Note:This scholarly essay is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of two lecture recitals related to the essay topic.

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Title:Coordinating mind and body: A comparison of three somatic approaches for improving wellness and performance in pianists
Author(s):Zhou, Yuanchang
Advisor(s):Tsitsaros, Christos
Contributor(s):Hobson, Ian; Heiles, William; Parisi, Susan
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Hand injury of pianists
Alan Fraser
Dorothy Taubman
Barbara Lister-Sink
Mind-body coordination
Abstract:Among all barriers to a professional pianist’s performance, hand injuries can be the most traumatic. Chronic pain and other debilitating problems can not only cause physical suffering, but severe and emotional turmoil as well. When discouraged by countless cancellations due to physical problems, many pianists consider themselves failures. Throughout history, celebrated pianists such as Robert Schumann, Alexander Scriabin, Gary Graffman, Leon Fleisher, and Glenn Gould fell victim to hand injuries, in some cases even causing permanent damage that sidelined, or even terminated, their performing careers. Often traditional medicine is not the most ideal solution for effectively curing a pianist’s hand injuries, as most problems are more likely related to improper movement and use of the body while playing. The purpose of this essay is to introduce three effective somatic approaches to piano playing, offering not only possibilities for the treatment of physical problems, but also preventive methods to help in obtaining a pain- free experience for performing pianists.
Issue Date:2017
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Yuanchang Zhou
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-12-06

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