Our body map is the mental representation of how we are put together and how we move. Everyone has one, whether they are conscious of it or not.
Your body map determines how you use your body. If your map is off-your movement is off, resulting in potential for pain, injury and/or limitation.
BODY MAPPING is the conscious refining and retraining of the way you move which will be determined by correcting misperceptions. Rooted in the pedagogy of Alexander Technique, Body Mapping uses visual images and models to illustrate the anatomical truth.
Musicians learn to question their own concept of how they are designed (their body map) and, armed with the anatomical truth of size, structure, and function, learn how correcting inaccurate maps improves facility, ease and efficiency of playing and singing. Another component of Body Mapping is teaching inclusive awareness so that they aware of their whole self within the larger world. This information can be extremely valuable for those who deal with performance anxiety.
Body Mapping can be taught through individual private lessons, where students can address specific issues of pain or limitation, in a (group) workshop format, using PowerPoint and anatomical models, or by taking the introductory course called What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body or WEM. It includes six hour-long presentations discussing the anatomical truth in Arms, Legs, Breathing, and Balance, and also addresses the value of Inclusive Awareness in re-training movement, and introduces Constructive Rest.
Musicians who are experiencing specific problems are encouraged to come in and work on-on-one to identify and correct errors in their body map. Simple changes can work wonders for your music-making.
Body Mapping can help any musician-regardless of what they do, or how long they have been doing it.
Instrument -specific workshops can be focused on particular issues such as breathing, for singers or wind and brass players, bowing for string players, stance and grip for percussionists, pedaling for pianists and harpists etc.
Before Body Mapping, I spent several years trying to figure out why I was experiencing back pain. Jane's systematic approach led me to consider the many possible sources of the pain. With the awareness I gained from Body Mapping, I became more conscious of when pain was creeping up during my practice. Through this consciousness, I was soon able to identify and correct the source of the pain. I Just finished two days of 8-hour recording sessions. NO BACK PAIN...at all. You are my hero.. "
"Thank you so much for the body mapping class yesterday at Double reed day at NEC!
After your lecture, I spent the entire afternoon in Williams Hall at the double reed day,
and I made sure to sit on my rocker bones and balance my head, and my back and body did not
get tired or painful for all those classes and I stayed until 5 PM!"
I can't thank you enough for your guidance. I have really been working to discipline myself in a slow responsible way using the techniques that you shared. The results have been wonderful! Case in point: The ECSO did a performance of Ein Heldenleben this last week which as you know pushes the endurance of all the players on stage. Thanks to Body Mapping, I was never at my limit this week and felt in total control of my physiology. Air efficiency was off the charts in the big passages, and I felt very confident on the pianissimo entrances, and long sustained soft chordal sections. If I felt any tension creeping-in I worked on quieting and resetting my joints and musculature. I have been talking you up quite a bit lately because people have been noticing a difference in my playing. I tell them I owe it all to Mapping (and being disciplined in adapting responsibly) I am a believer!"
Thanks so much for your Body Mapping class at Providence College. I've been practicing what I learned in the class - esp. head balanced over the center. It's rewarding to play from a balanced state - the resulting freedom in playing, breathing, and phrasing is wonderful!
I just returned from a weekend visit/consultation with Jane Murray in Newport, RI. WOW. I knew she is a great musician, but I had no idea how fruitful my visit would be in addressing certain aspects of my playing that have been holding me back. I learned new ways of understanding how my body works, and how to create beautiful music with less effort. Just what the doctor ordered (the beaches and lobster rolls were much appreciated as well). I thoroughly recommend a visit to anyone open to new ideas that will improve performance.
Thank you Jane!
Jane Murray’s Body Mapping class for the Boston Woodwind Society’s Double Reed Day (9/27/15) was illuminating and inspiring. Jane is a great teacher who thoroughly understands the physical relationships of our bodies to our instruments. Even in a limited amount of time, our awareness was stimulated by her knowledge.
Thank you Jane"
Jane is a licensed Andover Educator who has presented classes and workshops for the International Double Reed Society and the Boston Woodwind Society, at Kinhaven Music School in Weston Vermont, at Double Reed Days at UMass Amherst and SUNY Purchase, and at URI, Providence College and Rhode Island College.
To learn more about Body Mapping, go to