“Before beginning the Coordinate Movement Program I was unable to play due to tendonitis in my right shoulder and general tension that had become severely debilitating. Lisa's ability to pinpoint weaknesses in my technique made it possible for me to free up my arms, hands and fingers to such a degree that I was able to play again. With the addition of the Body Mapping information my physical freedom at the piano has increased significantly. Understanding the relationship between movement and expression at the piano has enhanced my abilities in practice and performance. The healthy environment promoted by Lisa Marsh and Barbara Conable is an essential factor in the recovery of musicians limited by pain or injury."
- Monica - Graduate Student
"For nine years I was unable to play the piano without constant, sharp pain in my right arm and elbow. Since working with the instructors of the Coordinate Movement Program I have made many changes in the way I play and rarely experience any discomfort. I find it strange that pianists know very little about anatomy. The courses in this program present movement anatomy in a very basic way, then students can apply the information directly to playing. We also work on maintaining awareness of our entire body, all of our senses and our emotions. I feel more freedom when I play and my recent performances have been more musical and without memory slips. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone serious about creating beautiful music, injured or not."
- Chantal - Graduate Student
"This course has been so valuable in many ways. Through discussions with fellow pianists I have learned about what it means to be an artist and musician and the feelings we share with one another. By having to articulate concepts about the anatomy of our bodies I have a much clearer sense of these things and plan to continue to explore and fine-tune my knowledge. I have never experienced such a "team-like" feeling of support amongst musicians before. In performing I have found that when I feel tension or anxiety I can go to different places in my brain to deal with it and make adjustments. It is a continual process of sensing, feedback and adjustment. This couldn't have happened at a better time for me and I am truly grateful to have been part of this enlightening group."
- Juli - Undergraduate Student
Excerpt from the Oregonian Article by Bill Graves published April 24th, 2003
"Monica Halseth's slim body sways like grass in the wind as her long fingers race up and down the keys of the grand piano. "I think your torso is getting ahead of your arm,” observes Lisa Marsh a pianist and music professor at Portland State University. During the hour-long session, Marsh comments on the way Halseth holds her arms, touches the keys, turns her body, relaxes her hands and uses her feet on the pedals. The private lesson is part of Portland State University's Coordinate Movement Program for Pianists- studies headed by Marsh to heal injured pianists.
A large proportion of serious and professional musicians play in pain and experience injuries. Yet most do not know that precise movement techniques can help them. Marsh and other teachers at Portland State hope to change that. Their program, in its first year, saved Halseth's musical career. A year ago, her hands moved over the keys like claws- stiff, slow, clumsy. Sometimes her fingers went numb. Tendonitis pain needled her right shoulder. "I couldn't produce the sounds I wanted," recalls Halseth, 30, who has played the piano since age 5."I couldn't play fast, I couldn't play accurately." Today Halseth plays without pain. Her fingers dash over the keyboard, deftly delivering a fast and complicated Beethoven sonata that will be part of her final recital next fall for her master's degree in music teaching."