April 2021 MTNA e-Journal

Breathe and Move: Effects of a 12-Week Yoga Curriculum on Pre-Collegiate and Collegiate Pianists
By Elaina Burns, NCTM; Christopher Madden, NCTM; and Paola Savvidou, NCTM

Studies show that even short periods of focused breathing and gentle yoga poses can yield mental and physical benefits in people of all ages. Drawing upon research pertaining to yoga in education, a team of three researchers developed and implemented a progressive 12- week yoga curriculum with 15 pre-college and collegiate pianists. This article describes the outcomes of the curriculum through the lens of student questionnaires, parent questionnaires (for pre-college participants) and video recorded lessons. Results were positive, indicating improved technique on both a macro-level (i.e. whole-body postural approach) and a micro-level (i.e. wrist, hands and fingers). On a mental and emotional level, students demonstrated increased focus, higher motivation, greater independence with at-home practice and more confidence. [Read More]

Practical Applications in Preventing Injury When Teaching and Playing Guitar
By Michael Bonner

Student musicians are not adequately prepared to deal with the rigors of practice when attempting to attain virtuosity, leading to chronic injury. This article provides evidence that performance-related injuries are common by comparing them to everyday low impact tasks that are known to cause injuries and citing studies of injury prevalence amongst elite musicians, demonstrating a need for better health education to prepare musicians to deal with the risk factors. This article also explores methods to combat one of the main problems: excess effort. After looking at the root cause (bad posture) and suggests methods to incorporate relaxation and postural checks into playing, using excerpts from the classical guitar repertoire as examples. [Read More]

Poster Sessions

Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Sensommarnätter, Op. 33: Rediscovered Swedish Character Pieces
Presented by Shelby Nord, NCTM  [View]

The Influence of Yvonne Loriod on the Piano Works of Olivier Messiaen
Presented by Tiantian Liang, NCTM  [View]