Amy N. Melton

Date of Award





Music Education - Choral Concentration


Schwob School of Music


This thesis seeks to introduce principles of somatic education to children grades kindergarten through grade five in order to prevent future music-related injury and to promote free, wholebody movement. To do so, the principals of somatic education, specifically those of the Alexander Technique and Body Mapping, were combined with the current general music pedagogies by altering pre-existing lesson plans. Alterations include a variety of methods of integration, including, but not limited to: teaching about and exploring the different parts of the body, understanding the relationships between seemingly unrelated body parts, and engaging in student-led constructive rest in the semi-supine position. Somatic education pairs fluidly with the general music curriculum, as the primary pedagogues already incorporate movement and body awareness into their lessons. By pairing these lessons with an education about the body, students can move in a manner that relies on the skeletal structure rather than muscular effort, thus preventing common pains and music-related performance injuries.

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