I am just back from my week in Vermont at the Adamant Piano and I wanted to thank you so much for your work with me at the Taubman Festival. Truly, I spent at least 5-6 hours at the piano every day. Your guidance regarding my position at the piano and the angle of my leg(!) absolutely changed my level of comfort at the piano, even under pressure during the master class and concert. I sincerely hope that I will somehow be able to work with you again. Thank you again for your sage physical and musical counsel.
– Karen Lerner, pianist/teacherSeeing is more than believing! Biofeedback illustrates neuromuscular responses that affect functioning and therefore performance.
– Lori Schiff, AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher, The Juilliard SchoolI really loved your (ISME) presentation and feel that you occupy a very important niche in this whole injury-preventive, whole-body technique movement with your creative ideas and your enormous experience and knowledge of so many areas–AT, Feldenkrais, Somatics, my Method, the Taubman approach, etc., etc. You are doing something that desperately needs to be done–figuring out really creative ways to teach these core principles in an enjoyable, engaging, and informed way.
– Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink, Director, Salem College School of Music and WINGSOUND InternationalI wanted help diagnosing significant shoulder/upper back pain on my right side, which engages when I play. Jacqueline very generously spent time with me using biofeedback and observations to detect and help correct issues. I now have tools to take with me to reduce my pain and make playing easier. I’m grateful for her help.
– Laura Shea-Clark, trumpet/cornet, Athena Brass BandThank you! I thoroughly enjoyed working with you. You gave excellent advice that was directly applicable. Furthermore, you really gave me the opportunity, even in our short time period, to discover for myself how my body reacts.
– Lauren Eisenreich, trombone, DMA, Eastman School of MusicYour presentation introduced the concepts of biofeedback in an organized and clear way. Having the opportunity to work one-on-one with you was phenomenal! You really opened my eyes to the ways in which my muscles are working – some more constructive than others. I feel armed with a new awareness and alignment that I can take into future practice sessions as well as performances.
– Marina Krickler, Freelance horn player and educatorI can’t thank you enough for sharing your expertise with me and my students! Your work with my students was incredibly useful, not only for them but for me as a teacher. The immediate visual feedback you were able to give the students about where and how their bodies are holding tension was fascinating. But what made it all so fruitful was the accumulated understanding of healthy body use you brought to the sessions, and the very real and concrete and targeted guidance you were able to give each of the students. I’m immensely grateful.
– Dr. Christopher Vaneman, Associate Professor of Flute and Head, Petrie School of Music, Converse CollegeYour work with my students was extremely valuable. We are continuing to incorporate many of the ideas you shared, with great success. It was so helpful to have a different way of looking at a problem, a new awareness of small tensions that can evolve into larger issues, and sometimes just a slightly altered terminology that brought new understanding and, above all, ease and comfort! I loved the way my students were able to see (actually see visually!) that singing with energy and strong legato does not equal singing with tension. In fact, the opposite is often true—singing in a ‘careful’ way, in an attempt to avoid tension, actually may cause tension rather than relieving it.
– Dr. Valerie MacPhail, Assistant Professor of Voice, Petrie School of Music, Converse College , Director of the Lawson Academy of the Arts
It was such a pleasure hearing your presentation today at our SEOMTA fall conference. You are a wonderful presenter and provided our group very thought-provoking, important information. I really appreciate the care that went into researching your lectures and putting together the handouts. As many of these kinds of presentations as I’ve heard over the years, you presented this wellness information in an innovative and creative manner, different than any other presentation I have heard. I was so pleased that I was able to hear you. Congratulations and brava on a job well done!
– Gail Berenson, NCTM, Professor of Piano, Ohio University, MTNA Past President
I have really taken to heart many of the techniques you worked with in your session at the WVMTA conference—especially the breathing exercises. I am happy to tell you that those exercises were extremely helpful in getting through a stressful couple of weeks with my elderly parents who I am going to have to put in a nursing home in January. Many of your ideas have helped keep me grounded. Thank you.
– Carol Beall, pianist and independent teacher, Morgantown, WV
Thank you for such a wonderful presentation!! Everyone left [your workshop] feeling very energized and motivated and we have you to thank for that!
– Merewyn Weinkauf, pianist and instructor, The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music, Marietta College
I wanted to let you know how much the oboe students and I got out of you recent visit. It was great to be able to see visually where tension is held, and how to release it. I know it will be really helpful to all the students and to me. You will be interested to know that when I asked the students in studio class what they took away from your session, one of the students mentioned how personally relaxed you were, and how that influenced the entire process. I noticed the same thing, and it’s especially worth mentioning since by that time you had been working for days!
– Rebeca S. Nagel, Professor of Oboe, University of South Carolina School of Music; Director, Spark, Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory
I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop at the WVMTA conference this year and it was a fantastic experience! Being connected to the biofeedback was very nerve wracking at first, but it proved to be very helpful once I was able to relax. I learned a lot about my overall alignment and approach to the piano as well as different technique strategies for playing with less tension and finger independence. I am thankful to Jacqueline Herbein for the experience and will carry what I learned with me as I continue to prepare for my senior recital.
– Kayla Harmon, Marshall University student
For several years, Jackie Herbein’s workshops at Duquesne University have provided a stimulating start to our school year. Her vivid imagination and creativity capture the attention and best efforts of our students, and her ingenious problem-solving techniques provide much material that I use in my studio throughout the term. The fact that Jackie is a wonderfully sensitive pianist informs everything that she says and does in an artistically satisfying way.
– David Allen Wehr, Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair, Duquesne University School of Music
Professionalism, expertise and excellent communication are the keys to assessing the needs of an individual and developing effective strategies for resolving them.
Jacqueline Herbein has a unique combination of experience as an accomplished performer herself and as a music educator, as well as a wealth of technical knowledge on performance and physiology that she has spent years acquiring. This allows Jackie to bring an understanding to working with other performers that allows not only for the achievement of immediate improvement, but also in the development of long-term strategies that are of value to the performer. This is as true for the ambitious amateur as it is for the renowned professional. Jackie not only understands the particular needs of the performer and accurately assess the issues involved, but she is also gifted at communicating the proper solutions to the performer and other professionals.
– Dr. Daniel M. Halden, Applied Kinesiologist and Chiropractor
As a pianist preparing for recitals, I noticed that certain parts of my body would harbor ongoing tension and even pain, such as my forearms, neck, and upper trapezius muscles. The ProformaVision™ technology was highly illuminating as I saw in my body, precisely, where I was building tension and to what degree. Jackie found multiple ways to reposition my body and reshape my physical motions, leading to a significant reduction of tension, and we worked together using excerpts from repertoire I was preparing for an upcoming recital. Moreover, she really made me think and focus mentally on what I was doing with my body. The process of improvement was never intimidating – through her vast wisdom, perceptiveness, patience, and nurturing spirit, I felt genuinely encouraged to implement both physical and mental changes to my playing. And through it all, it was great fun too!
– Dr. Gerald Lee, Associate Professor of Piano, West Liberty University
Jacqueline Herbein “wired up” my entire flute studio last spring to identify tension areas while playing. WOW! With deft and immediate intervention Jackie was able to target muscle groups, show the students how to read the screen, then translate the data into instant relaxation and self-correction. Having spent more than two decades retraining her personal piano technique through rigorous study via studio teachers, Alexander, Yoga, anatomy coursework, and more, Ms. Herbein is able to tap an arsenal of information, experience, and dedication to train young musicians how to NOT become injured and to rehabilitate those of us who have developed injurious habits. Her enthusiasm and expertise is bundled into an energetic, concise package resulting in continuous benefits of immeasurable value.
– Wendy Webb Kumer, flutist and teacher, West Liberty University; Pittsburgh Flute Academy
Thank you so much for all the wonderful work today with our students. I especially liked your opening presentation — it should be very HELPFUL and get the students THINKING…
– Kenneth Burky, Professor and Chair of Piano, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Duquesne University School of Music
This knuckle bridge awakening is revolutionary, as I could ‘see’ the change! I am still overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time with this discovery. I have a real hope that I may overcome the focal dystonia of my right hand that has plagued me and changed my professional life. And to ‘see’ my neck and should tension on the screen was an unbelievably positive opportunity because I could find the pathways to reduce and feel it go.
– Cathy Mion, pianist and teacher
Ms. Herbein has synthesized some of the most important components of piano technique and the work of the Alexander Technique for a product that yields some of the most interesting metaphors and analogies I have observed in my career. Her methods of explanation though clear and simple, take extremely complex and sometimes misunderstood material and present them in a manner that provides the “AHA!” experience for every teacher in the room.
– Dr. James Douthit, Chair, Department of Music, Nazareth College
I think being aware of the specific areas and causes of my back and arm/hand problems has been very helpful to staving off a serious reoccurrences of the the very severe problems of last May. I’m keeping your advice in mind and it’s saved me a lot of pain over the last several months.
– John Olsson, Principal Trombone, River City Brass Band; Instructor, Youngstown State University
What a refreshing surprise not only to learn so much valuable information which will help me in teaching as well as my own performing, but to have such an enjoyable day! For the first time many of the Alexander concepts I had heard before became crystal clear. The ideas were fresh and innovative and the use of toys made the workshop so much fun that each person was eager to go to the piano and try a new idea.
– Victoria Schultz, University of Central Florida
I cannot thank you enough for coming to Wilkes University and sharing your astounding expertise with me and my students. The response from the students has been overwhelmingly positive.
– Dr. Ellen Flint, Wilkes University
Last night’s class was AWESOME! I really liked the approach of the details…
– Marian Nardozzi
Jackie is wonderful…knowledgeable, enthusiastic, sincere, genuinely interested in helping teachers and students and loves her topic! What more could one ask from a clinician?!!
– Drucilla Engel, Valencia College
The students were very excited about your class. You changed a lot of perspectives! One student said that he was able to play through a 3-hour rehearsal without pain later that weekend because he followed your suggestions for posture! All the students were impressed with your ability to teach by demonstration, your gift for making the concepts easy for students to learn and your enthusiasm for your subject! Thanks for sharing your ideas and your talents.
– Dr. Judith Radell, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
…the young pianists gained insight into using their bodies in ways that were comfortable and efficient in difficult passages. Encouraging them to think about how they do things physically has sparked new interest and a greater awareness of the possibilities for advancement.
– Katherine Monsieur Barley, The Pittsburgh Music Academy
On behalf of the CEMTA, I want to thank you for an absolutely sensational presentation. I went to the piano and tried out several things related to what you said and was so happy with my new awareness.
– Sylvia Reynolds Eckes, Keyboard Division Chair, Ohio University School of Music