November 8, 2019: Musician, Heal Thyself—Developing and Maintaining Healthy Practice Habits

Dr. James Litzelman

Sitting and breathing properly while practicing is essential for us to remain injury-free, and one of the biggest problems facing musicians is playing with unnecessary tension.  Discover “the three R’s of Muscular Tension” and how to apply this to your daily practice sessions, permitting a lifetime of healthy music making.

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James Litzelman, DMA, NCTM, enjoys a successful career as a pianist, teacher, and lecturer, teaching piano and piano pedagogy at The Catholic University of America since 1993. He has performed and lectured in the United States, Mexico, Europe, China and Russia.  Litzelman was diagnosed with focal dystonia in 1994 and through retraining he has returned to performing as a pianist. This retraining has focused heavily on the use of symmetrical inversion as a practice strategy, a treatment modality for in which he has been a pioneer. As a result of his diagnosis, he has spent the last 25 years investigating ways in which pianists may play in a more physiologically correct way, allowing injured pianists to become healed, and keeping healthy pianists from becoming injured.  He regularly discusses these issues in presentations at state and national conferences on topics related to musicians’ wellness.

Litzelman is currently the chair of the editorial committee for the American Music Teacher magazine, and in addition to his work at Catholic University, he maintains an active studio at his home in Arlington, Virginia, where his students have distinguished themselves in state and national competitions.