebrows on the high notes, not slouch or raise our shoulders but such simple movements can be so hard to change. Feldenkrais is based on an understanding of the neurological system and change is harnessed through allowing our bodies to experience alternative ways of moving.
Lyon, France February 10th, 2001
I was invited to give a presentation of the Feldenkrais method and its pedagogical utility in the training of singers, choir leaders, voice teachers and drama coaches, health professionals, and others. The one who did invite me was Dr. Guy Cornut, who knew my work from the singers of the Lyons opera (with whom I worked for 10 years) and various speech therapists (for whom I have led many workshops). ... We began with an ATM on “the mobility of the pelvis and the dynamic sensation of verticality in a sitting position.”
Vocal Pedagogy and the Feldenkrais Method.
In: Harrison S., O'Bryan J. (eds) Teaching Singing in the 21st Century. Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, vol 14. Springer, Dordrech
Grant S.J. (2014)
This is a book and transcripts are not provided on the internet
This chapter explores how a vocal pedagogy based on the development of kinaesthetic awareness and movement can enhance the learning experience of vocal students. It will examine how an approach to vocal pedagogy based on the Feldenkrais Method can lead to learning that is more deeply understood in a physical or embodied sense. … The Feldenkrais Method can be used to link traditional and scientific vocal pedagogical approaches to the sensory experiences of singers learning their craft. A basic question the Feldenkrais Method poses is: ‘How do I bring my intentions into action’? This question is essential in understanding the perspective that the method provides, and also goes a long way towards answering a question posed by Harding (2007), which asks about how we make the link between vocal technical concepts and physical coordination.
Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 2015
Rebecca Meitlis, Royal Northern College of Music | RNCM · School of Vocal Studies
This article explores how poor communication in performance by opera singers can be the result of limitations in natural breathing and how, in turn, improving the breathing and awareness of the movement of the breath through the Feldenkrais Method can improve a singer's self-image, and become a foundation for a more expressive performance. Looking at these limiting factors – the method of teaching and learning the Feldenkrais Method, recent writings on brain plasticity and Kristin Linklater's work on freeing the natural voice – we see how an individual can change unhelpful patterns of behaviour and experience breathing and singing with their whole body.
Because The Feldenkrais Method teaches through the body, it originates in general human functioning and is not restricted by stylistic idiosyncrasies. Therefore, the method is effective in developing new habits of learning music, acting, dance, and perhaps areas of study outside the performing arts. The explorations that this kind of learning evokes are based not only on a cognitive or intellectual inquiry but on somatic action and interaction. They are the kinds of questions that elude definitive answers. They are circular, intimate questions that cultivate wonder and exploration. It is this "learning to become comfortable with not knowing" that is the heart of creativity, and is, in my opinion, the essence of learning to be an artist.
The Feldenkrais Method® - Music and Musicians
Linda Case Speaks with Paul Rubin
This interview with Paul Rubin, Educational Director and founder of ISSE (Institute for the Study of Somatic Education), was conducted by Linda Case, Associate Professor of Violin at Ithaca College. It appeared in the The American Suzuki Journal, winter, 1995
Available on ISSE's website:
Also available on the Feldenkrais Guild's website:
Paul Rubin: The Feldenkrais Method is about working with people around the issues of the acquisition of skill, efficiency, simplicity and other improvements in movement and ability. The method is of particular interest to musicians and teachers of musicians in that it embraces ways of finding greater ease, comfort and skill -- even in complex and rapid movements.
Pianist Magazine - On-line Blog, 07 February 2020
For most of us, this will be the first time that we have come across the Feldenkrais Method™. If you are one of those people, you most likely have a tonne of questions. What is it? Where did it originate from? How can it help me improve as a pianist?
We’re going to try and answer as many of those questions as possible for you.
This lesser-known technique focuses on improving your movement and function through training your mind. Many other posture techniques and methods focus on physical improvement. Focusing on the mind is what makes this method highly unique.
With tonnes of benefits for piano players in particular, including easier and fuller breathing during performances, this is a method definitely worth exploring.