Student Session

Warning: No Shoulder! Mapping the Arms to Free the Breath

Saturday, June 27

Presenter: Bonnie Draina

Whether slumped, hunched, sore or tight, shoulders cause problems for many singers. Why are shoulders so hard to tame? Can we change our conception of arms to free our breathing, gesture more expressively and simply be more comfortable? Yes, we can! This interactive presentation examines the arms through the lens of Body Mapping. Using anatomical illustrations and skeletal models as guides, participants will actively explore their own arms and recognize how they influence alignment and breathing. Body Mapping encourages more expressive and enjoyable singing through a deep understanding of the vocal instrument: the body in motion. While the science behind Body Mapping is serious, the process can be quite entertaining! We will experiment with movement and experience the body through many senses to help participants fully absorb the truth about their arms. Participants will come away from the presentation with: A clear understanding of the arm structure and how it relates to the torso and spine. A basic understanding of kinesthesia and inclusive attention as well as tools for developing them. Exercises to help cultivate lively, free arms that allow easy, effective breath management.

About Bonnie Draina

Bonnie_Draina.jpgBonnie Draina is a passionate teacher of singing, innovative musicians’ wellness educator, and author of The Breathing Book for Singers. Since 2002 she has helped hundreds of collegiate and professional musicians improve performance and prevent injury through somatic training. Draina is a licensed teacher and active member of Andover Educators, an international organization of musicians dedicated to saving, securing and enhancing musical careers through Body Mapping. Recipient of the 2013 Van Lawrence Award, she holds graduate degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and University of Colorado - Boulder.