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January 23, 2009


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Margaret Marcuson

I'm an amateur singer (have been studying for about a decade), and have been taking Awareness through Movement classes for over a year now. I find I am present in my body in a different way in general. I am making significant progress in my singing, too. Not sure of the direct connection, but I do notice things while I'm singing, like how I'm standing on my feet, that I didn't used to.

John Tarr

Dear Margaret,

Thank you for your comment and observations about your experiences in taking Awareness Through Movement classes. Your comment got me to thinking about the idea that we don’t actually know what we don’t know. What I mean is, when we start learning something new, we don’t know what the results will feel like. In taking voice lessons, we begin to learn about different qualities of sound, breathing, and expression, but none of those things are singing, they are nice and important side effects of our study. However, learning about them can affect how we sing. The same is true for Feldenkrais lessons or any other somatic practice (like yoga, Alexander and even sports). Being more present in your body and aware of the way you are standing will indeed have some affect on your singing. The caveat is that you can never go back and find out what it would be like to sing not having had those experiences.

All the best, John

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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.