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November 15, 2007


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john anderson

Sometimes things come together all at the same time. I am a second year student in a Los Angeles Feldenkrais training.
I've been playing with my larynx all night and started to wonder whether I could do any damage.
So I looked up "rolfing larynx"on google to see whether they had anything to say about the larynx. And the first thing I run across is a Feldenkrais blog discussing the larynx and didgeridoo playing, which I recently became interested because there has been a study connecting it with benefits for sleep apnea sufferers, of which I am one.
Earlier in the day I had been considering swallowing and its' relationship to breathing as I had done a breathing lesson from Alexander Yanai lesson which involved using swallowing as a way to stimulate the breathing.
So sometimes there really is a sense of synchronicity.
I think it would be wonderful if you expand these ideas into an ATM. Perhaps using some of your observations of yawning and swallowing as a starting point for teaching people the kind of tongue/larynx differentiation which you mention. It would be a lesson with applications wider than the playing of an instrument. For it might connect to the heart of people's ability to express themselves, to the feeling of thought and emotion being translated into sound, to being given voice.

Marlena Fuerstman

What do you think about holding down the larynx with thumb and finger while doing vocal exercises?

John Tarr

Dear Marlena, sorry for taking so long to respond. I had not thought of what you suggest, "holding" down the larynx. I have used the thumb and finger to feel what is going on because our hands can add some sensitivity to our awareness and provide a different perspective. I would suggest doing it only to feel what is happening and not to force the larynx to stay down, but that's just my opinion. Have you tried it and if so, what have you found?

Thanks for commenting, John Tarr

Oliver Schramm

Dear John Tarr,
I´m very interested in a taming your larynx atm-lesson. Would it be possible to publish such a lesson on your podcast? I think it would be helpful for a lot of singers.
Thank you very much
Oliver Schramm

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Order the Dynamic Musician Series vols. 1 & 2

Reading List

  • Brian Frederiksen: Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind
    Part biography and part description of Jacob's teaching philosophy and teaching wisdom. I refer to this book when preparing breathing lessons for musicians.
  • Sam Pilafian & Patrick Seridan: Breathing Gym, The
    Interesting and useful breathing exercises. Some of the exercises may need to be modified for younger students.
  • Oliver Sachs: Musicophillia
    Enjoyable read on neurology and music.
  • Kristian Steenstrup: Teaching Brass, 2nd revised edition
    An Interesting read on the theory of playing and teaching brass. I found this book to be helpful in understanding things I already sensed, had been taught and discovered for myself. Includes interesting info on the teaching of Arnold Jacobs.
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Additional Feldenkrais blogs


  • Museum_night_in_basel
    Here are a few photos of me playing instruments other than the trombone.