Clarinetists devote hours to honing their craft—from learning correct fingerings, embouchure, and tonguing, to the history of the instrument, music theory, and musicianship.
While there are many ways to approach playing the clarinet, almost all emphasize the clarinet as the musical instrument but do not consider how the body supports movement for making music. What if instead we viewed the body as the instrument and the clarinet as a tool?
Body Mapping for Clarinetists, written by two Body Mapping and Alexander Technique specialists, approaches clarinet playing from a full body perspective. Authors Shawn L. Copeland and Jackie McIlwain show how healthy, coordinated movement leads to more expressive music making while preventing injury.
All sound is the result of movement. When playing clarinet, the release of air causes the reed to vibrate. The movement of the facial muscles shapes the embouchure. The movement of the fingers creates pitch and rhythm. And our thoughts initiate and organize these movements.
We work best when our whole body is integrated and coordinated around a musical intention. This book will guide clarinetists back to bodily wholeness, resulting in healthier bodies, improved technique, and better music making.
Shawn L. Copeland, DMA, is Associate Professor of Clarinet and Alexander Technique at the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music. Jackie McIlwain, DMA, is Associate Professor of Clarinet at the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music. Both are Licensed Body Mapping Educators.