Hi, I’m Jillian!
I would like to welcome you to Moving through Music, a centre for music students, performers, and educators who want to learn about how improving their movement can help them improve their performance and their lives!
My years training as a pianist, a music educator, and a Feldenkrais Method Practitioner have helped me to understand the unique demands musicians place on their bodies and minds in pursuit of performance excellence. All too often musicians’ passion and dedication to their art translate into practice at all costs, even if it means sacrificing mental and physical well-being. I believe that equipped with the right strategies for practicing, learning, and moving, musicians can enjoy comfortable, joyful, and pain-free practice throughout their education and careers.
When I was completing my undergraduate degree in music I started to experience pain and discomfort in my neck and arms associated with the increased practice and stress brought on by university training. At the time I was not equipped with strategies to help myself, and I spent years plagued with fear and anxiety that the pain would be a permanent and insurmountable obstacle that would prevent me from reaching my goals as a performer and teacher. I have spent the last seven years studying music pedagogy, pain science, and neurological aspects of motor learning at the Masters and Ph.D. level to develop practical, science-based, and performer-informed strategies for helping musicians address and prevent playing-related pain and enhance their ability to translate their movement into their intentions for musical expression.
Now, as I work to complete my Ph.D. in Human Kinetics I am motivated to share what I have learned through my studies of human motor learning and practice of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education. The next step on this journey is sharing these lessons with a wider audience through the online launch of Moving through Music.
Through one-on-one lessons, group workshops, Awareness through Movement classes, and private Functional Integration sessions, I hope to help musicians learn how to leverage the power of their own self-awareness to bring about tangible changes to their technique, practice routines, and self-use that will help them perform with more grace, confidence, and joy than ever before.
When I learned how to sense and feel myself through movement in a more complete and integrated way I not only gained control over my playing-related pain, but the quality of my musicianship also improved. As I reduced the interference of excess muscular tension, extraneous effort, and emotional anxiety, I was able to connect more deeply with the music I was playing, rediscovering the joy in an activity that had increasingly caused me pain and anxiety. It is my sincere hope that the information available at Moving through Music will help others learning, performing, or teaching music find a way forward on a path of life-long learning that prioritizes their own wellness while preserving their passion for and dedication to their art form.
Please feel free to send me a message if you have questions or would like more information about how you could learn along with me! I invite you to like and follow the Facebook page for Moving through Music and to check back often for more blog posts, video-content, and updates related to musician wellness and my research projects! You can also subscribe to our mailing list for updates on new content!