The Association for Body Mapping Education recognizes Barbara Conable as its Founder and is grateful for her dedication, creativity, tenacity, and mentorship. During her thirty plus years as an Alexander Technique teacher, Barbara Conable helped to save hundreds of musical careers and to enhance hundreds more. She experienced frustration, however, because she knew that thousands more musicians were losing careers and capacity. Beginning in 1998, Barbara Conable used her extensive experience of teaching musicians to establish Andover Educators, a network of musicians “saving, securing, and enhancing musical careers with accurate information about the body in movement.” This was based on her recognition that vital Body Mapping information is best revealed by the musicians themselves, rather than from an outsider.
For Andover Educator workshops, Barbara developed the six-hour course called “What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body.” She then authored a book by the same title as a graphic textbook for the course, and as a template for versions later elaborated for various instruments. The stated goal of Andover Educators was to put music education on a secure somatic foundation for all time.
On her retirement from teaching in 2005, Barbara Conable turned over the leadership of the organization to distinguished flutist Amy Likar, who formed a board and created the non-profit that is now called Association for Body Mapping Education, teaching “the art of movement in music.” Simultaneously, in Japan, Hitomi Ono developed a similar training and licensing organization that, among other services, supports significant neurological research into Body Mapping: www.amac.co.jp/english.html
Barbara continues to contribute to the theory and practice of Body Mapping, most recently in her keynote address, “Musicians Move! Top Ten Ways to Train their Moving,” delivered to the Fall Institute of GIA Publications, Chicago, in October 2019. The address is now published as an article in the GIA Quarterly.
Her other works, also available from GIA, include How to Learn the Alexander Technique, The Structures and Movement of Breathing: a Primer for Choirs and Choruses, and the DVD Move Well, Avoid Injury. Many fine Body Mapping books written by ABME members under Barbara’s mentorship are available from GIA, Mountain Peak Music, and Plural Publishing.
BARBARA CONABLE QUOTATIONS
“When musicians conceive the sound they want to make they must also, simultaneously, conceive the movement that makes it.”
"Barbara knows how to impart truthful information free from judgement better than anyone I know. If the information she gives to you in a lesson is ever intimidating, it is never because she is relaying it with judgement—it’s almost always because that bit of truth she was able to uncannily lay her finger on is information you haven’t been able or willing to look at straight in the face yet"
JENNIFER JOHNSON, LBME