Ep 10: The Greatest of Ease with Vanessa Mulvey
Illuminating the anatomy behind movement to refine playing is how Vanessa Mulvey guides musicians to transform performances from good to great. The unique combination of anatomy education and movement retraining unleashes expression and leads to healthy playing habits.
Vanessa’s deep fascination with understanding movement was initially sparked by a Body Mapping workshop where she found a clear, reliable way to enhance expression and relieve neck and shoulder discomfort. The changes in her playing inspired her to dig deeper into understanding the relationship between movement and playing.
In 2009 Vanessa completed her Licensure with Andover Educators, the Body Mapping organization. In 2017, she became President of the organization. Vanessa teaches the course ‘What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body’ who are looking for new perspective to propel their playing or relief from discomfort and pain.
Her quest for knowledge and movement skill did not end there, in fact it led her to seek out ways to explore movement away from the flute. Notable lessons include:
Learning to utilize optimal performance awareness on the flying trapeze to execute a trick.
Mustering the mental and physical endurance to complete a Spartan sprint.
Activities like these challenge her to understand and develop her movements skills to uncover movement accuracy, fluidity and precision, exactly what musicians use in performing.
A faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music and Longy School of Music of Bard College, her courses combine Body Mapping with movement experience to unlock the artistry within each musician. She is a frequent guest artist, presenting specialty workshops at music schools, conferences and festivals, including the Frost School of Music, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the British Isles Music Festival. She also offers private one-on-one coaching to address individual needs.
Vanessa's innate curiosity guides her teaching, learning and playing. In addition to flying trapeze, she is a student of Pilates and is in the Core Movement Integration (CMI) training program. In 2018 she received her MovNat Level 1 Certification. She loves the challenge of natural movement, her latest being balancing on a rail. Vanessa is grateful to be surrounded by a dynamic tribe of movers to connect with in her journey.
A flutist by training, Vanessa performs on concerts throughout the region including: North Country Electronic Music Festival, Wolfeboro Friends of Music, Chromatic Club, King’s Chapel Concert Series, Friends of the Reading Public Library, 1794 Meeting House, Longy SeptemberFest and Faculty Artist Concerts and on WGBH radio as well as freelance gigs. She especially enjoy performing music from the late twentieth century through today. She received her B.M. with Honors from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York in Potsdam M.M. from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Find her on Facebook and at breathemoveperform.com.
in this episode
This was a fun interview! Vanessa’s passion and deep commitment to lifelong learning are very evident throughout this conversation in which we explore:
Vanessa’s background and training as a flute player
How Vanessa became interested in movement and what drew her to Body Mapping
Natural movement and how this informs her Body Mapping work
Core Movement Integration and its transformational impact on Vanessa’s playing and work as a movement educator
Trapeze! How Vanessa overcame her fear of heights in order to learn to fly with the greatest of ease, and how this has informed her life as a musician
The importance of vision and how widening the visual field can help musicians feel and sound better