My name is Josh Schreiber Shalem. I am a musician and Feldenkrais teacher working in the greater Boston area and thoughout New England. I love helping musicians and anyone else who is interested in learning to move more freely and effectively, to overcome and avoid injury, and to discover and express their most authentic selves.
Many healers will promise you that they have the answers to your problems. That’s not my style. Instead, I promise you that I will help you ask the questions which will lead you to your own answers. Sure, I have my own ideas about optimal movement, developed over close to two decades of study, teaching and observation, and I will gladly share those ideas with you. But these ideas will be of no use to you unless, and until, they become your ideas about yourself.
This is why the bulk of our time together will be spent with you paying attention to how you move, developing skill as your own authority on what is right for you.
The Feldenkrais Method has been my path back to musicianship after injury, and has remained my path as an active musician.
In the mid-1990s, as I was finishing my undergraduate as a cellist at Bennington College, I began experiencing discomfort in my wrists and fore-arms as I played. Within a year or so, I couldn’t even hold a pen in my hand without pain, let alone play the cello. The following decade began with trips to various doctors from both Western and Eastern traditions, and progressed to studies in the Alexander Technique, Tai-Chi and Chi-Gung, and finally, the Feldenkrais Method, as I gradually found my way out of injury and towards mastery. I now hold a Masters in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music, and am active as a professional musician.
Along the way, I have found that this work is about more than being comfortable with your instrument, or avoiding / recovering from injury (though it is the best that you can do for either of those). Every single musician I have worked with, be they string players, wind players, keyboard players or singers, has discovered immediate improvements in the quality of sound, agility, and – perhaps most importantly – musical phrasing and expression. (More on this here, or check out this issue of SenseAbility for some articles about practice of the Feldenkrais Method for musicians).
Since the early 2000s I have helped hundreds of people through private lessons, weekly classes and numerous workshops and retreats exploring diverse aspects of human movement and perception.
I have taught musicians using the Feldenkrais Method at the New England Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and the Berklee College of Music, where I currently coordinate the annual Richard Ehrman Memorial Feldenkrais series. I have also taught Feldenkrais at Amherst Early Music the Viola da Gamba Society summer Conclave, and am on the faculty of the World Fellowship Early Music Week as both Feldenkrais teacher and music coach.