"Anita King’s workshops on Body Mapping are revelatory! Her presentations situate participants “in” their bodies with sensory experiences that deepen “conversations” between various parts of the body, the instrument, and the environment. Content-rich anatomical slides add important clarification to an understanding of the body, movement, and how one maps this understanding in the mind, with the material building organically from one topic to the next. I left her workshops with new insights that translated immediately into my playing and teaching.
Anita’s musical demonstrations at the piano are a special highlight of her presentations. In one particular session, she displayed the full range of her “embodiment” practice. Using numerous musical examples, she demonstrated the direct relationship between hierarchical structures in the musical score, expressed through sound and rhythm, and those in the physical structures of the body. She created a layered, musically vibrant embodiment of the music, effortless, graceful, and organized through intentional use of specific parts of the body to carry out specific goals in the music. This was embodied practice in action!
Anita’s engaging workshops are an inspiration and a must for musicians of all levels wishing to experience physical ease and deepen their understanding of movement and its relationship to artistic musical performance."
- Nina Scolnik, Professor of Teaching, Piano
Department of Music, University of California, Irvine
"It was a delight to take part in Anita King’s online Body Mapping course What Every Pianist Needs to Know about the Body. The five sessions overflowed with accessible information, helpful visuals, and inspiring hands-on demonstrations by Anita at the keyboard, on her physio ball, and down on her hands and knees. The course was friendly and personal as well as scientific, with the skeleton and anatomy referred to often, and specifically in relation to playing the piano. I learned so much! And this wasn’t merely a theoretical course; we constantly came back to the music itself, and how understanding the way the body moves can help us become better and more aware pianists and artists. Having five sessions on consecutive days made it possible to digest each portion of the course, try things out, and practice the activities Anita suggested. I warmly recommend any course Anita gives on The Exhale, and am looking forward to putting these paradigm shifts into practice in my playing and teaching."
- Marcia Hadjimarkos, Modern and Early Keyboard Recording and Performing Artist
I cannot tell you how much my daughter, Louise, and I were enthralled and transformed by the wonderful day we spent with you in Cluny. It was not only a pleasure to meet you but a fascinating workshop, the consequences of which have been quite extraordinary: the pain in my neck has virtually disappeared and Louise (violinist) is feeling also so much better (not that anything was seriously wrong) and freer in her playing. We have ordered the books and will be in touch with you soon to discuss the possibility of your coming back to Europe for a longer course. This message, meanwhile, is to thank you ever so much for everything you gave us that day, and to express our gratitude for the new horizons your workshop opened for Louise and myself. The information and the way you delivered it made a tremendous impression on us. We hope you will come back soon!"
- Patrick Ayrton, Harpsichordist and Conductor
Professor at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague
Thank you for organizing the workshop given by Anita. Patrick played a concert last night in Culles les Roches, with countertenor friend Alex Potter. I thought he played absolutely BRILLIANTLY! Something was extremely fluid and relaxed in his playing. I think this workshop with Anita did absolute wonders. Pleeeeaaassse ask her to come back next year at a date where I can attend!!!!!"
- Emmanuelle Ayrton, Artist and Illustrator
Wanted to just send a note to thank you for the excellent course What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body. It was particularly enjoyable to hear you play, watch your balance in action, and learn how you thought about the relationship of our 'selves' to the score, the musical structure and the physical act of playing. I appreciate the daily explorations on the notes you included. They are clear and practical, and trigger my memories of the course content.
Since the course, I have been sharing with my piano students some of your suggested explorations around discovering how our whole body can respond to changes in register in advance of our playing, and how students can systematically 'return to themselves' by pausing between small sections. This has been particularly effective with more advanced students who already have developed a sense of balance on their sitting bones. One student (13 years old) had a real breakthrough this week, putting together the work Gaby and I had been doing on connecting fingertips, released shoulder girdle, and the supportive torso, with ideas you presented on cultivating an expanded sense of whole-body awareness and support, starting from 'the feet up'. She came to her lesson yesterday, brimming with joy, and a much-improved Mozart Sonata!
I am so grateful to Gaby for suggesting this course, and to you, for offering your understanding of both the process of cultivating a balanced approach to playing, and how it connects to the music itself. This work is so rewarding, both personally, and for what we are able to offer our students. I will be re-watching the videos, and intend to watch your other course this summer."
- Jennifer Condie, BMus, ARCT, RMT
I am appreciating your course What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body so much. And I confess, this evening, my partner watched some of the class with me as he’s really interested in anatomy and got really sucked in too. You have such an art of sharing anatomy in an accessible and exciting way. (A great refresher of the anatomy courses I took during my yoga training).
I also can’t help but share this with you: yesterday morning, during my meditation, I applied the practice of balance (in sitting position), especially focusing on the joint between the spine and skull (the atlanto-occipital joint), building on the realization that there is a point where there is naturally no tension in the neck. It was great! I’ve been struggling for years to find the right head balance in my meditation (my head tends to tip back). By focusing on the overall balance of my spine and head, imagining my skull comfortably resting and slightly moving in the grooves on the atlas, I found my head was naturally in the most comfortable position possible and it gave my meditation a whole other dimension.
And, as I also just shared in the course, I’m now practicing finding a relaxed sitting position at the computer (where I spend most of my day unfortunately), sensing my sitting bones and adjusting my pelvis as needed.
So this course is proving to be relevant for other important parts of my life (which is cool as at the moment I have much less time than I’d like to play the piano)."
- Charlotte Dufour, Pianist and Yoga Instructor
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your presentations for The Exhale - so thorough and well constructed. I graduated as an LBME 3 years ago but haven't yet had the chance to travel to the conferences to see the teaching of so many of my US colleagues. As an AT teacher myself, I very much appreciated your unique blend of disciplines.
Due to the time differences (I'm in Australia) I had to make use of the recordings alone but I learnt so much that I'm sure I will be absorbing the material for quite some time, and will be a keen follower of your teaching in the future."
- Jane Shellshear, Pianist, Licensed Body Mapping Educator, and Alexander Technique Practitioner
"I have taken two of Anita’s multi-session courses: Marrying our Movement to the Music and What Every Pianist Needs to Know about the Body. I found them both to be extremely informative, fascinating and valuable.
I’m an amateur pianist and Anita explained and showed how to coordinate all aspects of one’s body in relation to the music, thereby making the playing of the music easier and the interpretation more expressive. The courses each illustrated the coordination between movement and musical expression through in-depth discussion, anatomical exhibits, movement explorations and demonstrations at the piano – all of which I found to be extremely helpful.
I highly recommend Anita’s courses without reservation. They are engaging, enlightening and have enhanced my playing. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to take them!"
- Lisa Kelso, Pianist and Architect
Just to let you know that I have been singing, playing the organ or the piano every day since the 5th July workshop in Cluny with the same enjoyment, and still no trace of epilepsy ever since. Difficult to believe it is just a coincidence... but it is making such a difference in my life!"
- Dominique Poulachon, Pianist, Organist, and Choral Director