Kimberly Barber, mezzo-soprano


Workshops | What Every Musician Needs To Know About The Body

Kimberly Barber, Andover Educator®

This course is for all musicians and can be offered in various formats and tailored to suit specialized instrument groups as needed. The traditional course format is a 6-hour course offered in one day or over a series of days or weeks, but there are also one-hour lecture-demonstrations that focus on specific aspects of the work according to the needs of the group in question.

Six-Hour Course

  • Focus:
    Through visual, audio and physical experimentation, musicians are taught about their body map—the neuronal self-representation of their bodies in their brain. Participants are given detailed anatomical information about their body’s structure, function and size to encourage free, efficient movement in their playing or singing. The goal is the prevention of injury, freedom from pain and optimal use of their instrument/voice.
  • Format:
    The course is presented in an informal setting either in one day or over several days/weeks with each hour having a specific focus. The one-day course consists of two three-hour sessions (with short breaks between) separated by a one-hour lunch break. Course groups generally consist of about 20 musicians (adjustments to format are possible). There is plenty of time given to embody the materials through practical exercises and explorations, examination of skeletal models and visual aids.
  • Content:
    Hour One: Somatics, Senses and Attention—understanding the basic principles of Body Mapping; learning to use the kinesthetic sense; cultivating inclusive awareness
    Hour Two: The Places of Balance—recognizing the weight bearing and delivery capacity of the skeleton, finding optimal postural balance and using it to mechanical advantage in singing and playing
    Hour Three: The Arm Structure—detailed anatomy and optimal use of the arm structure
    Hour Four: The Movement and Structures of Breathing—breathing, articulation, etc.
    Hour Five: The Lower Limb—function, structure and size of the leg for optimal movement in music making
    Hour Six: Practical Integration of Principles—participants are encouraged to bring their instruments and work with the instructor in a group setting to embody the principles learned in the course; instruction in Constructive Rest and other exercises to improve body awareness

One-Hour Seminars: 

Sessions can be offered in many different formats and topics including:

  1. What Every Musician (more general)/Pianist/Singer/String Player/Wind & Brass Player etc. Needs To Know About The Body—basic Body Mapping principles, balance, senses/attention, breath, upper/lower limb, necessary detail according to instrument cohort
  2. The Musician’s Breath—a condensed course that gives a broad overview of Body Mapping with specific information about the movement and structures of breathing, with specific detail tailored to the needs of the instrument cohort involved
  3. Other Topics on Request—any number of possible variations and specific areas can be tailored to the needs of your group

Individual Sessions:

Musicians can book individual sessions with Ms. Barber to work on elements of Body Mapping as it pertains to their specific instrument and personal concerns. Of particular interest are areas of tension, pain or limitation in movement that are preventing optimal playing or singing.


Full Six-Hour Course: Depending on format (one-day or multiple days), between $1000-1500

One-Hour Seminars: $150

Individual Sessions: $80.00/hour

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