MASTA Professional Development Grant; What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body

MASTA Professional Development Grant; What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body

Course Instructor: Rebecca Hunter, DMA, Andover Educator

 

Bodypic1I am honored to be a recipient of the MASTA Professional Development Grant for 2015, which helped fund my 6-hour public “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body” course on Dec. 12, 2015. It was the final requirement for me to become a licensed Andover Educator. Held at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, there were 35 participants ranging from high school students to amateur and professional musicians, and my trainer Jennifer Johnson from St. John’s Newfoundland.

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Body Mapping is a term created by Barbara and William Conable to describe the process of bodypic2constructively applying an understanding of ones anatomy to improve how we move both as musicians and in everyday life. Born with an intuitive map of ones own body, we often distance ourselves from this map as we begin to visually imitate those around us, creating ‘mis-mappings’. The mind will move the body the way that it envisions it. With an accurate understanding of the size, structure and function of our bony structure through skeletal models, pictures, and guided touch, one can overcome ‘mis-mappings’ and learn how to move in a balanced way. This knowledge allows one to move with integrity, minimal muscular effort, and with ease, which in turn improves ones tone, musicality, and decreases the chance of injury.  The integrity of any movement depends on the integrity of the body map that governs it.

 

Bodypic3Through the training process of becoming a licensed Andover Educator, I have gained new insights and approaches to teaching and playing music. I am able to better see the underlining causes of limitations in students and have the tools to be able to help them overcome these difficulties and empower them with the knowledge to be able to maintain healthy habits enabling them to play without pain. Within my own private studio, this education has helped me be able to better secure a healthy and strong foundation for my students, and help me in my own playing. The new language and approaches to concepts has helped me better communicate various techniques in the sectionals I have led in public schools (middle school and high school), workshops and festivals.

I appreciate MASTA’s generous support. Now one of only 3 Andover Educators in the state of Michigan, I am able to provide the greater community with a resource to help those musicians struggling with pain, provide music educators with the tools to better help their students overcome limitations and improve their tone and ability. I am happy to be scheduled to teach a Body Mapping course at Easter Michigan University, School of Music & Dance this upcoming Fall 2016.

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