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Title: Body Mapping: Self-reflective Views of Student Musicians
Contributor(s): Buchanan, Heather Joan (author); Minichiello, Victor  (supervisor); Hays, Terrence (supervisor); Harrington, Ingrid  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2011
Copyright Date: 2010
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This study examines student musicians' perceptions of their performance and development as a result of using Body Mapping (BMG) technique. BMG is a somatic (mind-body) education technique designed to teach musicians skills in self-evaluation and change for performing with sensory-motor integrity. A qualitative research design guided by an interpretive framework was used to collect data from undergraduate students and their studio teachers at an American university. Data involved in-depth interviews, self-reflective journals, and course materials. A typology for how participants were able to master BMG in performance is used to describe their experiences and learning outcomes. The main findings show BMG positively impacted the majority of students in the study. The data reveals enhanced ability for musical expression (e.g. dynamics, phrasing, conveying emotional information), the ability to focus more easily on elements contributing to expressive outcomes, and greater personal confidence to be musically expressive. The study also shows improvements in technical development and performance skills including a perception of a clearer understanding of breathing, better physical coordination and flexibility, enhanced arm movement, improved articulation, feeling centered or grounded, the ability to retain focus under pressure, and the freedom to make artistic choices during musical performance. BMG enhanced students' development of self-awareness which was demonstrated by their ability to find solutions to technical challenges, understand how tension inhibits movement, increase their awareness of movement pattern consequences on pain symptoms, and gain more accurate perceptions of movements. Some participants reported an absence of playing-related pain at the end of the study. All shared a belief in the value of BMG derived from positive personal experiences and observation of improvements in others. Many students displayed characteristics of successful self-regulated learners. Determinants of student success include a positive attitude, consistency of work, realistic expectations, ability to transform problems, willingness to commit sufficient time to the process of change, and positive studio teacher support. BMG also shows promise for inclusion in a therapeutic team-approach for treatment of playing-related pain/injuries. In sum, the study confirms the efficacy of BMG instruction for enhanced technical and performance outcomes in musical settings. Study outcomes are relevant for musicians, educators, and health practitioners in the field of music medicine.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390101 Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
930102 Learner and Learning Processes
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160102 Higher education
Rights Statement: Copyright 2010 - Heather Joan Buchanan
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:Thesis Doctoral

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