Magazine article American Music Teacher

Annotated Bibliography on Musician Wellness

Magazine article American Music Teacher

Annotated Bibliography on Musician Wellness

Article excerpt


This year's bibliography contains some of the latest books related to wellness issues for musicians. The full bibliography can be found on MTNA's website at

The format of the bibliography is as follows:

General information included: Author, date of publication, title, publisher, current publisher's address, phone and/or fax if available, e-mail and website information if available, number of pages and ISBN number.

Specific information included: A brief description of the content of the book, journal, website or video, the intended audience (addressing value for the instrumentalist, keyboardist and/or vocalist), the authors' approach and specific techniques (such as physiological and psychological when relevant), general research information and bibliography and/or end notes, if included in the book. A general viewer evaluation also is included. Topics addressed are prevention of medical problems, meditation, performance anxiety, performance preparation, learning theories and physiological and psychological issues related to musicianship.


Arman, Miriam Jaskierowicz. (2001) The Voice: A Spiritual Approach to Singing, Speaking and Communicating. Second edition. Music Visions International, Inc., P.O. Box 17345, Plantation, FL 33318-7345. 157 pp. ISBN: 0-9674181-0-0.

Miriam Jaskierowicz Arman's teaching philosophy is clearly stated in her preface, where she explains the need for a positive attitude and its importance when communicating with students. The book has eighteen chapters. Chapter One is about spirituality and the voice. Chapter Two is titled "How Do We Begin? The Breath." Here, Arman discusses how to breath through the mouth and the role of the tongue. Chapter Three, "How to Move the Air," is about moving air inside the mouth. She suggests focusing on three words: listen, interpret and execute. Chapter Four, "Placing the Sound," reviews rules stated in previous chapters and adds a new list. Chapter Five, "The Giro: What is It?" is about the turn, or endless loop, where all the notes are made. Chapter Six, "Singing: the Primal Scream of the Voice," is about allowing one's singing and speaking voice to be the same. Chapter Seven, "The Art of Humming and Its Importance," is all about humming. Arman examines the importance of developing the diaphragm along with the giro in order to obtain a full sound. Chapter Eight, "The Jaw," explains the natural drop of the jaw. Chapter Nine, "Visualization," discusses the role of visualization, one's inner self and spirituality.

Chapter "fen, "The Diaphragm," is all about what Arman explains as "the motor or the support system." She discusses the three uses of the diaphragm: on the attack of the first note, on the high/low note and on the last note. Chapter Eleven is titled "Troubleshooting" and is about six common trouble spots: the voice is too low or not on pitch, cracks in the voice, flat or sharp sounds, potato sound, unevenness in the voice and nasal sound. Short explanations are given for dealing with each problem.

Chapter Twelve is titled "An Overview" and serves as a review of the text thus far by summarizing everything in "ten easy steps." In Chapter Thirteen, "The Spoon/The Egg," Arman decribes how she gives each of her students a spoon and egg as a gift when they begin their studies with her. The purpose is to show students how to move air around and acquire sound and muscle memory--something every vocal "instrument" is born with. Chapter Fourteen, "Who and What Are You," Chapter Fifteen, "The Career," Chapter Sixteen, "Colleagues and Friends," Chapter Seventeen, "Speaking and Communicating," and Chapter Eighteen, "Sharing My Story," are practical chapters about a musical and teaching career for anyone. These chapters offer good, sound and practical advice.

This is an easy-to-read self-help manual. A CD titled The First Lesson and a video titled The Master Class can be purchased separately. …

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