Body & Soul

The physical aspect of mastering an instrument cannot stay uncovered in a complete program on music education. After many years of research regarding matters like posture, relaxation, breathing and resonance I decided to share what I've learned in a series of videos. I write in first person since this is a very personal vision.
Bart Noorman – founder of the Virtual Music School

Finding a proper title of this menu item was a bit of a struggle, since it discusses both mental and physical matters. I could have come up with a tritiny like Body, Mind and Soul, or Content, Form and Spontaneity or the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost in music, but in the end I chose to name it after the famous jazz standard Body & Soul.


I have learned quite a lot of physical exercises that affect things like tone quality, endurance and timing. I offer 1 hour lessons at €45,=. It would be very arrogant to say that I can help everybody! Therefore you don’t need to pay if you don’t feel you learned something. Physical contact is preferred, but I have had many succesful online sessions as well.

For brass orchestras, music schools and conservatories I offer workshops. The price depends on distance, number of sessions and more.

Contact me for more information on


The videos are free. I recommend watching them in the order below. Click on the links to expand them.

Video #1. Muscle chains

Musicians deal a lot with injuries. Usually the focus is on the injury. In this video I used my sailing boat for explaining a different view on how the body works, and I tell how it influenced my teaching. Ultra short summary: our body needs regular tuning to be ready for the playing job!

Watch it in Dutch or with English subtitles.

Video #2. The Pyramidalis

In the first video I spoke about a muscle I had lost contact with. It is called the Pyramidalis, and it kind of works like the main sheet in a sailing boat. In this second video I explain the function of this muscle in the breathing process. It was originally developed for my breathing workshops for conservatories and brass orchestras.

Watch it in Dutch or English.

Video #3. Tensegrity

The tensegrity is a cool model that works like a metaphore for the human body. In this video I present a few educational principles for finding a good posture yourself. Try the extremes first, and then find a position somewhere in between that fits your current state best. The sound quality on your instrument is your guide.

Another important element in this video is that your body is a body of resonance, and so is the listeners body. Music is all about sending and receiving. Not all listeners will be receptive to your musical vibrations, and the cause could lie on both sides. Watch it in Dutch or with English subtitles.

Video #4. Content, form and spontaneity in music

This video goes pretty deep into the essence of our movements.
Everything we do or create has elements of content, form and spontaneity, and that applies certainly to music.

Watch it in Dutch or English.

The exercises

A video is not the best way to demonstrate the exercises, since it only shows the outside form, and could easily lead to wrong execution. The teacher or therapist has to see you moving, so he or she can suggest corrections on the spot. With live meetings minor touching to feel the tension or the energy flow can help. In online lessons a friend or partner could take this over to a certain extent.


I learned about all of this from a variety of sources. In the videos I organized their content in my own personal way. I saw many similarities, but also contradictions that needed further investigation. I am grateful for everyone who helped me on my path.

Willem van der Vliet
The greatest trumpet teacher in the world! He taught me so much about sound, breathing and in particular the role of the tongue.
I learned a lot from the therapists at, which was founded by the Dutch doctor Niek Brouw. It all started with a frozen shoulder, which was caused by a strong imbalance in the muscle chains. My therapist Hanneke Bakker taught me to tune my body, and helped me to get rid of tons of tension. It made me a better trumpeter and a more relaxed teacher. The exercises require a high level of concentration and precision, but they do not take a lot of time. I will never forget Hanneke’s words when I had some questions about a strange exercise I had to do in the beginning: “No, I’m not gonna explain it to you, because you have to feel this, not understand this!”. I was a bit frustrated, but since both my shoulder and the sound of my trumpet got better right away, I surrendered to her treatment.

Feldenkrais therapy
In giant steps: I experienced these excellent exercises as being based on shaking up your brain halves, in order to achieve better coordination on the conscious and subconscious level. The exercises are done very slowly, very concentrated, but are very mild. Doing things a few times differently than your regular way helps you to find the original effective movement as it was meant by nature.

Trauma Release Exercises
David Bercelli developed a series of simple exercises that help to relax the psoas and many other muscles that may be too tensed. The effect can be spectacular. More info on the Trauma Release Exercises is easily found on the internet.

Chi Kung
Chi kung is a martial art, related to t’ai chi. In the 2 hour classes guided by Peter den Dekker we had to stand with our hands in front of us for many minutes. At a certain point you get tired, and then your body tries to find a better position that makes the posture more bearable and more effective. We also did many exercises in slow motion to find the ultimate balance. Peter also talked about muscle chains, and shared loads of his wisdom. His book The dynamics of standing still is very inspiring.