Travaux en cours

Original Research ARTICLE

The musician’s body: towards a sensory pedagogy of music performance

Keywords: perception, body awareness, mindful practice, teaching, learning, cognitive strategies, proprioception, piano performance



It is too often believed that art is a matter of the mind and that a successful interpretation emanates only from inspiration. Mastering a musical discourse is an extremely difficult exercise, in particular because antagonistic tasks like respecting a score while freeing one’s mind – in search of expression – are simultaneously required. In this system of highly complex interactions, the human brain mobilises cognitive resources such as reasoning, emotions and memory, which are intimately intertwined with the motor scheme.


The body is at the centre of musical practice and constitute the musician’s first instrument. However, the musician is too often unaware of how his body works since that has never been taught to him. Integration of corporal experience into musical pedagogy is developing and sparking interest in many countries. Despite this trend, in France, an intellectual approach to music teaching continues to be common practice and the place of the body remains marginal.


Herein we aim to shed light how body awareness and perception together with mindful practice contributes to build the instrumental technique.


We present a survey performed with 10 young pianists aged 8 to 22, all of them enrolled in the official curriculum of (…)

Musical narrativity and artistic appropriation: a study on non-tonal pieces op.12 by Mulsant



Following on from work we have conducted with professional pianists on the associative nature of mental representations of music, we present here a study aimed at exploring the process of elaboration and memorization of Florentine Mulsant’s contemporary pieces with pianists aged between 9 and 11.


The participants declared to use of various extra-musical supports, analogies, metaphors and body perceptions, particularly in the stages of memorization and artistic appropriation. This suggests that this type of association is an aid to the memorization of non-tonal pieces and leads us to believe that the development of a proto-narrative envelope is closely linked to the elaboration of musical discourse, particularly on contemporary pieces with children in the early years of learning.