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You are Your Instrument

Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter holiday, had a great spring break, time change, and March Madness. Whew! Oh yes a full moon too!

‘You are Your Instrument’, by Julie Lyonn Lieberan, is a very interesting book and makes one contemplate all of the aspects of the art of being a musician. The following is her bio and a book review of the of the publication.

Her Bio, which I found in a Bing search, is impressive: Julie Lyonn Lieberman is a pioneer teacher of music improvisation and ergonomic performance. She is an American improvising violinist, vocalist, composer, author, educator, and recording artist specializing in fiddle and international violin styles. She is among the first to teach improvisation and world music at the Juilliard School; she also created the first eclectic styles teacher training program in the world as Artistic Director for the summer program, Strings Without Boundaries. Ms. Lieberman is an author, composer, producer, and performing artist. Julie has authored 12 books, 6 CD’s and has many published articles in many well-known musical magazines.

This particular book takes the reader from head to toe. It guides a musician in the aspect of how not only your body, but additionally the way the frame of mind can affect our music.

She begins the book with the mind and how we can use it to enhance our playing. There are many techniques such as visualization, mental practice, and she goes into depth on how the brain works. Explaining the left and right side of the brain and the affect on playing music. I was impressed that she discussed how mindless practice is not as efficient as the quality of the practicing.

Being aware of our bodies, our minds, and even our breathing all plays a part. It reminds me of meditation in a sense and it is suggested musicians should meditate. Tension and stress can really mess with playing or a performance. She includes pictures of the body and the muscles we have and how they play a part in our musical abilities. I know, pretty heavy.

Julie gives solutions on nervousness, warming up, how to attend music lessons, and keeping tempo! I don’t think she has missed a beat! I know, maybe not so funny, but couldn’t help myself.

Environmental hazards, performing, the space of the performance, audience resonance, and a musician as Dancer. See how she hits upon everything a musician should consider? Not only does she point out these things, but gives ideas and guidelines on how to overcome these obstacles. Many good tips and suggestions in a very concise way that does not bog down the reader.

This is a book review and I can’t really give you everything she offers. However, if any of this interest you I highly recommend getting a copy and reading the book. At the end of the writing she even has pages of exercises for the whole body called muscle balance glossary along with different kinds of therapies to consider.

Interesting that Julie really likes to play an electric Violin. Check her out on YouTube, some of it is very different.

Keep the Music in the Air

Your VP,



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