International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 15 Number 7

September 3, 2014

The Influence of Body Mapping on
Student Musicians' Performance Experiences

Heather J. Buchanan
Montclair State University, USA

Terrence Hays
University of New England, Australia

Citation: Buchanan, H. J., & Hays, T. (2014). The influence of body mapping on student musician's performance experiences. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 15(Number 7). Retrieved [date] from
This qualitative study examines student musicians' perceptions of their performance and development resulting from 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 study guided by an interpretive framework was used to collect data from undergraduate students and faculty at an American university. Data involved indepth interviews, self-reflective journals, and course materials. The findings show BMG played a multi-faceted role. The majority of the students reported a positive experience, stating that BMG enhanced their ability for musical expression (e.g. dynamics, phrasing, conveying emotional information), the ability to focus more easily on elements contributing to expressive outcomes, and facilitated greater personal confidence in being more musically expressive. The study discusses how BMG instruction can be used for enhanced technical and performance outcomes. The research findings are relevant for musicians, educators, and health practitioners in the field of music medicine.

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