Body Mapping


The body map is our own self-representation in our brains that tells us how big or small we are, where things are and how we use our bodies.  If our body map is accurate, movement is good. But, if our body map is inaccurate, movement will become inefficient, lacking coordination and fluidity, and can create discomfort and injury.

With the study of Body Mapping, we learn to gain access to our own body map through self-observation and self-inquiry.  Students carefully correct their own body map by assimilating accurate information provided by kinesthetic experience, the use of a mirror, anatomical models, books, pictures, and teachers.  Our goal is to recognize the source of inefficient or harmful movement and learn how to replace it with movement that is efficient and elegant, and based on the truth about our own structure, function.

Into to Body Mapping workshop with music majors at Rutgers University

What is Body Mapping? Body Mapping is the conscious correcting and refining of one’s body map to produce efficient, coordinated, effective movement.  With application over time it allows any musician to play with greater ease and fluidity.  Body Mapping not only helps musicians avoid injury; it also reduces limitation and tension and enhances musicians’ technique.

Masterclass 16
Photo by Rachel Hickey

What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body

As a licensed Body Mapping Educator, I teach both private Body Mapping lessons, workshops of any length, as well as the complete six hour course, What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body.  The course outline is as follows:

  • Hour 1: Training our senses, movement and attention
  • Hour 2: The six places of balance in the body
  • Hour 3: The movement of breathing
  • Hour 4: The arm structure and movement at all 4 joints
  • Hour 5: The legs; how they move, and help us maintain balance as we play
  • Hour 6: Putting it all together with our instruments
Teaching a Body Mapping workshop to students and guest artists at the International Piccolo Festival in Grado, Italy.

Email me for more information about private or group lessons: RenaMarieUrso at gmail dot com

Here is a short list of conservatories, universities, and professional performing arts organizations and their artists who continue to benefit from our Body Mapping work together:

The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, Rice University, Rutgers University, Manhattan School of Music, Grant Park Music Festival, Oberlin, Arizona State University, University of Texas Austin, Texas Tech, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin Madison, University of North Carolina Greensboro, many of the California State University music departments, musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Northwest Sinfonietta, Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, and many more!



Accepting students virtually via Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime.

Contact me to find out how you can schedule a large group workshop, masterclass or private lesson. 

Flutists, Check out my regular monthly column in The Flute View!


For more information about Body Mapping, including helpful resources and suggested readings, please visit

Draped over a physio ball with my trusted assistant Auggie, ready to help! 

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