Every musician is an athlete. Athletes hone their bodies, coordinate their reflexes, and train their minds seeking to perfect a balance of strength, skills, and agility. Complicated, demanding, and repetitious movements often result in unnatural and difficult positions which put instrumentalists at risk of injury. However, when movement and task are coordinated well and freely, the athlete-instrumentalist finds themselves in “the zone” or “the flow,” a magical place where art and athleticism meet.
The Feldenkrais Method is a movement-based self-discovery processthat aims for performance with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, thus reducing the chance of injury and even helping speed up recovery time from an injury. Samuel H. Nelson and Elizabeth Blades provide a guide to the Feldenkrais Method tailored specifically for instrumentalists. The book includes many “Awareness Through Movement” activities and lessons as well as case studies and examples specific to different instrument types.
Samuel H. Nelson is a graduate of the Toronto Professional Feldenkrais Training Program (1987). He has offered Awareness Through Movement classes to the public since 1985. He held a seminar on the Feldenkrais Method each semester at the Eastman School of Music for many years and has presented seminars at music schools in Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia. Nelson also presented workshops for musicians at several area high schools, as well as for physical therapists and equestrians. He has a private practice in Rochester, New York.Elizabeth Blades holds both doctor of Musical Arts and masters of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. She is currently adjunct associate professor of Music at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. Previous appointments were at Heidelberg University (Tiffin, OH) where she served as associate professor of Music, coordinator of Vocal Studies and director of Opera; and as a visiting professor of Music at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY.
No one knows more about how musician's bodies make music with ease and comfort than Nelson and Blades. This book constitutes several lifetimes of wisdom packed into a treasure trove of movement. My performing life was so much easier and richer using these techniques.
Nelson and Blades effectively describe Feldenkrais Method in simple language. Their book dives into key topics that will be of vital interest to musicians of all kinds.