1st Edition

Caring for the Whole Musician: Awareness and Mindfulness CMS Emerging Fields in Music

By Larry Lee Hensel, Alexander Kahn Copyright 2023
    130 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Caring for the Whole Musician brings together insights from two expert musicians and educators to consider the relationship between mental and physical health and artistic practice for musicians. Offering a holistic perspective that encompasses the whole being – body, mind, and heart – this book provides emerging musicians with tools, practices, and mindsets to address key challenges throughout their journey.

    The first part, Awareness, addresses wellness and embodiment in music, exploring how our bodies are constructed and how the use of our bodies as instruments affects function. Using approaches including Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique, this part helps readers discover adverse habits that interfere with natural movement, and nurture awareness of the body. The second part, Mindfulness, explores how meditative practice can be incorporated into every stage of concert preparation and embedded within the daily life of the musician. Offering mindfulness exercises related to each stage of the music-making process, these chapters provide strategies for readers to enhance their well-being and focus.

    Centered in the understanding of the musician as a whole being, this book provides an essential guide to how practices of awareness and mindfulness can allow musicians to better care for themselves and flourish in their artistic careers.


    1. The Well of Awareness

    2. Know Thyself

    3. Alexander Technique Principles

    4. The Well Never Runs Dry

    Recommended Materials


    5. The Musician and the Monk

    6. Pre-Game Strategies

    7. Mid-Game Strategies

    8. Post-Game Strategies and Final Thoughts



    Larry Lee Hensel is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Wyoming, USA, where he was Head of the Vocal Arts Area, Director of Opera Theatre, and Opera in a Gym (an educational operatic touring ensemble for elementary school audiences). A Certifi ed Teacher of the Alexander Technique since 2007, he has conducted workshops in Alexander Technique and Body Mapping for music departments in universities across the United States and was a Guest Artist at the Puppetry Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a D.M.A. and an M.M. in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music.

    Alexander Kahn is Professor of Music at Sonoma State University, USA, where he directs the Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra and teaches courses on conducting, music appreciation, and music history. In addition to his educational activities, he has worked with professional and festival orchestras across the United States and throughout Europe. Currently he serves as Assistant Conductor for the Santa Rosa Symphony, as well as Music Director of the Vintner’s Chamber Orchestra, a professional chamber orchestra that performs at wineries throughout Sonoma and Napa counties.