All eyes are riveted on the musician on stage: hair flying, jaw clenching, neck jerking rhythmically, feet stomping, arms and fingers racing over the instrument, the musician’s whole body is wrestling with the passionate beast of music. The experience of getting lost in the music, of soaring freely into a soundscape, of becoming enveloped in musical creation, is what every musician strives for. Getting lost in the music, however, often comes at the cost of physical strain, inflammation, and irreparable damage to wrists, fingers, and shoulders.

For example, the Funk Brothers keyboardist Earl van Dyke, Incubus guitarist Michael Aaron “Mike” Einziger, and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante all developed carpal tunnel syndrome, and renowned classical pianists Leon Fleisher and Gary Graffman struggle with hand dystonia, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and postures. “It’s scary to see what happens to musicians,” stated composer and pianist Lisa Marsh, founder and director of the Coordinate Movement Program at Portland State University and one of six Andover Educators internationally who can license people to teach the the technique called Body Mapping. “A lot of music students come to me who have had to stop playing because of injury. Using Body Mapping, I can help retrain their movements and help them continue playing.”

Beginning Thursday, June 18 at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall, the Andover Educators four-day conference will celebrate, teach, and explore healthy movement for musicians.