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FAQ

Please email Andree Martin at martin_andree@columbusstate.edu for answers to questions not addressed here.

Can non-flutists attend Summerflute?

All musicians are welcome to attend Summerflute as Participants or Auditors. Every year we have a few non-flutists who attend the full course as Partipants and Auditors. In the past, we have had violinists, singers and even a harpsichordist attend as Participants.

What is “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body?”

It is a book written by Barbara Conable. It is also a course taught by Andover Educators, based the principles of the Alexander Technique. The entire course will be presented over 4 days at Summeflute.

What is Body Mapping?

Body Mapping is the conscious correcting and refining of one’s body map to produce efficient, graceful, coordinated, effective movement. Body Mapping, over time, with application, allows any musician to play like a natural.

Body Mapping was discovered by William Conable, professor of cello at the Ohio State University School of Music. Conable inferred the body map from the congruence of students’ movement in playing with their reports of their notions of their own structures. He observed that students move according to how they think they’re structured rather than according to how they are actually structured. When the students’ movement in playing becomes based on the students’ direct perception of their actual structure, it becomes efficient, expressive, and appropriate for making music. Conable’s observations are currently being confirmed by discoveries in neurophysiology concerning the locations, functions, and coordination of body maps in movement.

Barbara Conable, the founder of Andover Educators, is now retired from her career as an internationally renowned teacher of the Alexander Technique. What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body, her book and her course, are informed by the insights of F. M. Alexander, as well as other Somatic disciplines and current findings in the neuroscience of movement.

Who takes this course or takes private lessons in Body Mapping?

The course was developed by Barbara Conable, the founder of Andover Educators, to help musicians learn how the body moves. Non-musicians can use this information as well in order to move well and avoid injury in their everyday lives.

What happens during a private Body Mapping lesson?

The Andover Educator will ask you what you want to change in your music making or what you want to discuss/explore. Based on what you want to learn or change, you will be asked additional questions to help clarify your understanding of your body map. The teacher will help you learn how your body moves based on practical anatomy using books, anatomical models, videos, movement, and verbally guide you as you locate where the different bones and muscles are in your body.


Will Body Mapping interfere with my physical therapy, instrumental technique, etc?

No. Andover Educators will help you learn how your body moves based on practical anatomy using books, anatomical models, videos, movement, and verbally guide you as you locate where the different bones and muscles are in your body. Andover Educators do not need to touch the student.

Andover Educators do not teach instrumental technique in a strict Body Mapping lesson. They will teach you how particular body parts move and it’s your responsibility to apply this information to your technique, if you choose to do so. At Summerflute, Andover Educators who are also flutists may give you thoughts on flute playing technique based on their knowledge of the body, if you request it or if it seems appropriate.

What is Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support, flexibility, and coordination. It enhances performance and is therefore a valued tool for musicians. Practice of the Technique refines and heightens kinesthetic sensitivity, offering the performer a control which is fluid and lively rather than rigid. It provides a means whereby the use of a part — a voice or an arm or a leg — is improved by improving the use of the whole body, indeed, the whole self.

With the Alexander Technique, these benefits are accomplished by the application in one’s own experience of what Frederick (F. M.) Alexander called constructive conscious control. Constructive conscious control is a process of self-observation and self-analysis, wherein one becomes intimately knowledgeable about one’s own habits so that one can suspend habitual muscular tightening (sometimes called downward pull), where it exists, and gradually consciously replace it with constructive behavior. Often one simply suspends unnatural movement and waits for natural movement to emerge. Natural movement is discovered to be that movement which is most supported and sustained by the body’s whole complex of postural reflexes, including the much prized “Primary Control”, the natural lengthening and gathering of the spine in movement, which depends on a dynamic, initiating relationship of the head to the spine.

What is the Feldenkrais Method®?

The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. With this Method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.

By expanding the self-image through movement sequences, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.

The Feldenkrais Method® helps those experiencing chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, or knees, as well as healthy individuals who wish to enhance their movement abilities. The Method has been very helpful in dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke. Musicians, actors, and artists can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity. Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort.

What Happens in a Feldenkrais Method® Session?

In group Awareness Through Movement® lessons, the Feldenkrais teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of movements in basic positions: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling, and imagining. By increasing awareness, you will learn to abandon habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination. Many lessons are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities (reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, etc.). Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. There are hundreds of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all levels of movement ability. A lesson generally lasts from 30 to 60 minutes.

Private Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration® lessons, are tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. The teacher guides your movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The student is fully clothed, lying on a table, or in a sitting or standing position. At times, various props (pillows, rollers, blankets) are used in an effort to support the student, or to facilitate certain movements. The learning process is carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure.

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