- It’s easier to grasp and understand
- It was conceived by and FOR musicians
- It seems less abstract and more concrete
- It’s possible to do in a “do it yourself” approach
- It requires very little monetary investment
The thing I LOVE about Body Mapping was that I got results immediately. As soon as my friend Andy Mullen introduced me to it and explained a few concepts, I could clearly see the mistakes in my own body map that were restricting my movements in violin playing specifically, but also just in the way I carried myself.
BUT, before we go any further, let me give you a little background so that we don’t develop an unfair bias against Alexander Technique, which is also a valid, life-saving method, but is not my first choice.Body Mapping was conceived by Alexander Technique instructor William Conable who also happened to be a cellist. This is why there is considerable overlap and similarites between Alexander Technique and Body Mapping. Conable’s main unique concept was that we attempt to move our bodies according to how we imagine our anatomy is put together.
William and Barbara Conable worked together to develop the concept of “movement re-education”, and together they termed it “Body Mapping”. Barbara Conable took it much further and trained a group of musicians with the intention that they would continue to develop and teach the work to other musicians. She named these musicians “Andover Educators” and they have since organized to become “The Association for Body Mapping Education“. The course they teach is “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body”.
For violinists and violists, I recommend Jennifer Johnson’s book “What Every Violinist Needs to Know About the Body“, which is, obviously, tailored specifically for the motions used in violin playing. Andover Educators have written books for nearly every musical instrument, so whatever instrument you play, there is a Body Mapping book out there for you!
The official Body Mapping website is here: http://bodymap.org/main/. I encourage you to explore
Much of my information for this article came from Jennifer Johnson’s website.
I encourage you to explore this simple, effective concept. Once you get your mind blown by discovering where our spine is ACTUALLY located in our body….you will see the value in learning more.
Happy Practicing! Meanwhile, feel free to join my email list: