By Cockey, Linda
The items marked with this symbol can be ordered via the MTNA website through our affiliation with Amazon.com. Go to www.mma.org and choose Member Services from the Membership option in the main menu bar for more information. INTRODUCTION
Included for each annotation is a brief description of the content of the resource and the intended audience. Publishing information is included. Most books can be bought directly from the publisher, through amazon.com or can be obtained at a university library or inter-library loan service. Books go quickly out of print these days.
Selections are chosen that are specifically useful to musicians, even if it does not specifically address the musician. Materials are screened to include only items that are relevant to specific musicians with regard to wellness issues. Topics include prevention of medical problems, meditation, performance anxiety, performance preparation, healthy practicing techniques, learning theories and physiological and psychological issues related to overall musicianship.
Shockley, Rebecca Payne. (1997) Mapping Music: For Faster Learning and Secure Memory A Guide for Piano Teachers and Students. A-R Editions, Onc, 8551 Research Way, Ste. 180, Middletown, WI 53562; (608) 836-9000; www.areditions.com 122pp. ISBN: 0-889579-39
MOST RECENT BOOKS
Cook, Orlanda. (2004) Singing with Your Own Voice: A Practical Guide to Awakening and Developing the Hidden Qualities in your own Singing Voice. Routledge, 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016- 0602; www.routledge-ny.com. 224 pp. ISBN: 0-87830-182-8
Published posthumously, this manual is comprehensive with practical suggestions for all singers, particularly actors, about how to improve performances in a healthy way. Written by a vocal coach and director who worked all over Europe, the aim of the book is to provide the reader with her tips and tools from the trade.
There is a total of six parts. Each part offers a combination of theory, ideas to ponder and practical exercises. The parts begin with an overview and ends with a summary. Within each section, there are three key words: Explore-indicating an active exercise that involves moving, standing up or getting down onto the floor; Discover-indicating additional ideas and exercises for self- discovery, which can be read and considered without necessarily having to move; and Develop-indicating further exercises to increase, over a period of time, your practical understanding of the physical structure explained or the activity proposed. The parts are titled with “additive” titles as will be seen below.
“Part One-Voice: Mind and Heart” is about “Singing Who We Are,””The Natural Voice,””First Voices,””The Singing Voice,””The Individual Voice,” and Gold in the Cracks. This serves as an introductory section where the author discusses vocal inhibition and confidence and singing as a natural and pleasurable sound.
“Part Two-Voice: Mind, Heart and. . .Body” is about “Activating the Body,””A Power Base for the Voice,””PVE, Laughter and the Jaw,””A Body Made for Breathing,” and “The Magic Cords.” This part examines the body as the “ground” for all feelings, thoughts and songs and how every structure of our anatomy that is component of helping to create vocal sound can be influenced through a combination of thought, imagination and muscular action.
“Part Three-Voice: Mind, Heart, Body and… Sound” examines “Vibration and Resonance,””The Harmonics of Sound,””Singing in Tune,””Working with a Piano,””Facing the Music,” and “Shaping the Sounds of Speech.” Good vocal sound is the result of a combination of breath, vibration and resonance.
“Part Four-Voice: Mind, Heart, Body, Sound and… Imagination” is about “Freeing the Imagination,””Characters in and for the Voice,””Animal Arias,” and the “Whole Voice-Broken Sound.” Here, the author discusses one’s imagination and how it is the connecting fluid that joins everything. She suggests ways of discovering the many different qualities in your voice through different characters, images of animals and birds. The union between the voice and body through felling and imagination is paramount in the development of a good singing voice.
“Part Five-Voice: Mind, Heart, Body,””Sound and Imagination into Song” review “The Creative Voice” and provide the reader with a song- learning checklist. In summary, the creative voice is one that is totally present and responsive to the moment and able to call on any part of your voice to express what you want and how you want it.
“Part Six-The Singer and the Song” discusses how to face audiences, work with support groups for feedback and ends with a section about 10 different students the author worked with to help explore their voice and guide them towards finding new energy and interpretative ideas for their singing.
The book ends with an “Epilogue Voice and Soul,” where the author explains that singing with our soul is about “giving” not “getting.” She discusses important characters from Greek mythology and relates to the extremes of one’s character. A bibliography is included and an index of exercises and where they can be found in the text is incorporated at the end.
Audience: singers and actors
David, Catherin. (1996) The Beauty of Gesture: The Invisible Keyboard of Piano & T’ai Chi. North Atlantic Books, P.O. Box 12327, Berkelery, CA 94712; 166 pp. ISBN 1-55643-219-4
This short book explores and compares the art of playing the piano with the aesthetics of practicing t’ai chi. Both disciplines require the development of technical skill to make difficult tasks seem simpie and obstacles seem an ordinary part of the artistic skill. The author depicts the meditation of discipline through these two skills and how body and mind connect.
There are 26 short chapters where David compares a gesture one would use to play the opening of a particular piano piece (for example, Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat Major (K.570)) with a gesture one would use in t’ai chi. She goes on to compare both arts as relying on mental imagery for technical mastery. An interesting read for any musician interested in the mind/body connection and does any form of meditation such as yoga and t’ai chi.
This is a translation from an awardwinning French edition, La Tribune de Geneve. David draws on works from philosophy, art and literature to examine and compare playing the piano with t’ai chi. Bibliography not included; however, there is a section titkd “notes” at the end.
Audience: all musicians
Dawson, William J. (2008) Fit as a Fiddle: The Musicians Guide to Playing Healthy. Rowman & Littlefield Education Publishing Group, Inc., 4501 Forbes Blvd., Ste. 200, Lanham, MD 20706; (800) 462- 6420, fax: (717) 794-3803; www.rowmaneducation.com. 158 pp. ISBN: 978-1-57886-683-0 (hardback); 978-1-57886-684-7 (paperback)
Dawson is a retired hand surgeon, a symphonic bassoonist and private teacher, as well as president of the Performing Arts Medicine Association and professor emeritus of orthopedic surgery at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Dawson’s diverse background makes this clearly written book an important contribution to the basic resources on musician wellness and the physical problems of instrumental musicians.
Dawson states in his introduction that his purpose for writing is to “improve the availability, quantity, and quality of health care for all performers,” and that the special needs of musicians and other performing artists are unique. He compares the medical problems of musicians with the medical problems of athletes, where diagnosis and alternative treatment has resulted in high quality care in the field of sports medicine. His intention is to answer questions instrumental musicians and teachers may have about general health problems that affect performance. Dawson concentrates on medical problems involving the musculoskeletal system and upper extremities.
There are a total of 11 chapters that were originally written as a series of articles for the Journal of the International Double Reed Society and The Double Reed journal. The author made major additions to the articles produced in these journals and added new ones as well to complete the manual.
Chapter 1, “Playing with Pain,” examines pain as a warning sign that is produced by one’s body to alert us of abnormal body use. It goes on to explain that slight alterations in musical techniques can not only stop the pain but prevent further damage. Chapter 2, “Some Basics of Structure and Function,” presents basic anatomy and physiology to the instrumental musician using “lay” terminology. Bone, joints, the movements of muscles and tendons and nerves are explained with very basic and clear diagrams.
Chapter 3, “Teacher and Student,” reviews playingrelated problems, playing a life -time and teaching the young through adulthood. Dawson explains that although music teachers may be able to provide part of the rehabilitation for some injuries, musical exercises can be devised to facilitate and improve movement and coordination. Chapter 4, “Overuse,” explains what overuse is, what happens to the body tissues in overuse, the causes of overuse, including genetic factors, the signs and symptoms of overuse and the kinds of available treatments. Chapter 5, “Tendinitis and Tenosynovitis,” is about the two conditions that occur with overuse: inflammation and other causes that frequently arise as a result of a specific disease or another factor. Chapter 6, “Carpal Tunnel and Other Nerve Problems,” describes and explains nerve compression conditions that are most prevalent among musicians, and how a performer can recognize and care for them. Chapter 7, “Arthritis and Other Problems of the Mature Musician,” gives an overview of age- related conditions pertinent to the instrumentalist and presents basic methods of dealing with them. Osteoarthritis, loss of joint motion, stiffness in the joints, osteoporosis, degenerative tendonitis, micro-fractures, Dupuytren’s contracture, vision problems such as presbyopia, cataractand glaucoma, conductive hearing loss, sensorineural loss or nerve deafness, dental and embouchure changes that occur gradually as one ages due to a lifetime of pressure on the teeth from a mouthpiece or reed, chronic gum and tooth socket infections-gingivitis, periodontitis, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), teeth grinding (brusism) are all explained in this chapter with coping mechanisms discussed.
Chapter 8, “Hand Injury (Trauma),” gives the basics of injuries involving the hand; such as ligament sprains, bone fractures and joint dislocations. The causes, common symptoms, care and treatment are reviewed. Chapter 9, “Treatment Alternatives,” is about health care options-both tradition and nontraditional healings are considered. Physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, topical therapy and body awareness methods such as Alexander technique, Feldenkrais technique, yoga, acupuncture, acupressure and shiatsu, reflexology, dietary therapy and homeopathy are all evaluated.
Chapter 10, “Getting Back to Music (Rehabilitation),” is about experiencing difficulty in returning to music making after being treated for a medical problem that affected musical performance. Problems, solutions and prevention are looked at. Chapter 1 1 is titled “Keeping your ‘Equipment’ in Shape,” and is about the dos and don’ts, dietary considerations and proper exercise and examines regular care of the finger joints, wrist, hand and finger tendons, elbows, shoulders, neck and lower back. Taking medications on a regular basis, the use of tobacco and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, use of alcohol, respiratory diseases, noises and overall good body mechanics is discussed in relationship to good, general health principals. Suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. A section on Web Resources and a Glossary of helpful medical terms is included.
Audience: instrumental musicians and pedagogues
Iznaola, Ricardo. (2000) The Physiology of Guitar Playing. International Centre for Research in Music Education, The University of Reading, Bulmershe Court, Earley, Reading RG6 1HY, UK 74 pp.
Written by the internationally known guitarist, Ricardo Iznaola, this spiral manual is divided into 12 sections. It begins with an overview of the musculoskeletal anatomy and the limbs’ joint movements, in the context of guitar technique, followed by brief surveys of related physiological factors and the principles of leverage. Basic theories of artistic motor skills training are explored in the context of tension as an obstacle to achieving experiences of mastery; sitting position, nails and left- and right- hand positioning and basic techniques are assessed. There are also sections on somatic training and the pathology of playing that deal with methods of movement and postural re-education, medical and non- medical dysfunctions that affect guitarists and the final section focuses on training for virtuosity A list of references is included at the end with a Recommended Reading list as a separate section.
Johnston, Philip. (2007) Practiceopedia. PracticeSpot Press, 52 Pethebridge St., Pearce ACT 2607 Australia; www.practiceopedia.com. 376pp. ISBN: 0-9581905-3-4
The purpose of this manual/encyclopedia is to give you tips on how to fit effective practicing in while having too much to do and not enough time to do it. It is intended to be for students and parents but can serve all musicians. There are a total of 61 chapters covering everything about developing effective practice habits. Readers can start anywhere in the book; preview any chapter via two line summaries of every chapter in the book; use cross- references since each chapter links to other related chapters, and skim-read chapters and paragraphs due to the subheadings and bolded texts to allow easy scanning.
Chapter titles are as follows: “Beginners,””Blinkers,””Boot Camp,” Breakthroughs,””Dairy,””Bridging,””Bug Spotting,””Campaigns,””Cementing,””Chaining,””Clearing Obstacles,””Clock- watchers,””Closure,””Color Coding,””Coral Reef Mistakes, “”Cosmetics, “”Countdown Charts,””Designer Scales,””Details Trawl,””Dress Rehearsals,””Engaging Autopilot,””Exaggerating,””Excuses and Ruses,””Experimenting,””Fire Drills,””Fitness Training,””Fresh Photocopies,””Horizontal vs. Vertical,””Isolating,””Lessons Agenda,””Lesson Preflight Check,””Lesson Review,””Level System,””Marathon Week,””Metronome Method,””Not wanting to Practice,””One way Doors,””Openings and Endings,””Painting the Scene,””Practice Buddies,””Practice Traps,””Pressure Testing,””Randomizing,””Prototypes,””Recording Yourself,””Recordings,””Reflecting,””Restoration,””Rogue Cells,””Scouting,””Session Agenda,””Shooting the Movie,””Speeding,””Stalling,””Thematic Practice,””Tightening,””Triage,””Triggers,””Turnaround Time,””Varying Your Diet,””Visualizing” and “Your Practice Suite.”
The layout is quite succinct and attractive with colored diagrams, charts and amusing pictures that would interest any student who needs help and advice about healthy practicing techniques. Bibliography not included. Also by Philip Johnston: Not Until You’ve Done Your Practice (1989); The Practice Revolution (2002) and The PracticeSpot Guide to Promoting Your Teaching Studio (2003).
Audience: all musicians
King, Vicki. (1999) PUying the Piano Naturally. Conners Publications, 503 Tahoe St., Natchitoches, LA 714575718; [email protected]; http://hostnet.pair.com/conners. 51pp. ISBN: 0- 9654324-1-6
This short manual compares playing the piano with other kinds of physical activities and gives suggestions for avoiding performance injuries. There are eight chapters, concise and to the point. In chapter 1, “Why Concern Yourself with Technique,” King explains that her ideas are simple ones, based on practical solutions and analysis of what the arms, wrist and fingers do. She goes on to state that the secret in all this is that one rarely has physiological problems while doing normal daily activities because we only expend the amount of energy and muscle use needed to do the task and we immediately relax. If we would apply these same principles to playing the piano then we would be able to play for many hours without fatigue. Chapter 2, “Tips on Improving Your ‘Grip’,” gives four steps in playing the piano naturally: fingers rest on keys in a relaxed manner; the finger and key ride down to the key bed as a unit; the finger depresses key down but there only needs to be enough muscle tension to keep it relaxed; the finger and key ride up together as a unit. King also reviews hand position, sitting at the piano and arm weight. She ends the chapter with a summary of the secret to playing for many years without injury. Chapter 3, “Natural Playing at All Levels,” gives a concise overview of what young and older beginners can easily grasp about natural playing, and examines adult beginners, intermediate and advanced students and the difficulties they face with regard to playing naturally. Double- jointed fingers are also examined in relationship to collapsed fingers and fallen arches. Chapter 4, “Natural Solutions to Specific Problems,” examines the practice of: scales, triads, trills, fast, running passages, repeated notes, arpeggios, broken chord passages that cover wide ranges, octaves, tremolos, double notes, stretches, large leaps involving chords and glissandos. Chapter 5, “Technical Problems of Style,” is about stylistic performance practice in relationship to overall finger and wrist technique. Chapter 6, “Miscellaneous Topics” gives an overview of general health of the hand, sight reading, playing staccato, tone color, dynamics, voicing chords and use of the Una Corda pedal. Chapter 7, “Vocal Accompanying” discusses musical balances between the instruments, touch, styles and tips for orchestral transcriptions. Chapter 8, “Conclusion,” summaries the physical side of playing the piano and that interpretation and technique cannot be separated. King mentions the famous pianists through the centuries and their technique as explained in Reginald R. Gerig’s Famous Pianists and Their Technique. Bibliography not include but footnotes are given where appropriate.
Llobet, Jaume i Rosset, edited by George Odam. (2007) The Musician’s Body: A Maintenance Manual for Peak Performance. Co- published by The Guildhall School of Music & Drama; Barbican, Silk Street, London and Ashgate Publishing Company, Ste. 420, 101 Cherry St., Burlington, VT 05401-4405; www.ashgate.com. 118 pp. ISBN:978-0- 7546-6210-5
This book is addressed to student musicians, practicing musicians and instrumental and vocal teachers. The authors’ goals are to help musicians understand and educate them on how and why their bodies function the way they do, so that they can prevent or reduce injuries and achieve the highest performance standards possible. The premise is made that many problems happen during student years or even before and the older a performing musician, the worse these long ignored problems become.
The manual begins with a foreword, a preface about being well and playing better and unique sections titled: “Safety Instructions,””Musician’s Body Warranty Terms” and “Four Warnings.” Here, the authors explain there is no guarantee for good body functioning, organic replacement or a refund for a body particularly if the body is not treated well. A healthy, balanced and sustainable mode of playing and overall musicianship depends upon a physical perspective that synergizes the body, mind and soul. There are a total of seven chapters, each containing diagrams, charts, a section called “Musicians Often Ask” and a quiz on the material discussed in each chapter at the end. Chapter 1, “Basic Functions,” explains how the body works. The motors of movement, the fuels used by muscles to work, why muscles get tired, ways to avoid muscle fatigue, why we need to train muscles and why not every type of exercise is equally beneficial practice does not always make perfect, memory and forgetting, mental practice, breathing and sound production.
Chapter 2, “Situations that Place the Musician at Risk,” examines nine problems a musician faces and gives a solution for each: taking more care of your musical instrument than of your own body not compensating for asymmetric work, the technique you use, unsuitable fit between the body and instrument, failing to consider your overall state of health, poor environmental conditions, carrying and holding an instruments other daily activities, psychological aspects and socioeconomic factors. The last section is titled “Are You at Risk?” with a list of 13 questions to answer.
Chapter 3, “Posture: Your Body in Harmony with your Instrument,” explains what good posture consists of and gives some basic points for good posture when playing and singing; examines the best chair position with information and websites on buying special stools, chairs or cushions gives suggestions on how to carry your instrument how to lift and carry weights; and gives some information about musicians and computers.
Chapter 4, “Musicians, Instruments and the Workplace: Adjusting the Task to Suit Your Body,” is about ergonomics and how to apply it to your instrument or working environment to benefit your performance and overall health. There is a section on accessories for each instrument with a chart for all instruments listed in three categories: problem detected, possible solution and possible drawbacks identified. Companies and website information is included where appropriate how to modify accessories such as the chair, music stand or score and how to change the environment is reviewed.
Chapter 5, “The Musician’s Body Explained,” examines some of the essential elements of a musician’s body in order to understand the mechanics of performance. Basic information on the skeleton is reviewed. Bones, joints, muscles, protective coverings, hypermobility, some important areas such as the shoulder joints, connections to the trunk, the forearm and hand bones; muscles of the posterior forearm, tendinous bridges, muscles of the anterior forearm, muscles of the hand, tendon sheaths, the spinal column, alignment, basic connections, weak points basic information about the respiratory system, sound production and the modulation system and the ear are all discussed and reviewed.
Chapter 6, “Mind and Music: Further Psychological Aspects,” reviews anxiety both from a positive and negative aspect how performance anxiety manifests itself, why it happens and what we can do about it; substances and general lifestyles are also discussed. How to deal with and reduce negative physiological and psychological responses to performance anxiety via making lists, deep breathing, positive self-talk, positive mental images/visualizations along with combined therapies is reviewed.
Chapter 7 is titled “Troubleshooting for Musicians: Basic Body Maintenance and Solving Problems.” Here, the authors discuss general tips for body maintenance such as a balanced diet, exercising and physical activities that complement a musicians’ balanced body, stretching and a chart on how to solve particular problems such as pain, fatigue, inflammation, tension, numbness, lack of agility, sore throats, hoarseness, impossible high notes, nasal congestions and so on. Tips for when to see a doctor, massage therapy, medications, and a table of diagnoses with a list of the symptoms and causes of things like trigger finger, overuse of muscles, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow and so forth are reviewed.
This manual is an excellent resource for all musicians, but is a particularly useful book for academic programs that include a wellness course for musicians. The layout of the book is in manual form, easy to read sections and appealing to students with colored sections throughout. Included at the end are sections on: where you can find more information and medical assistance, national members of the International Musicians’ Medicine Committee and a recommended bibliography.
Audience: all musicians and pedagogues
Marquart, Linda. (2005) The Right Way to Sing. Allworth Press, 10 East 23rd St., New York, NY 10010; www.allworth.com. 127pp. ISBN: 1- 58115-407-0
Lea Salonga writes in the forward that in spite of the compact size of this book, it is very thorough and extensive-a “nuts and bolts” manual that will benefit both the novice and the seasoned pro. Technical information on vocal classification as well as the physiology of the singing voice is examined.
The manual is divided into eight chapters. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction and gives an explanation of how to use the book.
Chapter 2, “Thoughts about Singing,” shows the significance of mental attitude in learning how to sing. Marquart draws on ideas of Neuro-Linguistic Programming; introducing the idea that singers can use these skills to learn vocal technique and performance preparation. The importance of mental conditioning in establishing muscle memory is explained. In the remaining chapters, the author uses the concept discussed in chapter two.
Chapter 3, “Vocal Equipment,” describes the mechanics of the singing voice from the physiological point of view and shows how the various parts of the vocal apparatus work, by themselves and in combination. Basic singing vocabulary is included, as well as a chart of “vocal categories” with definitions of each.
Chapter 4, “Vocal Technique,” is explained by the author to be the core of the book. It begins with the basics through advanced techniques and gives a step by step program of vocal instruction. Exercises for breathing, resonance and interpretation are provided in this chapter. The author firmly states that solid vocal technique is the basis for healthy singing.
Chapter 5, “Musical Skills,” gives some advice about reading musical scores and how to learn a piece of music. Chapter 6, “Training the Voice,” is about how to find a teacher, coach and accompanist. Chapter 7, “Singing Solo in Public,” examines performance preparation holistically, how to prepare a program, what to wear and what to do the weeks before getting ready to the day of counting down until you are there is reviewed.
Chapter 8, “Frequently Asked Questions,” answers 20 questions that are asked time and time again by singers of all levels, school music teachers, choral conductors and parents of young singers. Bibliography not included.
Peckham, Anne. (2006) Vocal Workouts of the Contemporary Singer. Berklee Press, 1140 Boylston St., Boaston, MA 02215-3693; (617) 747- 2146; www.berkleepress.com. 117pp. ISBN: 0-87639-047-5
This book is addressed to singers who are interested in contemporary, non-classical singing styles. It examines breath support, tone production and voice strengthening. Vocal workouts are presented in the text with an accompanying sing-along CD (like an accompanist) for making vocal exercises and the practice of them accessible. The book includes 26 exercises for warming up and developing the voice, basic and advanced workout for both high and low voices; twoand three-part exercises for harmony practice and a routine to help you organize your practice time according to your level and schedule. The manual also includes detailed descriptions and helpful tips for how to warm up and develop your voice, breath control, practice strategies, and specific technical advice for improving your control over vibrato, range and belting. Advice on vocal study, voice maintenance and auditioning is also given.
Part 1, “Vocal Essentials,” contains six chapters. Chapter 1, “Getting Ready to Sing,” tells how to practice with the CD, how to get your voice into shape and how to listen to your body. Chapter 2, “Breathing,” gives four steps to effective breathing, explains posture, deep breathing, keeping the ribs open and quiet breathing exercises. Chapter 3, “The Four P’s: Essential Building Blocks for Vocal Training,” deals with the concepts of practice, patience, perseverance and play as the ingredients for developing a contemporary voice. Chapter 4, “Vibrato, Vocal Registers, and Belting,” looks at these vocal issues. Chapter 5, “Essential Vocal Care,” is about maintaining vocal health, detecting a vocal problem and the signs of possible problems, and what to do if you suspect one. Chapter 6, “Auditioning,” talks about criticism and auditions.
Part 2, “Complete Vocal Workouts,” contains warm-ups for all voices, basic and advanced workouts, and a section titled “What Next.”
Written by a professor in the voice department at Berklee College of Music, this is a companion book to The Contemporary Singer, a book/ CD set. Peckham also produced Vocal Technique: Developing Your Voice for Performance, a DVD released in 2004. Bibliography not included.
Audience: contemporary non-classical singers
Ricci, Ruggiero. (2007) Ricci on Glissando: The Shortcut to Violin Technique, edited by Gregory H. Zayia. Indiana University Press, 60 1 North Morton St., Bloomington, IN 47404-3797; (800) 842- 6796, fax: (812) 855-7931; http://iupress.indiana.edu. 114pp. ISBN: 978-0-253-21933-6 Includes DVD on bowing.
This is a manual on left-hand violin technique. Common problems in shifting are addressed; training the ear and short-cuts for difficult technical passages are provided. Ricci introduces and compares old and new systems of playing, outlines a series of glissando scales and includes a DVD where he demonstrates various bowing techniques. This manual has four chapters: Chapter 1, “The Old and New Systems of Violin,” briefly explains and compares both systems of violin playing, explaining the pre-chinrest era with the chinrest era and how to maintain the most economical way possible of playing with keeping the principles of the old system and incorporating the new system-one that moves a finger from one note to the next without simultaneously moving the thumb, thus developing less problems in advanced violin technique. Chapter 2, “Exercises, Etudes, and Cadenzas,” shows that the glissando is the shortcut to developing a left-hand technique and a trained ear. Ricci believes the art of playing a scale with one finger should be learned from the start. He gives glissando scales and guidelines for practicing them. Chapter 3, “Miscellaneous Aspects of Technique,” provides exercises designed to increase the player’s flexibility, ear training, coordination and crawling technique. Fingering guidelines, vibrato, tone production, bowing, articulation and evenness in slurred passages, grouping, tuning, ear training, practicing, instrument setup, hand development, holding the violin and hand position are examined. Ricci also includes representative etudes and short pieces that have specific problem intervals, Ricci’s cadenzas for Paganinis Concerti Nos. 4 and 6, Paganini’s original glissando fingerings for the Cantabile and Waltz and the cadenza for the Brahms concerto.
Strings Magazine, General Editor. (2007) Healthy String Playing: Physical Wellness Tips from the Pages of Strings Magazine. String Letter Publishing, Hal Leonard Corporation, 7777 W. Bluemound Rd., P.O. Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI 53213; www.halleonard.com. 159pp. ISBN: 13: 978-1-423-41808-5; 10: 1-423-41808-5
There are 22 contributors to this manual on Healthy String PL- ying with a total of 20 chapters. The purpose of the book is to discuss how to avoid stress and injury to your body while practicing and keep your body in “great string-playing shape.” General topics covered are repetitive stress injury prevention, performance anxiety, tension-free bowing tips and other helpful tips from performers, teachers, students and doctors.
Chapter 1, “The Healthy String Player,” by Joan Hamilton, discusses the medical maladies of musicians and how varied and complex they are when taking into account life styles and other factors. She explains the various musician clinics around the United States and how the health-care climate is changing. She also examines pain, what can go wrong and the need to seek help when pain first occurs. Chapter 2, “Staying Healthy,” by James Reel, talks about never being too young to get hurt. He overviews healthy habits, posture and taking medication if pain occurs. Chapter 3, “The Ten Dos and Don’ts,” by Janet Horvath, could be applied to any musician. Basically Horvath annotates 10 different dos and don’ts of a musicians’ practice. Chapter 4, “It’s a Stretch! An Occupational- Therapy Perspective on Player Health and Wellness,” by Carrie Booher, Joanne Horner and Derek Noll, reviews repetitive strain injuries with regard to lifestyle design, trying out things that can help maintain good health, including stretching exercises and hand massage, as well as being proactive about prevention. Chapter 5, “The Pleasures of Stretching,” (excerpted from Staying Supple: The Bountiful Pleasures of Stretching} by John Jerome, is all about in and out stretching exercises. Chapter 6, “You Are Your Instrument: Muscular Challenges in Practice and Performance,” by Julie Lyonn Lieberman, reviews muscle balance and rejuvenation and healing. She reviews specific mental and physical actions one needs to balance to maintain a relaxed and fluid technique. Chapter 7, “Keeping Fingertip Cracks at Bay,” by Yvonne Caruthers, is all about using alpha-hydroxy lotions and how to use them for cracks. She also examines the use of super glue and its problems. This chapter is excellent for any musician with dryness problems. Chapter 8, “Heimberg’s Handy Hints: Tips and Tricks of the Trade,” by Tom Heimberg, is about trying to achieve true comfort and good body awareness. Heimberg gives a list of things he carries in his case to protect his instrument and body-from vinyl tubing to rubber bands. Chapter 9, “A Helping Hand: Tension-Free Bowing Tips that Adult Amateurs can Grasp,” by James Reel, examines the right and the wrong bowing grips. Chapter 10, “Finger Tips,” by David Templeton, talks about the care, repair and injury prevention of the musical hand. He looks at small problems that produce pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, DNA family history, arthritis and other similar aliments, when to take a break from practicing after sustaining an injury and culminates with “Three Things to Think About” to avoid injury and what should be done when injuries occur. Chapter 11, “Playing Hurt: Doctors, Musicians, and Teachers Talk about When to Stop, What to Do, How to Cope,” by Ruth F Brin, discusses the different kinds of overuse, what different pedagogues and medical doctors of performing musicians have recommended. Chapter 12, “Overuse Injuries: How String Players can Recognize, Prevent, and Treat Them,” by Richard Norris, M. D., chats about predisposing factors a musician who suffers from overuse injuries has to take into account: genetic predisposition, inadequate physical conditioning, sudden or abrupt increase in the amount of playing time, errors of technique, change in instrument, errors in practice habits, inadequate rehabilitation of previous injuries, improper body mechanics and posture, stressful non-musical activities and anatomical variation. He reviews the symptoms of overuse, nerve compression, treatment and the general activities of daily living that should also be considered. Chapter 13, “Surviving Overuse Injuries,” by Edith Eisler, is about the occupational hazards of performing musicians who develop severe symptoms. She describes Peter Oundjian’s problems as a member of the Tokyo Sting Quartet and how he has now turned to a conducting and teaching career. An interesting read for anyone familiar with Oundjian as a violinist or conductor. Chapter 14, “Preventing Overuse Injuries: The Power is in Your Hand,” by Darcy Lewis gives 1 1 good “warm ups” to do before playing. Chapter 15, “Double Trouble: Quick Action Can help Address Potentially Debilitating Double-Crush Injuries,” by Avram Lavinsky, is about musicians who show signs of injury to the same nerve at two different locations such as injury to the median nerve and the carpal tunnel of the wrist simultaneously. Early intervention, problematic posture and elbow flexion are reviewed. Chapter 16, “Stress and the String Player,” by Shannon Mar, is about options available for controlling performance anxiety. Chapter 17, “From Fear to Freedom: Developing a Nondrug Strategy for Combating Performance Anxiety,” by Gabriel Sakakeeny, talks about the mechanics of fear, bypassing the performance system via a chemical bypass of the sympathetic nervous system and parasitic memory activation and treatments available. Chapter 18, “A Different Kind of Practice: Musicians and the Alexander Technique, A Conversation between Jorja Fleexanis and Jon Berni,” interviews them about re – training musicians using the Alexander Technique. Chapter 19, “Injury Prevention and Healing Through Yoga,” by Lauryn Shapter, is about how doing yoga can help any musician in recovery from injury. She concludes the chapter with a number of annotated resources on yoga for getting started.
Chapter 20, “Pilates for the Cellist,” by Felicity Vincent, discusses the asymmetrical muscular development of the cellist, realignment of the muscles through yoga, Qi Gong, and Feldenkrais and the general imbalance of muscles cellists experience. The author advocates exposure to a Pilates Body Control Studio. She goes on to explain that pilates training enables you to isolate muscle groups and exercise “around” an injury. The body is realigned, and the muscles are either stabilized or mobilized along with thoracic breathing and pelvic stability. Kinesiology is examined in order for a cellist to reach her full playing potential.
Each chapter is clearly written, easily read and has appropriate diagrams when necessary. Bibliography or suggested reading is not included.
Audience: String players
BOOKS ON THE BRAIN AND MUSICAL PERCEPTION
Levitin, Daniel J. (2006) This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. Penguin Group Inc. 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014; www.yourbrainonmusic.com. 314 pp. ISBN: 0-525-94969- 0
* How humans experience music and why
* What makes a musician-the extraordinary mastery
* Origins in genetic structure
* Identifiable at an early stage
* Likely to excel
* Only in a minority
* Extended bibliography (includes musician wellness resources)
Sacks, Oliver. (2007) Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher, NY; www.aaknopf.com. 381 pp. ISBN: 978- 1-4000-4081-0
* Examines music through individual experience via the career of a physician
* How music animates people
* Extended bibliography (includes musician wellness resources)
Music and Health: Piano Teaching, Anatomy/Biomechanics and Musicians’ Health
This website is the work of Richard Beauchamp, a pianist who, since 1977, has taught at the St. Mary’s School of Music, Edinburgh. Beauchamp’s work has been influenced by the writings of the renowned orthopedist and hand surgeon Raoul Tubiana, whose books have been reviewed in previous editions of this bibliography. Beauchamp has assembled an impressive collection of materials, including articles, slide shows and video clips primarily related to the ergonomics of keyboard playing with some attention to more general musician health issues, such as hearing loss and performance anxiety. This material is organized under three links: “Musicians’ Health,””Anatomy/ Biomechanics” and “Piano Teaching.” All materials are dated and proper attribution given. The first tab, “Musicians’ Health,” includes a listing of self-help articles and websites about many performance-related health issues, including hearing loss, focal dystonias and performance anxiety, along with links to sites explaining Feldenkrais and Alexander techniques. This section will be of interest to all musicians. The tab “Anatomy/Biomechanics” leads to extensive information related to keyboard playing, much of which is Beauchamp’s own work. For example, he provides video clips demonstrating the specific muscles and tendons used at the keyboard, a photo-essay on rotation movements demonstrating how to position the arms and fingers for efficiency and comfort in playing, and an article on passages from well-known pieces of music that can cause tendon problems. There are also notes from a lecture explaining the importance of accommodating individual anatomical variations in teaching or playing and other papers and slide shows dealing with the hand at the keyboard. The third section, “Piano Teaching,” cross references relevant material from the other two sections, as well as providing other articles and slide shows on such diverse topics as hand anatomy, tension and stress in piano playing, sight reading and various keyboard techniques. There are also links to instructional materials for everything from Schenkerian analysis to practice exercises that teach good fingering techniques. Anyone who plays or teaches will find this section fascinating, entertaining and informative.
This is a website that has much to offer for any student or teacher of piano. Creating and maintaining it is obviously a labor of love by a musician and teacher who is extraordinarily knowledgeable about the anatomy and physiology of the hand and who understands how to apply that knowledge to teaching techniques that minimize the potential for injury and stress.
Audience: pianists, keyboard players, music teachers
This consumer health guide, created and maintained by a group of physicians, is a well-designed site that offers guides to symptoms, treatments, self-care and prevention of many disorders that are of interest to musicians and all other performing artists. From the homepage there are several ways to locate the desired information. One approach is to click on the tab “Topics A-Z,” which leads to a list of more than 800 health topics, grouped under broader headings such as “Anxiety,””Ear Nose and Throat” and “Headaches.” The user may click on the broad topic for an overview and listing of articles or immediately select one of the more specific subheadings. For each of the specific topics there is a lengthy article broken down into sections that provides an overview of the condition, plus a brief description of symptoms, causes, medical treatments, self care and prevention techniques. Articles are written in a clear, concise style that avoids jargon, while providing adult-level information. There are internal links to other related information on this and other websites and often a multimedia link leading to drawings and photographs. Each article is dated and the names of authors and editors are provided.
Information may also be found by clicking the tab labeled “Health + Medical.” This link leads to a list of health topics that can be clicked to reach detailed information. A box on the left offers a scroll-down menu of essentially the same topics in slightly different wording. Other features of the site include an online medical dictionary and a section on first aid and emergencies.
This site demonstrates many of the best features of website design. Its information is well-organized, interlinked and approachable from several different paths so that the user, regardless of skill level, is likely to find the topics of interest to him or her. Although frames are used extensively, each article includes a printer-friendly version. On the negative side, advertising throughout all pages of this site is intrusive and annoying in the extreme, with constant animation and scrolling. Worse still, is the fact that since the advertisements are all for health products, it is often difficult to tell at first glance which of the frames are advertising and which are subject content. This confusing display could be a problem for younger or inexperienced web users.
From a medical standpoint, however, the information on this site can be considered reliable. The authors and editors of the content are clearly identified by name and medical specialty, and the articles make a clear distinction between situations in which self care is adequate and those requiring professional medical attention. The articles are all dated and most are fairly recent. While the range of conditions described on this site is far from comprehensive, researchers will find good basic information for a variety of common disorders. Topics on this site that may be of particular interest to musicians include stress, anxiety, repetitive use injuries, muscle pain and stiffness, back and joint pain, tinnitus and hearing loss, and back and joint pain. There is also useful advice on nutrition, exercise and other aspects of overall wellness for both teens and adults.
Body Tuning is arguably one of the very best internet sites for musicians seeking information about injuries and their treatment. This is the website of Shmuel Tatz, a celebrated New York physical therapist, whose long-term clients have included Yehudi Menuhin, the late Isaac Stern, Susan Jaffe and other performing artists, as well as a great many “ordinary folk.” In his Carnegie Hall studio, Tatz uses manual therapy augmented with exercise, thermal and electrotherapeutic treatments, and alternative medical approaches to treat a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. His methods emphasize the ageold approach of manual touch, rather than the use of machines to evaluate and treat all conditions.
Tatz’s website is far more than an account of his methods; it is a treasure trove of patient education material, all easily accessible from a sidebar on the main page. Tatz is firmly committed to the idea of patient education and believes that there is much individuals can do to help themselves. On this site, users will find links to information on a variety of conditions commonly associated with music and dance performance, along with detailed explanations of various therapies and self-help measures. Each link leads to an article describing symptoms, causes, differential diagnoses and therapeutic modalities. There are also detailed articles on the history, development and application of each of the treatment modalities mentioned in the articles. On the top bar, additional links provide information about several widely available therapies, their uses and effects.
For those interested in seeking treatment at this studio, there is a description of Tatz’s clinical approach and even a video clip of him treating a client. Articles from various newspapers and magazines provide an even clearer sense of his philosophy and techniques. But for all users, the wealth of self-education materials makes this site well worth an extended visit, and must reading for anyone considering a program of physical therapy for performance related injuries.
Audience: all musicians
Centre for Manual Physiotherapy
Musicians’ injuries is one of the specialties practiced at this Canadian clinic, the Centre for Manual Physiotherapy, and the Centre’s website offers health information specifically for musicians, as well as extensive information on various conditions that often affect musicians. The user will probably want to start by clicking on the link “Musicians Injuries,” which leads to an introductory article discussing the importance of not ignoring pain or discomfort in playing and gives an overview of the assessment provided at this particular clinic. The tips they offer on preparing for an initial evaluation could very well be used in any therapeutic program. For example, they ask clients to bring their instruments (pianists would presumably be exempt from this requirement!) so that therapists and music consultants can observe as the instrument is played, and to wear clothing that will allow the therapist to observe body movement as the instrument is played. The article concludes with tips for self care and injury avoidance, such as the importance of warm up activities and regular breaks during practice that will be valuable to any musician.
Also useful for musicians are the detailed help sheets for specific conditions, which are listed in a sidebar on the home page. Here users will find well-illustrated information about the symptoms, causes and prevention of common injuries, as well as advice on issues such as whether to apply ice or heat to a painful area. These fact sheets are PDF files that can easily be printed and kept for future reference.
Patient education is obviously an important component of any treatment for performing artists’ injuries, as the creators of these web pages affirm. Interestingly, this clinic works with music teachers, both as clients and as advisors, and they emphasize the important role that music teachers have in educating their students about healthy playing techniques. The writers assert: “Music teachers, in our opinion, are the main line of defense against playing injuries for the generations to come.”
The upbeat approach and positive philosophy emphasized by this clinic, along with the practical online information it provides, make this website worthy of a visit by anyone seeking to educate themselves about the kinds of injuries that can occur and the ways that these injuries can be treated and prevented. Audience: all musicians, teachers
Performance Wellness, Inc.
This is the homepage of Performance Wellness, Inc., a not-for- profit organization that focuses on the mind/body aspects of health and performance. The organization was founded in 2002 by Louise Montello, a licensed psychoanalyst and specialist in the treatment of stress related disorders in musicians, along with her research partner, Edgar E. Coons, a composer and neuropsychologist. The program they developed called Essential Musical Intelligence (EMI), seeks to use music as a way of reaching the inner creative processes that enable the individual to achieve new levels of healing and pleasure in performance as well as life in general. While this approach may sound somewhat vague or theoretical, it actually involves concrete techniques that encourage the person to use mental imagery and meditative states for relieving stress and freeing the creative instinct. These techniques are based in part on an understanding of the neurological processes that occur in hearing and performing music.
All users of this website will find much helpful information in the series of articles with tips for relaxation breathing, self care, overcoming perfectionism, and various other similar topics. There is also ordering information for the organization’s modestly priced publications, including Montello’s own book entitled Essential Musical Intelligence.
For those contemplating participation in one of Montello’s workshops, the site provides information about the many different seminars for both educators and musicians that are offered across the country. Much of the material on this site is mirrored on www.musicianswellness.org/aboutus.htm, possibly an older version of the organization’s website.
Audience: all musicians, music teachers
The Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss
While there are many organizations devoted to hearing loss that can be highly useful to musicians, there are few that have a particular interest in, or understanding of, hearing loss in musicians. Therefore, this website, which deals exclusively with musicians needs and concerns, fills a unique niche among the musician wellness resources available on the web.
The Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL) describes its mission as supporting adult musicians with hearing loss through group discussion, performance opportunities and music education, as well as providing information about musicians needs to heath care professionals, music educators and manufacturers of assistive technologies. Website users will find many helpful resources by clicking on the link labeled “Knowledge Base.” There is a link to a well illustrated and detailed tutorial on how the ear works and an article explaining in non-technical terms how to understand an audiogram. Since many audiologists have no musical knowledge, they may have difficulty understanding how an individual’s hearing loss affects musical perception. To improve communications with audiologists, this site offers links to a chart that shows musical dynamics from pianissimo to fortississimo with their equivalent decibel values, and a table of the sound frequencies of notes on an 88-key piano. These tools are intended to help musicians explain their individual hearing problems to audiologists and, in turn, to understand the audiologists findings in terms of their own musical experience.
Other resources on this site include a selection of articles about musical perception with hearing aids and cochlear implants and a series of articles about music-induced hearing loss among musicians. There are also links to the websites of professional musicians who have suffered hearing loss. For music teachers, there are articles on music instruction and appreciation for hearing- impaired children.
At present this is a very simple website, with easy navigation but minimal eye appeal. However, because of the growing recognition of performanceinduced hearing loss among musicians, this website- and its parent organization-bear watching for further developments.
Audience: all musicians
This is the voice treatment page of the Milton J. Dance Head and Neck Center in Baltimore, Maryland. While this clinic deals with a wide variety of voice disorders, the webpages indicate much involvement with the diagnosis and treatment of people who use their voices professionally-singers, actors, teachers, public speakers and so forth. Their web pages offer a substantial amount of material designed to help people who are experiencing voice problems discover self help measures, as well as increase their understanding of medical diagnoses and treatments.
The website user will immediately notice a sidebar filled with links to information on voice disorders, beginning with a vividly illustrated “Anatomy and Physiology of the Voice.” Another link leads to a page on care of the voice, which emphasizes good health measures such as getting adequate sleep, keeping hydrated, avoiding tobacco use and not straining the voice. There is also a FAQ with answers provided by physicians and a page where readers may view professional answers to e-mail questions and submit questions of their own. Other sections offer practical advice for singers, voice exercise for warming up and cooling down, and a vocal self- screening exercise that allows users to assess their own risk factors for developing serious voice problems, and a photo-library of voice pathology. There is also information on some of the newest diagnostic techniques including videostroboscopy, which involves direct imaging of the larynx during voice production.
This site, with its reliable professional information, excellent illustrations, and easy navigation, is a must-see for anyone experiencing vocal problems or concerned about preventing them.
Audience: vocalists, choral singers, teachers
Linda Cockey, is professor and chair of the Department of Music at Salisbury University in Maryland. She has been teaching a wellness in performance class for more than W years now that includes injury prevention for all musicians and actors. She also teaches piano, music history and form and analysis. She holds a D.M.A. degree from the Catholic University of America.
Copyright Music Teachers National Association Jun/Jul 2008
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