Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
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Musicians must move in order to produce sound. The body is the vehicle for movement, therefore, understanding the body structure can provide more effortless and efficient music making. The conceptual creators of Body Mapping, Barbara and William Conable, define a body map as, “One’s self-representation in one’s own brain.” Body Mapping provides a relatively new somatic approach to musical pedagogy. A number of existing dissertations and articles discuss the specific application of Body Mapping to keyboard, voice and woodwind instruments. Currently, however, very few resources have integrated Body Mapping into brass pedagogy. With this document I intend to provide a resource for teachers and students that presents specific pedagogical lessons on Body Mapping for the trumpet player.
In pursuit of this goal I relied on both my education and professional experience with trumpet performance as well as my more recent and ongoing education in Body Mapping. I am currently enrolled in the Andover Educators Trainee Program. This program has provided me access to official Body Mapping materials including, illustrations, literature, and videos. These resources, in addition to two semesters of Body Mapping classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with licensed Andover Educator, Dr. Stephen Caplan, have formed the basis of my research.
Sitting and standing, the arms, and mapping the trumpet (how sound production occurs) are the areas of primary focus. Sitting and Standing are two states of balance that trumpet players most often occupy. Correctly mapping these two states of balance enables muscular freedom and healthy performing habits. The arm structure is directly involved in holding and controlling the trumpet. Correctly mapping the arms enables trumpeters to efficiently finger the valves and manage the slides. Free arms are crucial to healthy trumpet playing. Mapping the trumpet helps trumpeters to approach the instrument competently. Misunderstanding how the trumpet functions can quickly sabotage Body Mapping progress while correctly mapping the trumpet enhances and compliments Body Mapping work. I will incorporate visual representations and explain the structures in the focal areas, followed by exercises and practice techniques that enable players to integrate a newly informed body map. The result will be information that is approachable and applicable for any trumpet player.
A substantial omission in this document is a chapter addressing breathing. Breathing is of primary concern for all trumpet players and the structures, functions, and sizes of breathing anatomy should be carefully mapped. Breathing is omitted because there are some excellent Body Mapping resources for brass players regarding breathing and the addition of a breathing chapter would have been beyond the necessary scope of this paper.
Anatomy; Body Mapping; Pedagogy; Performance; Somatic; Trumpet
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Holt, Micah, "Applied Anatomy in Music: Body Mapping for Trumpeters" (2016). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2682.
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