Movement for Musicians | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Movement for Musicians

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Gain practical strategies for managing the stress and anxiety of music performance and practice using mindful movement methods to calm the nervous system, ground the body and focus attention.

Gain ease, efficiency, and comfort in your playing with the revolutionary body awareness method: Feldenkrais. Guided movements will expand perception, increase awareness, and develop more natural ways of moving. These four sessions will give you more natural technique and decrease your chance of incurring playing injuries.

The Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education uses gentle movement and directed attention to help people learn new and more effective ways of living the life they want. You can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. Since how you move, is how you move through life, these improvements will often enhance your thinking, emotional regulation, and problem-solving capabilities.

The Feldenkrais Method is based on principles of physics, biomechanics, and an empirical understanding of learning and human development. Moshe Feldenkrais said, "We move according to our perceived self-image."

By expanding your perception and increasing awareness, you will become more aware of your habits and tensions and develop new ways of moving. By increasing sensitivity, the Feldenkrais Method assists you to live your life more fully, efficiently, and comfortably.

Learn more about the Feldenkrais Method.


Dates: TBD
Time: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Online
Price: $100 (+HST)
Instructor: Jillian Beacon

About the instructor

Motivated by her love of teaching, Jillian Beacon moved to Ottawa in 2012 to complete a Master's Diploma in Piano Pedagogy Research at the Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory directed by Dr. Gilles Comeau. During her early graduate studies she learned about cognitive approaches to piano pedagogy, techniques for teaching early beginners, neurological aspects of music learning, and musician injury prevention. Her experiences in this laboratory kindled a deep interest in research, which prompted her to continue her studies with a Masters of Arts in Music. Her Master's thesis investigated the use of motion capture technologies for examining the posture and movement of pianists. In 2015, she commenced a Ph.D. in Human Kinetics (kinesiology) at the University of Ottawa where she continues her research using motion capture technology to explore the impact of somatic methods on aspects of pianists' motor control. She is currently recruiting for her doctoral research study on Feldenkrais and its impact on pianists' coordination and performance.

Jillian began the Feldenkrais Practitioner Professional Training Program at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York City in 2015. Jillian is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner TM, offering both Awareness through Movement TM classes and Functional Integration TM lessons (graduated July 21, 2019). Jillian's interest in somatic methods and human kinetics (kinesiology) stems from personal struggles with playing-related musculoskeletal pain that began early on in her undergraduate studies. Although she explored many forms of treatment and therapy, her condition seriously impeded her ability to perform throughout her degree, resulting in the deferral of performance exams and complete cessation of playing for a six-month period. In 2013 she began studying with Feldenkrais Practitioners, including Nancy Parker and pianist Alan Fraser. Jillian's experiences with the Feldenkrais Method prompted her to explore a personal practice of Awareness Through Movement lessons which have helped her return to playing with improved technique, enhanced comfort, and effective tools for managing chronic pain. Jillian applies her knowledge of the Feldenkrais Method to help musicians learn to sense and feel themselves while playing so they may experience more freedom and comfort in movement and enhanced expression and sensitivity in their performances. She also draws on her knowledge of functional anatomy and motor learning theories to help students restructure their practice habits to learn music more efficiently while minimizing strain on their musculoskeletal system.

Jillian offers Feldenkrais Functional Integration and Awareness through Movement lessons at her home studio in Sandy Hill, Ottawa and also maintains a practice at the University of Ottawa Musicians' Wellness Centre.

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