Mind-Body Awareness for Singers: Unleashing Optimal Performance provides a fundamental understanding of functional anatomy and cognitive neuroscience to guide singers and teachers of singing to unlocking the mystery of the mind-body link involved in the complex audio-motor behavior that is singing.
New theories and concepts, rooted in both the wisdom of masters in the field and current scientific research, are introduced from the unique perspective of the performer. Practical application exercises train the singer to work with, rather than against, the systems of singing to integrate the cognitive and conscious with the unconscious sensory and motor processes of our nervous system.
By mapping not only the body’s musculoskeletal structure, but also the body’s voluntary and involuntary behavioral responses, the vocal artist is empowered with an ability to maintain the following with ease:
• Optimal performance, characterized by elite execution, coordination, and self-correction.
• An ideal performance state, characterized by heightened awareness, vigilant attention, and autonomic balance/an absence of anxiety.
• Imagery or manipulation of a mental representation of a sensory event, characterized by an ability to express one’s thoughts and feelings through an infinite supply of phenomenal images.
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About The Author
Karen Leigh-Post, DMA, is on the voice faculty at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, Appleton, WI, and was invited to present her research at the National Conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in 2010. In keeping with the liberal arts tradition, Dr. Leigh-Post has engaged in interdisciplinary studies throughout her performing and teaching career. Her extensive study of the interaction of mind and body includes first-hand work with Alma Thomas, Barbara Conable, Ryugin Myo-O, and Wesley Balk, and spans a broad range of disciplines, including the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method, yoga, fencing, Chi Qong, and dance.
Critics describe her mezzo-soprano as “striking” with “well-formed supple lines,” and in her dramatic portrayals, “Leigh is brilliant in her depth of character, her pacing, her facial expressions, her gestures….” Her rich and varied performing career includes the roles of Carmen, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Venus in Tannhäuser, Jenny in Die Dreigroschenoper, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and Anita in West Side Story, as well as the premieres of A Death in the Family and Animalen. Leigh-Post’s concert appearances include several PBS broadcasts, from the tradition of Mozart with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to the songs and arias of Bernstein at Lincoln Center, and embrace the intimate chamber works of Loeffler, Respighi, and Ibert as well as the orchestral settings of Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Martin’s Cornet, to name but a few.