Body mapping conference planned for Oct. 9

Stephen Ortiz

Body mapping improves a musician’s technique to prevent injury through refined movement. A body mapping conference has been planned for Thursday, Oct. 9 by Janet Alcorn of the Iowa State Department of Music and Theater to educate participants. 

“This is part of the music department’s emphasis on musician’s health. This information can help prevent injury and technical limitation. All music-making involves movement, and body mapping teaches musicians how to have their minds and bodies work together more efficiently,” Alcorn said.

Alcorn is an associate professor of voice, a licensed teacher in body mapping and a faculty member of Iowa State University. Alcorn is now retired from singing and primarily focuses on vocal health and rehabilitation along with musician’s health.

Body mapping is something Alcorn has been teaching to musicians to better improve their health. There can be negative physical effects if musicians aren’t looking at their body and how everything fits and works together.

Through the use of images, models, videos and movement explorations, the structure, size and functions of the body are studied to better understand how it all works.

If a body map is accurate and refined, the movement will be fluid and free, balanced and expressive. Alcorn’s teachings are aimed to get musicians to that point.

If a body map is slightly inaccurate or inadequate, the movement will be a little awkward and the technique will be somewhat limited. If a body map is very inaccurate or missing significant parts, the movement can be painful and even injury-producing. This conference is aimed to teach musicians who attend how they can avoid these negative results.

“This will be quite an interactive event. We will be doing lots of movement activities to help each person clarify his or her own body map,” Alcorn said.

The last body mapping event held at Iowa State University for the music department was in June, 2013 and had attendees from all over the US, England, Iceland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil and Japan.

This year Body Mapping will be held at 1:10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 in the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall.