Thank you SO MUCH for leading the best ACCET Summer School I have attended! (I’ve been to at least 15 over past years). Others agree with me. You have such a breadth and depth of knowledge in so many areas, plus the teaching skills to convey it effectively to us. I have never been in a conducting class before which has bonded the students so deeply, progressed us physically with our conducting and emotionally with our confidence. It was an extraordinary week! Personally, I went to my long-term osteopath again yesterday and she was amazed at the improvement in my physical condition. Just goes to show what a difference some mindful movement, stretching and conducting can do. I love the way Body Mapping information integrates so well with the conducting pedagogy you teach. Thank you again and best wishes for a fabulous year!
Belinda Gillam Derry
Voice Teacher & Choral Conductor
The study of body mapping reconnected me with the world in mind, body, and spirit. I quickly discovered that the process of seeking complete body awareness as a person and a musician requires determination and an endless supply of patience. Although there are many times where this journey seems overwhelming, the beauty of self discovery outshines the frustration of the transition of change.
I am currently a beginning singer pursuing a career in music education. I dealt with severe neck/shoulder tension as well as TMJ disorder for several years. For the longest time, I just accepted the pain as a “normal” occurrence and grew tolerant of discomfort even though it inhibited my musicianship as a singer and clarinetist.
By implementing Body Mapping techniques into my everyday lifestyle, however, I finally came to the brilliant realization that pain can be prevented through self care. Through rigorous self observation and excellent guidance and instruction, I learned how to recognize poor postural habits and made gradual self improvements over my short course of study. Now, my voice sustains for longer periods of time, and I have experienced glorious moments of tension free singing! The method and techniques of body mapping opens doors to all those searching for self realization and recovery. Improvement comes in small steps, which eventually leads to even greater strides. I strongly encourage any person to further explore the realms of this unique study. This is a life long journey which takes self commitment, an open mind, and determination, but the results create a beautiful and renewed connection with music and more importantly, life!
The most important ideas I learned in this class were combining the thought processes of critical thinking and self awareness. By knowing my own body anatomically, I could test, understand, and hear the differences in different positions etc. My future playing as a guitarist and my health as a musician changed for the best thanks to this class.
Miguel Angel Morales
This Body Mapping class helped me to discover that my poor posture, which I thought felt comfortable at the time, was actually straining certain muscles and it was dampening the sound produced on my instrument. After finding a good core balance I was able to practice longer and my sound became more rich and open.
I am a student at Montclair State University majoring in Music Education with a concentration in voice. I took this class during my first semester at MSU but I had no idea what Body Mapping was exactly. In just a few weeks it changed my outlook and views on not only music, but me as a person as well. Body Mapping has enriched my soul and has taught me poise, a sense of awareness, more confidence, and freeness. I feel happy to say it’s helped put a base coat of knowledge under my belt, so within time I can build on all of this knowledge, and learn more and more as I continue with my career. I’m grateful for Body Mapping in my life, and MOST importantly for people who are interested in looking into this. I feel that each and every person can experience something extraordinary and go to a place in their life where they’ve never been before.
Taylor Lynn Kurilew
South Plainfield, NJ
“I teach singing to actors at a university in Toronto and wish to make the students more aware of this topic as well as to try to influence the faculty to give this more importance. While the conducting institute was intense and in come respects overwhelming, the one thing on which I have been consistently aware is how my ‘map of reality’ about my body map is changing… it is very true that the brain is the key to the whole thing and the body will re-program when the correct information is available and awareness is heightened. The week of Body Mapping really impacted me in a truly significant way.
Kitchener, ON Canada
“Thank you for the wonderful workshops you gave at the convention. I am a Choral director and singer and was truly in awe of the information you shared. I am also a music therapist who specializes in relaxation therapy and voice problems, so I was very interested in the Body Mapping process.”
Enid Bootzin, RMT, NHA
“This summer session course (Beyond Beginning Choral Conducting) was absolutely incredible! I was excited about it just looking over the materials ahead of time, because it looked like a completely different approach to teaching conducting. The course concentrated on the physical aspects of conducting, using the study of movement as a foundation and we identified indications of tension in ourselves and by observing others. The group dynamic of the class was incredible. It was like the best ‘small group’ experience you’ve ever had. We shared openly, celebrated with one another, and created a safe place to try new things without fear of failure. I highly recommend this course or any seminar that Heather Buchanan teaches.”
“Thank you so very much for coming to the ACC convention in New York earlier this month, and doing your workshops on Body Mapping, Conducting, and Rehearsal Techniques. I have to say that you were the sensation of the workshops, and everyone was asking me when they can work with you again! You are such an ideal pedagogue, and always easy to work with! Thank you for making this convention so special and sharing your gifts and talents and ideas with the wider cantorial world. I know they appreciated it as much as I did! I kept telling people, “I told you she was great!”
All the best and thank you again,
Cantor Jessica Levitt
Simply put, this class is incredible. What I’ve learned is very useful and influences every part of my life. Whether it is related to my playing or everyday life, I find myself thinking of the things I’ve learned here on a daily basis. At first I had no idea of the extent of the issues I have in my physical being. Now, it would be hard to imagine life without the knowledge I’ve gained from this topic. I highly recommend this to every person I know –just ask my parent how much I talk about it!
Guitar & Voice
East Brunswick, NJ
As a biology student, I knew how my joints connected, I knew where my tendons and muscles where, but I didn’t know how to use them. Body Mapping helped me realize how to correctly use my body.
Old Bridge, NJ