As both a musician, lecturer and somatic bodyworker I offer lectures and concert lectures over a wide variety of topics close to my heart but where the act of Listening is essential:

Listening - seen as a concious act of directing our awareness towards our aural surroundings as well as into the internal neurological and physical realities of our own bodies

As a musician and music theoretician I give lectures about listening, musical awareness, unfamiliar soundscapes, hearing colors, Psyco-accoustics and biological listening intentions,  concert hall-battlefields, listening as a way of awareness, musical sculptures and instruments of wonder and amazement, music as a political weapon and our inner and outer filters of perception.

Among other things..

The common denominator for all these lectures is an ever-lasting curiosity for anything connected to the listening experience and a wish to share how we all, by becoming more concious listeners, have the power to affect both the way we experience listening as well as life.

As a Timani teacher and somatic bodyworker I also give lectures about the Timani method and topics concerning musicians´ health, performer psychology and basic anatomical and neurological topics of significance to musicians, teachers and performers or everyone who wishes to know more about topics like the Autonomic Nervous System, the Fascia system and how knowledge of these systems can be used to broaden our understanding of movement, stress-management, trauma, pain and our miraculous fluid body.

These lectures are usually combined with practical workshops with mental and somatic techniques for increased body-awareness and ways to approach challenging life situations with the body and mind as supportive allies.

Can increased knowledge concerning our neurology and biology make us into more present and confident musicians?

This lecture offers a basic understanding of the autonomic nervous system, how it affects musicians during everyday playing and performance as well as ways to interact and train the nervous system.

Musicians have their body as their work field; a complex and biological instrument which we, on top of its physical challenges, need to master in situations of great psychological pressure.
There are a few other vocations which demands the same kind of personal exposure while performing with technical mastery, artistic intention and personal expression in front of large groups of complete strangers.

Research has found increased symptoms of anxiety and depression among Norwegian musicians compared to the general workforce, and in several educational environments of music the level of tension and psychological stress, often coupled with physical strain and muscular tension, is accepted as "normal" and part of the deal when becomming a musician. This is also often linked to the popular myth of the struggling artist who is only able to create great art through the use of rigorous dicipline when faced with severe opposition, some of it in the form of a tough inner, psychological battle.

However, increased knowledge concerning our own physiology, our biological survival mechanisms and a general insight into this amazing organism we all walk around with might show that "suffering" can have many subtle meanings, some of which are not necessarily a pre-requsite in order to reach a level of excellence, and that knowledge is necessary in order to know how to make our body and mind work at its optimal capacity, even during situations of great tension and challenge.

The last part of the lecture is practical and consists of physical and mental exercises useful for performers and musicians of every age.

- This lecture is part of the annual program on Performance Psychology at the Masters of Music program at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

Interested in booking a lecture?

I have held lectures at Symposiums, Universities, Music schools, Festivals and online events, for

yoga teachers, music teachers, therapists, music students, university staff, tango dancers and people just curious to learn about

the Autonomic Nervous System, the Fascia System, Performance Preperation, Movement training, Body-Mind connections, Listening or Musical Perception

 

Send me a line and we´ll tailor something to fit your specific interest and situation

mirhla@gmail.com

This is the first of three lecture/workshops about the Mind-body connection, with a special emphasis on the nervous system and the fascia system and how these can be used to broaden our understanding of movement, stress-management, trauma, pain and our miraculous fluid body.
As the times we live in get more and more challenging many of us are faced with a nervous system on continued high alert.
More than ever we need to cultivate our body´s natural ability to sooth and restore us, and to down-regulate our stress responses, - responses which, at the same time, are very natural given our present-day situation.
So, what does it mean to «down-regulate»?
• Is it simply a matter of forcing ourselves to ignore or repress unwanted thoughts or impulses?
• To «accept and allow» whatever comes?
• To rigorously follow a specific physical and mental regime?
• And should we even try to down-regulate something which can also be a logical reaction to the reality of today?
Maybe the real question should be: are there ways to face and contain the experience of our reality today without paying the price of an over-active survival system?

In this lecture/workshop we will cover ways to interact with the nervous system from a body-mind perspective, - through gentleness firmly rooted in scientific facts, and with a direct relevance to our unique world situation today.

We will explore the physiology of the nervous system and the autonomic nervous system and cover topics like:
• The polyvagal theory and the science of safety
• The neural and chemical systems involved in your stress responses and what affects them.
• Mental and Somatic techniques for increasing resillience, self-soothing and down-regulation of overwhelm and stress responses that seem stuck
• A four step-process to increase the ability to contain difficult and challenging situations and emotions

I am very grateful for the clearest presentation of the polyvagal system and the nervous system I have ever encountered. Miriam helped me far more than my many efforts to understand Porges through his writing. This lecture underscored all that we do in therapy, and gave me some new ideas and lots of reminders. I wish many of my colleagues had attended and will share the announcement for the fascia lecture with them.

-Naomi. Dance therapist

This is the second of three lecture/workshops about the Mind-body connection, with a special emphasis on the nervous system and the fascia system and how these can be used to broaden our understanding of movement, stress-management, trauma, pain and our miraculous fluid body.
  • What is pain (neurology, sensory receptors, hormones and fascia.)
  • The cup-of-tolerance-pain theory.
  • Pain, muscles and fascia
  • interoception, proprioception and brain maps
  • Awareness-exercises on personal stressors.
This is the third of three lecture/workshops about the Mind-body connection, with a special emphasis on the nervous system and the fascia system and how these can be used to broaden our understanding of movement, stress-management, trauma, pain and our miraculous fluid body.
  • What is fascia
  • The 4 functions of fascia and why all are important in understanding the implications of movement training as a tool for healing and support during stress.
  • Fascia in movement
  • The tensegrity principle and how it affects movement dynamics
  • How your fascia affects every movement you make, for better or worse and how to work with it enhancing embodied experiences

How has the industrial revolution, the Ottoman empire and a fondness for giraffs affected the development of the instrument we know today as the grand piano?

From the modest entertainer of the salons to the mother-ship of the great concert halls: the grand piano stands today as one of the world's most popular instruments but it's road of development has been long and varied.

This concert lecture follows the history of this amazing instrument and is filled with examples of how composers through the ages have emphasized different aspects of the instrument and given it many different roles to play, and how composers and pianists of today continue to explore and expand its unique world of sound.

Due to the repertoire this concert lecture is dependent on access to a grand piano with three pedals.

Where does the music end and the listening begin?

Music reflects the essential fact that we humans are not sharing one reality but rather perceiving myriads of different possibilities of reality, all interlaced and happening at the same time. We are all aware that two people might experience the same piece of music in entirely different ways. The music is the same and yet the experience differs.

In between the listener and the music stands the listening experience. So what really happens when we listen to music? Why is one man's music another man's dental drill? This has to do with what we might call "listening intention". It is found that a listener might favour a specific listening intention regardless of the type of music he or she listens to. At the same time, even though this choice of how we listen is very often taken on a sub-concious level, our specific listening intention might be “open for negotiations” - in other words: we ourselves have the ability to change the way we listen provided we have some guidence.

In this lecture you will experience how you consciously can change how you experience music by training your ability to change between different listening intentions. 

The lecture contains several listening examples which invites you to a richer and more conscious way of experiencing music.

Due to its use of music examples this lecture is dependent on access to playback equipment.

What is relevant physiological knowledge for someone who aims at performing music on a high, professional level? Why do musicians need knowledge of how their body works?

Musicians are, as a workforce, subjected to extremely specialised physical demands when it comes to performing their art. The need for endurance, strength and stability needs to be coordinated with dexterity and detailed fine motor control on a level which few other needs or, indeed, are able to master.

No matter which instrument we play: the real instrument of a musician is his or her body; a biological organism completely unique and to a large extent shaped by the life experiences (physical as well as psychological) which it has accumulated in the timespan between birth and the present moment.

Our real instrument is something we can never put down and in order to learn how to use it at its optimum capacity we need knowledge.

This lecture is about that.