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Marrying Our Movement to the Music

4 sessions

This 4-session intensive explores the integration of artistic interpretation and movement. The ultimate goal of the course is to show how the principles that govern coordinate movement actually mirror the organization of the music itself. 


Such a comprehensive integration of movement and music calls for a profound paradigm shift in the way we approach music teaching and performance. We need to have a clear understanding of the structure and emotion of the music and then go on a search for the movements that express it. When the music itself becomes the catalyst for our movement, our movement choices will be as complex and nuanced as the music.


The sessions are highly interactive, combining lecture-demonstration, performance of illustrative excerpts at the piano, and movement activities and explorations with the participants.

Session 1: The Attentive Musician

  • How to develop a “Unified Field of Attention,” the condition of expanded and continuously-shifting awareness that allows our music making to be informed by the sensations of our bodies in motion and a clear perception of our performance environment

  • How to increase our movement choices by correcting and refining our “body maps”

  • How to better perceive ourselves by enhancing our tactile and kinesthetic (movement) senses


Session 2: The Coordinating Power of the Body’s “Core”


In this session we explore what is meant by the “core” of the body: the slower-moving parts (legs and torso) that support and coordinate the movements of the faster-moving parts (arms, hands and fingers). 

  • Finding balance in standing and sitting: how to depart from, and then return to balance in the midst of performing

  • Clarifying the structure and movements at three key joints: where head meets spine, where arms meet torso, where legs meet pelvis

  • Exploring the vast movement possibilities of the spine/torso

  • The importance and power of “micromovements” 

  • Exploring the torso/legs relationship through various bending activities:

    • Monkey, lunge, squat and other possibilities you may discover on your own

  • Understanding the legs as first responders to musical impulses and how “thinking like a quadruped” can transform your performance


Session 3: Connecting the Part to the Whole: The Arms


Focusing on the relationship of the arms to the torso and legs, this session explores the means for optimal coordination of the arms in practice and performance.  

  • How parts of the body move simultaneously at different speeds

  • The role of sequential movement in coordinating legs, torso, and arms

  • How to keep the arm structure in continuous relation to the whole body 

  • Utilizing the tactile sense to clarify one’s boundary with the instrument

  • Mapping the distance from the fingertip to the rest of the body in every moment


Session 4: Translating Musical Structure into Movement: Understanding Music’s Multiple Layers


This session focuses on the parallel organization of coordinate movement and musical structure to show how interpretative choices can be translated into movement, resulting in a completely embodied performance. 

  • Identifying the music’s “core”: the importance of harmonic rhythm and the nested levels of rhythmic organization

  • Seeking a line through the legs and torso that embodies the harmonic rhythm

  • Making a movement “translation” of the score

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