“We have more possibilities available
in each moment than we realize.”
--Thich Nhat Hanh
For many years I have been involved with the Human Potential Movement especially as it pertains to many forms of artistic expression. I have studied yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and meditation with such masters as Francois Raoult, Chung liang Al Huang, Robert Chen, and Thich Nhat Hanh. I have also spent years with Alexander Technique teachers, the most significant being Countess “Kitty” Wielopolska and Alexander Farkas. This work, along with intensive studies at the Omega Institute and the Kripalu Center have grounded me in alternative ways of living and making music. I have been fortunate to have worked and performed with such groundbreaking musicians as Paul Horn, Paul Winter, and David Darling with whom I studied improvisation for many years. I was also a long-time student of Joseph Gifford, renowned choreographer, movement coach and conducting teacher.
All of this experience has led me to make music, teach and facilitate in a more spontaneous manner. It rests on mindfulness, which is the willingness and ability to pay attention, whether in deep silence or in the midst of great activity. Characterized by openness, curiosity, and acceptance of the present moment, this includes listening, accepting what is heard, and by “telling the truth,” with improvisation, moment to moment.
My varied background has also prepared me to help musicians play and perform at their highest potential by dealing with issues of performance anxiety, movement, breath, freedom, and mindful music making. With the belief that the mind and body are one and the same system, I have been guiding players, singers and conductors for many years to become more aware, comfortable, and freer musicians. This has led to more pain-free enjoyable music making, clearer thinking/hearing, and more profound expression for many.
Workshops given are on topics such as:
Total Body Warm Up: Yoga for Musicians
Don’t Believe Everything You Think: Mindfulness for Musicians
Mindful Movement/Quality Music: Tai Chi Awareness for Musicians
Playing Healthy: The Body/Mind Connection (A combination of the above).
Presenting these topics to individuals, chamber music groups and large ensembles, I have also
combined this work with guest conducting, teaching of improvisation, and in the masterclass setting.