Andrée Martin (B.Mus Memorial University of Newfoundland, MM University of Ottawa, DMA State University of New York at Stony Brook) has performed at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Pierre Boulez, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Warsaw Autumn and at the Prague Spring Festival as a member of the New York based Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble. Andrée has performed and presented at the Seattle Flute Fair, Florida State University Flute Day, the International Clarinet Convention, the American Musicological Society Convention, the North American Saxophone Alliance and at the National Flute Association Convention. Her interest in new music has led to collaborations and premieres of works by, among others, Earle Brown, Alvin Lucier, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Ralph Shapey, J.M. David, Brian Cherney, David Lang, Daniel Koontz, Perry Goldstein, Daniel Weymouth, Roscoe Mitchell, Petr Kotik and Jackson Mac Low. As a founding member of the Fountain City Ensemble, Andrée has toured Japan and performed throughout the U.S. She has had various solo and ensemble performances recorded and broadcast for the CBC including a concerto with members of the National Arts Center Orchestra. Andrée was chosen as the first recipient of the Samuel Baron Memorial Prize, was the only music finalist for the Thayer Fellowship and was a winner of the Stony Brook Concerto Competition. Funding for her studies in New York with Samuel Baron, Carol Wincenc, Tara Helen O’Connor and in Ottawa with Robert Cram came in part from a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Andrée’s research on French composer André Jolivet has been published in Flute Talk magazine (2004). She has also been published in the NFA publication, Flutist Quarterly (2005 and 2011). She is a founding member of The Furious Band, selected as the contemporary ensemble in residence at both the Aspen Summer Music Festival and at the Banff Center for the Arts Composers’ Forum. The Furious Band has performed throughout Canada, the United States, and at the Musica y Escena Festival at the Bellas Artes Theatre in Mexico City. They can be heard on CRI. An advocate of international education, Andrée spent the summer of 2008 teaching in Paris and in Oxford in the summer of 2012. Her students have won, among others, the Atlanta Flute Club Competition, the MTNA Georgia State Woodwind Senior and Young Artist divisions, the Mid South College Masterclass Competition, the Mid South High School Competition, the Florida Flute Fair Masterclass Competition, and the Artist International Competition (NY).
Ask the Faculty: Andrée Martin
How did you get into studying Body Mapping?
In 2008 I invited Amy Likar to give a workshop at my university. Seeing Amy work with my students made me realize the potential Body Mapping has in helping my flute students (and me!) find ease in movement and therefore a heightened ability to clearly express musical ideas.
How has Body Mapping helped your playing and teaching?
Studying and teaching the art of Body Mapping has encouraged me to become more self-aware and less grasping. Awareness of my former habit of gripping the flute has allowed me to recognize that I had that same controlling, grasping sense throughout my body, with or without the flute in my hands. I am now more aware of my students’ tendencies to overwork and am better able to help them find solutions. My training has helped refine my own body map and allows me to understand how tension can affect technique, breathing, sound, articulation, and expressive communication. I have become more able to self-sense, and can notice an internal sense of balance, thereby recognizing and reducing chronic tension.
How has your work in Alexander Technique helped your understanding of Body Mapping?
I was a devoted student of the Alexander Technique for many years. I left lessons feeling transformed in my body and hoping that feeling would last throughout the day. Unfortunately, however, as the day progressed my familiar habits of muscular tension would creep back in, and I would find myself counting down the days until my next lesson. Studying Body Mapping gave me the information I needed to find the ease I had after AT lessons on my own. It provided the language and concrete tools to find my best balance, become aware, and understand and inhibit old patterns of tension and holding.
How has your work in Alexander Technique helped your musicianship?
The study of Alexander Technique has helped me find release from the physical habits that inhibit musical expression. It has helped me think clearly about what happens, both in terms of muscular tension and movement, even before a sound is created. Observing the preparation to play has allowed me to release tension before I play, and then keep that release as I play.
How has the Feldenkrais Method helped your understanding of Body Mapping?
Feldenkrais lessons and classes have increased my ability to self-sense. Many of my mapping errors have been uncovered in Awareness Through Movement classes.
How has the Feldenkrais Method helped your musicianship?
My work with the Feldenkrais method has me experimenting with the quality of small movement as well as thinking about the beauty of integrated movement resulting in freer technique and more vibrant sound.
Why should musicians attend this class?
Sometimes the way into learning more about our own musicianship is not with more and more hours in the practice room, it is through learning about our bodies and minds by studying other methods and techniques. Exploring our instruments with insights gained from Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, and Body Mapping in this course gives us new and transformative ideas for enriching those hours in the practice room.
What makes this class different from other classes in your experience?
In 2010 I attended Summerflute as a student. This experience was so different from the many, many flute classes I had attended in the past, and was exactly what I needed as a teacher and a flutist. Integrating Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, Body Mapping and flute playing in one class mirrored the integration of those techniques in my daily work as a musician. Years later, I still go back to the notebooks from that class and find inspiration and concrete tools to help with daily ease of movement and freedom of expression.
Anything else we should know about you and your work with musicians that will make a compelling case for why people should come to our course?
As a flutist continuing to retrain from a diagnosis of focal dystonia in 2001, I believe it is crucial for all performing and teaching musicians to learn more about the body and mind in order to prevent injury.