Amanda Moreno

Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Barbara Lewis


Physical posture is one of the fundamental aspects of vocal technique, and voice pedagogues suggest that effective alignment is necessary for healthy vocal production. Body Mapping (BMG) is a somatic method that focuses on the understanding and correction of errors in a person’s body map to facilitate effective movement for musical activity. Because this method has balance, physical alignment, and posture as foundational, it may be an effective way to begin to instruct students. This study investigated whether the use of the BMG method, which teaches posture through movement, scientific pictures, and anatomical models, would result in a significant difference in postural alignment. This study also examined whether there was an association between posture and breath capacity while singing.

In a pre-test/posttest study, the Vicon motion capture system was used to measure 49 undergraduate choir students on six postural alignment points (Atlanto- Occipital joint, shoulder joints, lumbar region, hip joints, knee joints, and ankle joints). Chest expansion was also measured to look for changes in breath capacity. Participants stood in a static position for 20 seconds and then sang “Happy Birthday” three times. Participants were distributed into a control group that received basic postural instruction and an experimental group that received BMG instruction. Participants were again measured for postural alignment and breath capacity.

Statistical analyses comparing the two groups found that the experimental group (n = 24) improved significantly more than the control group (n = 25) in static lumbar alignment. Comparisons of the pre-test/posttest data for each group showed improved static and singing A/O alignment for the experimental group and improved static lumbar alignment for both groups. An overall improvement was also found for the experimental group in the singing position. Analysis of the breath data showed significant improvement across the entire sample. These results provide preliminary evidence that BMG is an effective method for teaching static and singing posture.