Excerpt from PSU Magazine Winter 2006, article "A Painful Interlude" by John Kirkland:
Ben Thauland, a trumpeter with the Portland Youth Philharmonic and PSU Orchestra, acquired a whole new sound after taking Marsh's classes and learning how to relax. "I was skeptical going in; it sounded like a yoga class. But after the second week I noticed that my sound opened up, especially in the upper registers," he says.
Michael Miersma, a singer with the PSU Chamber Choir, says Marsh coached him on the proper use of his arms and legs in a way that helped him release tension and breathe better- all of which improved his singing in subtle but unmistakable ways.
Marsh's teaching of body awareness was revolutionary for piano teacher Eileen Knox. "When I was trained, I was told to warm up with scales," she says. Now she warms up with walks and a gym workout. The result is a disappearance of the carpal tunnel syndrome in her arms that had plagued her since the fourth year of her career.
Excerpt from the Oregonian article by Bill Graves published April 24th, 2003:
Monica Halseth's slim body sways like grass in the wind as her long fingers race up and down the keys of the grand piano. "I think you torso is getting ahead of your arm," observes Lisa Marsh a pianist and music professor at Portland State University. During the hour-long session, Marsh comments on the way Halseth holds her arms, touches the keys, turns her body, relaxes her hands and uses her feet on the pedals. The private lesson is part of Portland State University's Coordinate Movement Program for Pianists- studies headed by Marsh to heal injured pianists.
A large proportion of serious and professional musicians play in pain and experience injuries. Yet most do not know that precise movement techniques can help them. Marsh and other teachers at Portland State hope to change that. Their program, in its first year, saved Halseth's musical career. A year ago, her hands moved over the keys like claws- stiff, slow, clumsy. Sometimes her fingers went numb. Tendinitis pain needled her right shoulder. "I couldn't produce the sounds I wanted," recalls Halseth, 30, who has played the piano since age 5. "I couldn't play fast, I couldn't play accurately." Today Halseth plays without pain. Her fingers dash over the keyboard, deftly delivering a fast and complicated Beethoven sonata that will be part of her final recital next fall for her master's degree in music teaching.