So, you've watched Practice Room Yoga videos...
but you're hungry for additional information about yoga, mindfulness, practicing, meditation. Here are some resources to get you started on your journey to wellness!
A Soprano on Her Head by Eloise Ristad
This book explores the inner thought processes that may lead to anxiety, muscular tension, and feelings of defeat. Using a witty sense of humor and her own experience as a professor, Ristad encourages readers to learn about the body, experiment with awareness exercises, and minimize negative self-talk.
The Musician's Way by Gerald Klickstein
Klickstein discusses all elements of musicianship in this book: from the process of choosing new repertoire to creating a functional practice space to the need for proper ear plugs. It is a comprehensive book to musicians' wellness.
The Art of Practicing by Madeline Bruser
Bruser challenges the musician's perception of the origins of sound, provides mini-meditations to aid with focus, and discusses the alignment of the body necessary to ease performance and practice.
Anatomy for Musicians
Fit as a Fiddle by William J. Dawson
As both a hand surgeon and principal bassoonist, Dr. Dawson has amassed a lifetime of experience into this anatomically educational book. While Dawson focuses mainly on the structures of the hand and forearm, he dives deep into these areas, providing diagrams of bones, joints, tendons, muscles, and symptoms of common injuries.
Body Mapping for Flutists by Lea Pearson
This book is essential for flutists and musicians alike! Pearson uses the lens of body mapping to bring greater awareness to all parts of the body. Beginner-friendly language describes anatomical structures in the body alongside illustrations to aid in comprehension. Visualization exercises aid in discovering proper alignment and ease.
Musicians Yoga by Mia Olson
This book compiles yoga postures, meditations, visualizations, and breathing exercises in a fun, beginner-friendly way. It is the definitive book on yoga for musicians and is a wonderful addition to any musician's library!
The Musician's Body: A Maintenance Manual for Peak Performance by Jaume Rosset i Llobet
A wealth of colorful graphs, illustrations, and charts set this text apart. This book educates musicians about anatomy, breathing, memorization, and how the body works to play an instrument. It enumerates the ways that musicians put their bodies at risk, recommends exercises to benefit specific muscle groups, and includes a table of suggested modifications to ease physical pain.
Playing (Less) Hurt: An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians by Janet Horvath
Horvath defines overuse, stressors of a musical lifestyle, and details symptoms that may point to injury. This book dives into specifics of various injuries, preventative approaches, sample practice plans, illustrated exercises to target specific areas, hearing loss prevention, and includes many further resources.
This blog is written by Jolene Harju, a wonderful flutist and a student of body mapping. Her posts are generally directed towards flutists, however, there is something for everyone. Jolene reflects on her own successes and failures in the practice room, gives encouragement and tips for proper alignment in the body, and even creates free downloadable practice/goal calendars for each month. Check her out!
Noe Kageyama is a Juilliard-trained musician who specializes in performance psychology. His blogs delve into the mental training aspect of our practice with topics like memorization techniques, concentration hacks, and monitoring your self-talk. His website is an incredible resource for infomration, online courses, and even personal coaching.
After experiencing a performance-related injury herself, flutist Francesca Leo received a research grant to explore the world of performance health. Her website includes methodologies for healing, links to further information about each one of them, a database of resources, and (if you're in the Ohio area!) treatment centers near you. Her instagram is also a great place to find specific videos and tips (@playingwithoutpain).
Melissa White and Elena Urisote are accomplished violinists, yoga practitioners, and friends. After years of practicing yoga and the violin separately, they became convinced that the two are inseparable, and created Intermission Sessions. With the aid of four yoga teachers, Melissa and Elena travel the country teaching yoga for musicians and giving instrumental masterclasses at schools such as the Curtis Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Mannes School of Music. Their website has information about their upcoming sessions, yoga retreats for musicians, and yoga videos to prepare the body for practicing!
When friends ask me how they can experience yoga at home, I immediately recommend this channel. Adriene is down-to-earth and kind. Her videos have an incredible variety of topics and areas of concentration, and they vary in length from 5 minutes to 60 minutes. You can find yoga for whatever your body is needing on her channel. She rocks.
This three-part series was created by Kate Potter after she experienced intense body tension while learning guitar! It is more specific than Yoga with Adriene's diverse channel, but is well-produced and compassionately led.