> Think you know your own body really well? > You may want to think again. > Barbara Conable, an Alexander Technique specialist and developer of >Body Mapping for Musicians, held a three-day residency over reading >period in which she divulged “What Every Musician Needs to Know About >the Body.” Both students and faculty from different instrument groups >attended to hear Conable’s words of experience. > A body map is the self-representation in the brain, and it is based >on this map that people move. “If a map is good, movement will be >good,” Conable said. “If a map is incorrect, movement will be >consistent with the error.” With body mapping help, one can identify >errors in the body map and thereby correct them. > Janet Anthony, who organized Conable’s visit, found the workshop to >be useful to her both as a cellist and a teacher. “There is a lot that >I will be able to use in my own playing, and I have already put into >practice some of the principles in my teaching,” she said. “One of the >things I liked most about the workshop was that the information she gave >could be used by anyone no matter the level.” > Conable has found body mapping to be extremely successful; in fact, >in her work with injured musicians, she estimates that she is successful >nearly 100% of the time. She has also worked with actors, dancers, and >non-musicians uncomfortable at their computers. When not leading >workshops, she gives private lessons or writes books. > Conable especially enjoys training music teachers to teach body >mapping. “The objective is to get this information to as many people as >possible,” she said. She suggested that body mapping should be a part >of freshman orientation at any music school. > In order to improve one’s body map, Conable recommended a good >anatomy book, such as Kapit and Elson’s Anatomy Coloring Book. She also >advised students to watch the movement of great performers and imitate >them. > Conable has led body mapping instruction since 1975. Body mapping >grew from her former husband’s observation that in the school of music >where he taught, students that moved badly did so because of the way >they perceived their structure. Once they changed their maps, however, >their movement generally improved. Conable and her husband then >identified hundreds of possible errors for musicians, and even now, she >continues to develop the theory and practice of body mapping. > The Seeley G. Mudd Library recently acquired a number of books >recommended by Conable. For the list of books and further information, >visit http://www.bodymap.org.