Performing With Your Whole Self

Kinesthetic Awareness, Body-Mind Connection, Wellness and More! With Elizabeth Blades

Workshop Description

Much of what is now accepted as “body-mind-somatic” awareness evolved from sports psychology and medicine, particularly for elite athletes at the top of their sport, such as those in the Olympics. Musicians are also athletes, many at the “elite” level. This workshop will offer an in-depth exploration of how your mind affects your body, your body the brain, and how the whole brilliant system affects your musical performance.

Intended Participants

All musicians welcome. Teachers (instrumental, vocal-performance, choral, vocal-general, drawn from private studios, public schools and higher academics), students of all the above, performance professionals and amateurs alike. Those in professional organizations (MTNA, NYSSMA, MAfME, ASTA, NATS, ACDA, AFoM, etc.) are encouraged to participate. Please indicate your musical experience when registering.

Workshop Objectives

  • To explore various mind-body modalities, including meditation, myofascial release, Body-Mapping, yoga, Qi Gong, and the Feldenkrais Method. These practices are intended to amplify your own performance and can also be taught to your students.
  • To enhance physical and mental vitality in performance.
  • To facilitate greater sensitivity, mobility, movement efficiency and expressivity, with an emphasis on the body-mind connection, health, and joie de vivre.
  • To improve and enrich artistic and musical expression in performance.

Course Schedule

Please bring your instrument(s) and a yoga mat (or the like) every day and to each session. Comfortable clothing that allows freedom in movement is recommended.

Course Costs

$900, residential (includes room & board, meals and MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series tickets)
$600, commuter (includes lunch, dinner and MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series tickets)

REGISTER NOW!


Elizabeth Blades

Instructor

Elizabeth Louise Blades holds both Master's and Doctoral degrees from the University of Rochester Eastman School of Music. She is the founder and director of VOCALHEALTHWORKS, dedicated to advancing healthy technique and performance. Dr. Blades is an adjunct associate professor of music at Shenandoah University, where her teaching assignments have included the "Body-Mind Awareness for Musicians" graduate course as well as the required "Movement for Musicians" for undergraduate instrumental performance majors. Previous appointments were at Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio) where she served as Associate Professor of Music, Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Director of Opera, and as Visiting Professor of Music at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY.

the artist's book Singing With Your Whole Self

Blades is the author of A Spectrum of Voices: Prominent American Voice Teachers Discuss the Teaching of Singing (2018, Rowman and Littlefield) and the co-author of Singing With Your Whole Self: A Singer's Guide to Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (2018, Rowman and Littlefield). She frequently presents national and international workshops in Feldenkrais application, body-mind awareness for performance enhancement, and on research in vocal performance pedagogy.

Elizabeth is an active soprano with a long career in opera, operetta, oratorio, music theater, folk/celtic and popular vocal performance. She is a Certified CoreSinging teacher and Founder/Director of Harmony House Online Music Studio.


Day 1: MAY THE EASE BE WITH YOU!

  • 9:00AM – T’ai chi (optional)
  • 10:00-11:30AM – Introductions and an overview of the week’s activities. What is proprioception, kinesthetic awareness and “present moment mindfulness”? Relieving stress (the #1 cause of illness) through simple meditation and The Five Senses exploration.
  • 12:00-1:00PM – Lunch Break, "Sound Bite Sampler" Chamber Music Series (daily)
    Performances by the MostArts Festival Orchestra musicians and featured soloists.
    Holmes Auditorium – free event – box lunches available
  • 1:30-3:00PM – Neuroplasticity (The Brain That Changes Itself), recent research and its implications for musicians. Guided meditation and the Relaxation Response in action.
  • 7:30PM – MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series
    Featuring Spanish Pianist, Joaquin Achucarro performing Manuel de Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” with Yuval Zaliouk conducting the MostArts Festival Orchestra.
    Miller Theater – followed by Meet and Greet the Artists Reception

Day 2: THE BODY AS AN INSTRUMENT

  • 9:00 AM T’ai chi (optional)
  • 10:00-11:30AM – Make acquaintance with your fascia: techniques for myofascial release and enhanced performance.
  • 12:00-1:00PM – Lunch Break, "Sound Bite Sampler" Chamber Music Series (daily)
    Performances by the MostArts Festival Orchestra musicians and featured soloists.
    Holmes Auditorium – free event – box lunches available
  • 1:30-3:00PM – Basic Yoga for everyone, plus Body-Mapping
  • 7:30PM - MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series
    Featuring Romanian Pianist, Peter Takacs performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with Yuval Zaliouk conducting the MostArts Festival Orchestra.
    Miller Theater – followed by Meet and Greet the Artists Reception

Day 3:

  • 9:00AM – T’ai Chi (optional)
  • 10:00-11:30AM – “What you do, you can imagine and what you imagine, you can do”
    Moshe Feldenkrais
    Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement
  • 12:00-1:00PM – Lunch Break, "Sound Bite Sampler" Chamber Music Series (daily)
    Performances by the MostArts Festival Orchestra musicians and featured soloists.
    Holmes Auditorium – free event – box lunches available
  • 1:30-3:00PM – Feldenkrais Method continued, with focus on kinesthetic imagination.
  • 5:00-10:00PM - "Music Under the Stars" Gallery Hop and Gourmet BBQ with Live Music and Dance
    Alfred Ceramic Art Museum Lawn

Day 4:

  • 9:00AM – T’ai chi (optional)
  • 10:00-11:30AM – E=MC2 Energy, quantum physics, and you
    Qi Gong for performers
  • 12:00-1:00PM – Lunch Break, "Sound Bite Sampler" Chamber Music Series (daily)
    Performances by the MostArts Festival Orchestra musicians and featured soloists.
    Holmes Auditorium – free event – box lunches available
  • 1:30-3:00PM – Energy exploration and integration with performance
  • 7:30PM – MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series- Featuring four finalists of the “Young Pianist Competition”
    Miller Theater - followed by Meet and Greet the Artists Reception
  • 10:00PM – Star-Gazing at the Observatory [weather permitting]

Day 5:

  • 9:00AM – T’ai chi (optional)
  • 10:00-11:30 AM – “Fright – Flight – Fight – FREEZE!” - MANAGING PERFORMANCE ANXIETY
    Stage fright mediation through Feldenkrais
  • 12:00-1:00PM – Lunch Break, "Sound Bite Sampler" Chamber Music Series (daily)
    Performances by the MostArts Festival Orchestra musicians and featured soloists.
    Holmes Auditorium – free event – box lunches available
  • 1:30-3:00PM – Performance anxiety relief with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, aka “Tapping”)
    Conclusion: review and wrap-up
  • 7:30PM – MostArts Festival Evening Concert Series- Featuring four finalists of the “Young Pianist Competition”
    Miller Theater – followed by Meet and Greet the Artists Reception
  • 10:00PM – Star-Gazing at the Observatory [weather permitting]

Free day to enjoy Alfred and the area

  • 9:30AM-12:30PM – Piano Master Class with Peter Takacs
  • 11:00-2:00 – "Raku Extravaganza" with Wayne Higby – free public event
  • 7:30PM – MostArts Festival Closing Gala Evening Concert
    Featuring Spanish Pianist, Joaquin Achucarro performing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yuval Zaliouk conducting the MostArts Festival Orchestra.
    Miller Theater – followed by Meet and Greet the Artists Reception

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Lisa Lantz

Professor Music/Strings
Performing Arts