The Musical Body

Learning Objective
Students will gain insight into the relation between making music and its effects on the musician’s body. They will become aware of the benefits of effective posture, breathing and training.

Course Content
Subjects include:

  • anatomy, neurology; the musician’s body and its anatomy
  • principles of training
  • injuries: the spine, including head and neck; shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers
  • breathing techniques for musicians
  • short-term and long-term stress: stress management
  • auditory organs; the hearing
  • lifestyle and its effects on the musician's body

Course details

teachers Marja Mosk
term September-December 2024
readings Erickson, A., and Pool, R., Peak: How All of Us Can Achieve Extraordinary Things. London: Penguin Random House, 2016.
  Levitin, D., The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. London: Penguin Random House, 2014.
  Rosset i Llobet, J., and Odam, G., The Musician's Body: a maintenance manual for peak performance. Londen: Ashgate/Guildhall School of Music, 2007. (Available in the library of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.)
  Watson, Alan H.D., The Biology of Musical Performance. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2009. (Available in the library of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.)
assessment paper, take-home exam, course attendance
credits 5
related electivesBaroque Dance: Practice and Notation
  Music Theatre and Stage Performance
  Patterns of Performance: The Neuroscience of Improving Experts