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  • Course level: Bachelor/Master.
  • Year of study: One semester, autumn. Fridays 12:00–13:30.
  • Final assessment: Assessment from the course instructor.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

Timani is a method that uses research-based knowledge about the body for musicians’ needs and everyday use of their instruments. The course consists of an introduction to anatomy specific to each instrument, exercises for better muscle coordination and use of these things when playing and singing. In addition, one learns to recognise and analyse the uses of the body with the instrument by observing fellow students and listening to how muscles play a part in sound quality and phrasing.

The purpose of this knowledge is to give students tools to create a healthy and natural way of using their bodies while singing and playing. The exercises and knowledge of anatomy aim at making students’ regular instrument practice more purposeful and efficient and preventing muscle-related strain injuries. Students will receive individual guidance aiming at contributing to their physical and musical development.

Responsible department: Conducting, Voice and Church Music Department

Course instructor: Tina Margareta Nilssen

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, students are expected to

  • be able to transfer their knowledge of the body and their new experiences of coordination into the development of their vocal and instrumental technique
  • have knowledge of relevant terminology for anatomy and physiology for musicians
  • give an account of natural muscle use when playing or singing
  • be able to analyse the muscular situation in their own body and in others for preventing strain injuries and optimising performance technically and musically


  • Anatomy for musicians.
  • Anatomic overview of respiration and support for musicians.
  • Posture and practical exercises with and without instruments/singing.
  • Observation and movement analysis of fellow students.
  • Exercises for improving coordination for the tasks of a musician.
  • Relaxation and breathing exercises for instrumentalists and singers.
  • Knowledge of injury prevention.


Group tutoring, 90 minutes a week for 12 weeks, and a one-day seminar. Two hours of individual tutoring.

Students are expected to work with exercises on their own between classes.

Course requirements

  1. Attendance is mandatory. Normally, students that are absent more than 20 % will fail the course.
  2. Students will give a short oral presentation on a specific subject in the run of the course.
  3. Students will hand in a reflection paper on their own experience (600–800 words), where they mention various physical techniques they can use for improving their playing and expression. Deadline: The reflection paper must be approved by the course coordinator by 1 December / 1 May.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be approved prior to obtaining a final assessment.

The final assessment is given as a pass/fail mark, which is determined by the course instructor based on each student’s level of achievement throughout the course period.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.


Compendium on Timani by Tina Margareta Nilssen.

Published: May 15, 2020 — Last updated: Mar 30, 2022