Health & Wellness

The Embodied Musician by Niall O’Rourdin: Review

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Book Reviews, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, May 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

The Embodied Musician by Niall O’Rourdin: Review

This is a series of audio instructions for how to position one's body and pieces thereof in order to be mindful of how the various relationships affect you, including creating tension or stress, using the Feldenkrais method, which is described as "an educational method focusing on self-awareness and learning involving gentle movements which can bring about improved coordination and enhanced functioning."  It begins with "The Primary Movements of the Jaw," for example, and directs you to perform various actions and to think about what you are sensing.  The fact that the program is audio and does not include video is an advantage in some ways; one tends to focus on the words more when there is nothing to look at.  You won't be listening to this while multitasking or driving to work; it requires concentration, and feels more like meditation guidance rather than lecturing. Focussing on what is going on in your own body, particularly as it affects your playing, can only be a good thing, and serious musicians should consider such instruction as a way to fine-tune their motions. If nothing else, it provides a new way to think about what is going on when you are playing and to notice things that you do automatically that you may want to change, in small ways as suggested.  Niall O'Riordan's Irish lilt and soothing, no pressure approach are also appealing aspects of the series.  Definitely, The Embodied Musician is a delightful and important enhancement to any flutist's training...

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Go OrGAnic for Back-to-School Success by Lindsey Goodman

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Articles, Featured, Health & Wellness, September 2016 | 0 comments

Go OrGAnic for Back-to-School Success by Lindsey Goodman

Go OrGAnic for Back-to-School Success:  Get Organized, Set Goals, and Stay Accountable   Lindsey Goodman, known for her “generous warmth of tone and a fluid virtuosity” (Charleston Gazette), is principal flutist of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, solo flutist of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, adjunct lecturer at West Virginia State University and Marietta College, instructor for Goodman Flute Studios, and has given over ninety world premieres.   A new academic year is upon us, so make the pledge to “go OrGAnic” to ensure your back-to-school musical success! Much has been made of eating organically for improved health and, and starting your school year “OrGAnically” by getting Organized, setting Goals, and staying Accountable will get your fall semester off to a similarly-healthy musical start!   Get Organized! Filling a book bag with fresh school supplies signals that a new school year is nigh, and stocking your music bag is just as important! Get organized with necessary materials: Flute and/or piccolo in best playing condition Pencils with erasers Batteries for metronomes and tuners Lesson notebook/practice journal All assigned music Ideally, summer is the time to have flutes and piccolos serviced for their yearly clean, oil, and adjust. Make sure that your instruments are in top working order as the fall semester begins! Your favorite flute tool should be the pencil, so never be without one for you and one for a friend. Prefer a metronome or tuner which can be downloaded to your smartphone? Check out the Bulletproof Musician’s recommendations on the Five Best Metronome Apps and the Five Best Tuner Apps to lighten your music bag’s load. The next most important thing in your music bag is your lesson notebook/practice journal. Accompanying you always, use this to catalog private lesson assignments and record daily practice sessions. (Learn more under “Stay Accountable”.) All assigned repertoire should be purchased, as photocopying copyright-protected music and downloading sheet music outside the public domain is illegal. Once acquired, go the extra mile with repertoire in advance: Listen to multiple recordings Define terminology Research each work Study the score Summer is the best time to get a head start on this list, but it’s never too late! Study two or more recordings of professional flutists for each assigned piece while following along with the music. Buy CDs, download purchased tracks, or watch legal online videos, as sharing copyrighted recordings without permission is piracy. Start a definition spreadsheet, defining every foreign term in your repertoire, and adding to it with each new assignment, creating a cumulative personal music dictionary. (Don’t forget to write the definitions into the music!) Learn more about each composer and piece you’re assigned, taking it further by researching the inspiration, time period, and historical context. Next, turn those study habits to the score, whether a piano part, a chamber music score, or an orchestral one. A good musician knows their part, but a great musician knows all the parts as well as their own.   Set Goals! With materials organized, setting goals is the next order of business for academic-year achievement. Consider these items as you dream big:  Short- and long-term goals Practice expectations New repertoire Opportunities Every student should have clearly-stated short- and long-term goals developed in coordination with her instructor. Short-term includes learning a new skill or piece, whereas long-term encompasses the...

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The Lifting Flutist, By Sarah Howard

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Essays, Health & Wellness, Interviews, Issues, Lifestyle, March 2016, Uncategorized | 1 comment

The Lifting Flutist, By Sarah Howard

Who is the lifting flutist? That’s a tough question to answer, considering the birth of this concept happened naturally by me just goofing off in the gym. Here’s the short of it. I’m Sarah Howard, and I’m a flutist in the U.S. Air Force. I happen to have quite the passion for fitness; particularly Olympic lifting and metabolic conditioning. I studied flute performance at Shenandoah Conservatory and The University of Tennessee before I won my job with the Air Force. When my video started picking up views a few weeks ago I was completely overwhelmed. I certainly believe that when the world hands you a microphone, you should speak into it. Maybe, just maybe, people will listen. So, I came up with this crazy concept of “The Lifting Flutist.” Now, let it be known, I definitely didn’t want this to be some weird musical sideshow. I truly believe there is direct correlation to being physically fit and being a solid performer. I also know that I want to tell people my story, so here it is… Five years ago, this month, my mother passed away from cancer. It was an incredibly stressful time. Not too long after that I, naturally, fell into a deep depression. Everything in my life was a struggle. My depression took its toll on my friendships, my marriage, my playing; pretty much every aspect of my life was withering away. I felt empty. There was still a little spark in me that kept me going. I’ve always been a fighter, but this fighter was at the lowest low. I knew I had to do something. So, one day I walked into this little storefront in Warner Robins, GA. There was a makeshift sign on the door that said “Crossfit,” and it seriously looked a little sketchy. I walked to the back and there was a lady sitting there. I asked her, “Please, can you help me? I think I want to try Crossfit.” She took me through what I thought was a workout. It actually turned out to be just the warm-up, and then my addiction began. It may be cliché to say, but I believe that fitness healed me. I would go through some workouts and literally cry hysterically. Not because they were so difficult, but because I was purging emotions and negative energy. I would think about my mom, about my life, about what I was doing as a musician, about the type of mother I was and wanted to be, just everything would come out in the gym. Then, I would leave it there. I thought I was beginning to heal. Then, I was hit with another huge blow. My marriage was falling apart and the Air Force band where I was working was being decommissioned. I would have to move to another state, start working at a new band, adjust to single parenting, and get divorced simultaneously. I was overwhelmed. Completely. Through fitness, I had developed a group of supporters who truly held me up through that time, but when I moved I was alone again. After my move I literally did not step foot in the gym for six months. I was just going through the motions of life. I would take my son to school, show up at work, pretend to smile, all the while dealing with loads of self-loathing and a sense of failure. I still hadn’t let myself mourn my mother. I was on overload. I was literally...

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Can Failure Help Success? by Barbara Siesel

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, March 2016, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Can Failure Help Success? by Barbara Siesel

If you’ve never failed you’ve never tried anything new! Last month we spoke about the power of quitting, this month we'll speak about the power of failure to inform our progress as artists and entrepreneurs. While doing research for this article I’ve been reading about famous people who’ve failed numerous times, their failures are as great as their successes! Large failures and large successes. Let’s look at some quotes from some people who’ve achieved great success and along the way great failure as well. Here are a few of my favorite quotes about failure: “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Bill Gates “Success is failure in progress.” Albert Einstein “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with you failure.” Abraham Lincoln “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan “…we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. Henry Ford Each of these people experienced great failures before their successes. For example, Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 years old and didn’t read until he was 7. His grades were so poor in school that a teacher told him “you will never amount to anything”. Abraham Lincoln had almost 30 years of failure before he was elected president in 1860, including being defeated for the US Senate(twice), defeated for the nomination for Vice-President, a failed business and much more. Michael Jordan was cut from his sophomore year HS Varsity basketball team!! What do all these people and quotes have in common- what do they tell us about failure? I love the idea of failure as being an opportunity to begin again, to not be content with your failure, that success is failure in progress, that failing a lot is why we succeed! Most of us have a fear of failure, but maybe, just maybe, failure is one of the ways that we accomplish success. What we learn, what we risk, and the deep understanding of the world that can come from experiencing failure are what makes us more open, more compassionate and more able to withstand the difficulties inherent in our artistic and entrepreneurial endeavors. So on the day that you reach rock bottom, the day that you lose that audition, your new business fails, your entrepreneurial idea is laughed out of the investor meeting, your 100 grant proposals of your new flutrepreneur endeavor are turned down, think--- this failure is the beginning of my success! Think, “I welcome this failure because now I know I’m going to succeed! Many of us have experienced these things, and we at The Flute View would love to hear and share your empowering...

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The Vegan Flutists

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, October 2015 | 0 comments

The Vegan Flutists

Lindsey Goodman   When did you become vegan?   September 2013   What was the inspiration? To improve my health   What is your favorite vegan restaurant? Mission Savvy in Charleston, West Virginia - I credit them with changing my life!   Can you share with us one of your favorite vegan recipes?   Lentil walnut balls with cranberry pear sauce - a perfect holiday meal! http://ohsheglows.com/2013/11/13/lentil-mushroom-walnut-balls-with-cranberry-pear-sauce/       Meerenai Shim   When did you become vegan?   About 7 years ago. What was the inspiration? I saw some barely alive fish in a tank at a Chinese restaurant and finally realized the consequences of my food choices. What is your favorite vegan restaurant? There are so many!! For savory dishes, it's Ravens at Stanford Inn in Mendocino. For desserts, Millennium in Oakland (formerly in San Francisco). Ooh, then there's Vive Bistro in Rochester, NY - they have amazing savory AND desserts that are worth the trip! Can you share with us one of your favorite vegan recipes? Vegan Banana Bread Ingredients 3-4 ripe bananas (about 2 cups) 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup vegan white sugar 2 cups flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 3/8 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2 cup sliced pecans or almonds (optional) Instructions Preheat oven to 425 F. Mash bananas and mix in oil, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. (Reserve about 1tbsp of dry mixture to flour loaf pan.) Add dry ingredients from step 4 into the wet ingredients from step 3 and mix thoroughly. Fold in nuts if desired. Place mixture into a greased & floured 1.5 QT loaf pan (5.25” x 9” x 2.75”) Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for about another 35-50 minutes. Meerenai and Dave’s best guess: This loaf has about 2864 calories total (with nuts). Makes at least 10 servings.     Belinda Brouette   When did you become vegan?   I became a vegan in 7th grade around 12 years old. What was the inspiration? I was a Beatles fan and was inspired by Paul and Linda McCartney's compassion. I was maturing as the internet became more affordable, and I did a lot of research. No one in my community could answer my questions so I had to answer them for myself. I'm not going to lie, “The Simpsons” episode ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’ sealed the deal. I would never be the only vegetarian my peers ever heard of. What is your favorite vegan restaurant? Soul Vegan in Chicago. I've been away from the city for some time,  and I still dream about their "Mac and Cheese."   Can you share with us one of your favorite vegan recipes?   BLUE RIBBON VEGAN CORNBREAD Serves 9     2 Tbsp. ground flax seed 6 Tbsp. water 1 C all-purpose flour 1 C cornmeal 1/4 C sugar [Agave can be substituted ] 4 tsp. baking powder 3/4 tsp. table salt 1 C cashew milk 1/4 C canola oil Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat 8-inch-square baking dish with Earth Balance....

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Injury Prevention and Strength Training for Flutists Through Yoga. By Christina Guenther and Sherri Fleshner

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, June 2015, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Injury Prevention and Strength Training for Flutists Through Yoga.  By Christina Guenther and Sherri Fleshner

Many musicians are becoming more involved with various body awareness principles, and the desire to take care of our bodies as we put them through the rigors of practicing and performing is great. In order to facilitate this awareness, and in hopes to help strengthen our bodies and prevent injury altogether, we have outlined 15 yoga moves that will help with issues flutists face specifically. We would like to emphasize that if anything does not feel right or is too intense, to modify the move or not attempt it. As with any exercise regimen, be sure you are in good enough health to proceed with the positions outlined below. Additionally, it is always advisable to secure a good teacher to help enforce good practice habits and a proper stance and hand position; you may also like to consult a trained yoga instructor for further development if this kind of wellness approach interests you. Neck Relaxation and Flexibility Head Balance: Find an easy, comfortable seated position. Slowly start to stack up the vertebrae in your spine, one on top of the other, rocking back and forth, until you feel that your back muscles and stomach muscles are fully relaxed. Tilt your chin upwards until you can feel the tension release in your forehead. Find a balancing point for your head so that you are relaxed and all of the muscles in the neck are relaxed. Start to breath in and out through your nose, expanding your chest sideways to make room for the breath. Regular Neck Stretches: As you exhale, release your chin towards your chest, feeling the muscles in the back of your neck and trying to release any tension. On an inhale, bring your right ear to right shoulder, remembering to keep the shoulder relaxed. Breathe. Focus your inhales on any tightness you feel and release that tension along with your exhales. Exhale back to center and do other side. Neck with Arm Stretch:[1] Find a comfortable seated position. While keeping your left fingertips on the ground, or holding on to the side of a chair, release your right ear to right shoulder, breathing into the stretch on the left side of the neck. Take 3-5 breaths. Start to lift the left arm a few inches off of the ground, or away from the chair. Feel free to move the arm slightly forward or backward to find the perfect stretch. Take 3-5 breaths. Rotate the left palm up, feeling the stretch work its way down the shoulder and arm. Take 3-5 breaths. Finally, extend the wrist (towards the back of the hand), pointing the fingers down. Take 3-5 breaths. Slowly release the arm and bring the head back to center. Repeat on the other side.   Shoulder Strength and Stretching Shoulder Squeeze (with & without blanket/towel): From a seated position, start by picturing 3 parts of your shoulder blades: the top tip, the middle, and the lower tip. On an inhale, open the chest as you squeeze the top tips of the shoulder blades back towards each other. As you exhale, release the squeeze and open the shoulder blades apart. Repeat with the middle part of the shoulder blade. For the lower tip of the shoulder blades, bend your arms at the elbows, bring your hands in front...

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A Flutist’s Nightmare. By Dana Joras

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Articles, Essays, Health & Wellness, Issues, June 2015, Lifestyle | 0 comments

A Flutist’s Nightmare.  By Dana Joras

Winters in Chicago can be very dangerous. By mid-February, however, my mind was focused on the warm Spring months ahead, not the unexpected layer of black ice beneath my feet. I fell on Friday the 13th while walking my dog and managed to break two bones in my left arm, the radius and the ulna, as well as badly dislocate my wrist. I rushed to the emergency room, leaving my dog and manual transmission car with a friend. When the nurses in the ER cut off my glove I was able to see the full extent of the damage. My arm looked akin to Harry Potter’s after his inept professor tries to magically mend it in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The arm bent where it was not supposed to and the wrist was swollen beyond recognition. And then the fear set it. I couldn’t feel my fingers. What if the nerves were damaged? Broken bones are one thing, but what if I damaged the muscles? Would I ever be able to play my flute again? Two hours after falling, I cried for the first time, and not because of the pain. A few days later and after a long, painful weekend (by the way, never break your arm on a Friday afternoon), I finally had a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon who assured me that I would have absolutely no difficulty playing flute after proper recovery time. He was a trooper, surviving my barrage of questions and concerns regarding the surgery and recovery process. I was probably the worst patient ever, the kind that reads every possible WebMD article and suddenly knows the anatomy of the arm backwards. I knew all the complications, all the terminology, and my chances at getting my full range of motion back. In order to avoid atrophy and jump start the recovery process, the doctors removed my cast two weeks after surgery. I cradled my arm, the strange feeling of the uncasted bones startling me. It felt very unstable and I couldn’t bend the wrist more than a degree or two in any direction. A doctor came in with my x-rays and having noticed me cradling the arm said, “Don’t worry, dear! That arm isn’t going anywhere!” She pointed to the x-rays, “You see this piece of metal? That’s going to hold everything together so there is no need to be so careful. Just don’t bang it on anything,” she said. I felt relieved. She continued on to say that I should slowly add small rotation exercises in every day prior to the start of my physical therapy. The next few weeks were bad. I couldn’t drive my car or motorcycle and I couldn’t play my flute. Most flutists’ posture requires a slight bend in the left wrist and turning the left arm almost completely inwards so it faces the body. Not only was I unable to bend the wrist, but I couldn’t rotate my forearm at all. Depression set in. I tried to keep my spirits up through teaching and composing, but I hated everything that I wrote and my darling students only reminded me more of how much I missed my flute. I could see my composition and flute goals slowly spinning down the drain. I started to feel...

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From Body Casts to the Stages of the World by Viviana Guzman

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Articles, Blog, Featured, Health & Wellness, March 2015 | 0 comments

From Body Casts to the Stages of the World by Viviana Guzman

I was born with dislocated hips, with dysplasia, con-genital hip dislocation. I was never supposed to walk. I was the worst case in Chile, so my parents brought me to the States, to Stanford Hospital so that I could undergo better medical treatments. The coolest thing was that if I was flipped over on the hospital gurney where I lived, I was able to play the piano. To this day I say that music healed my life. The doctors told me that I would never be able to walk. So, at age 6, I joined a swim team. And by the age of 7, I became Champion Swimmer in Butterfly for the state of California. Ever since then, the Butterfly has served as a metaphor for my life. My body casts became my cocoon from which I grew my wings that later enabled me to fly. In the Tales of King Arthur, Vivian was Merlin’s Mistress, the Lady of the Lake, the bearer of Excalibur. I like to see my life as magical journey and that my flute is my wand, my sword. I have been able to travel and perform on all 7 continents, including Antarctica, after being told that I would never walk. I have learned how to become a Master at Manifesting and I believe everyone has these same capabilities. In fact, I participated in 5 fire walks just to prove to myself that whatever we set our minds to, we can accomplish. Dreams do come true! I learned to to embrace my challenges, and to strive further than what I was initially told I could create in my life. I spent 3 years performing in Tahiti where I learned about the cultivation of the pearl. The clam creates a pearl when a grain of sand gets introduced inside. Little by little, what is an irritant to the clam, becomes a precious gem for the rest of the world. The pearl also became a metaphor for my life. I spent my whole childhood in and out of body casts. It would be a year to recover from a surgery. I would have to go from the body cast, to the wheelchair, to the crutches, to the cane, only to have the doctors say, it didn’t work, we have to do it again! So back into the body cast I went! And this is how I spent the first 11 years of my life, life now seems so incredibly easy! After the ball and chain were taken off, it really makes life’s challenges seem like a piece of cake! Every step I take is so full of gratitude! Every minute of the day without pain is an absolute miracle! I feel so full of joy and blessings that I just want to sprinkle the world with some of this magic. I have spent my whole life limping and in ridiculous pain. It has only been since 2008, 7 years, since my second total hip replacement, 11 surgeries later, that I am finally pain free and limp free. Having to relearn how to walk each time, taught me the value of doing a little bit every day. I learned discipline. My threshold of pain is so much greater than most people’s. This is a normal person’s threshold of...

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Yoga and Flute Playing. By Cynthia Ellis

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, March 2015 | 0 comments

Yoga and Flute Playing.  By Cynthia Ellis

Namaste: A Hindi word used as a greeting and a goodbye: It means I honor the light in you, I honor the light in myself. It is spoken with palms pressed together. It is part of the centuries old tradition of a yoga practice. Playing any instrument is a physical, emotional, and logical endeavor. We use our body, our imagination, and our brain at all times for optimum performance. We always schedule consistent time for practice and study of our instrument but sometimes in a busy life, scheduling time for physical activity takes a back seat on the ‘to do’ list. I have found that by making physical activity a big priority and working consistently in a yoga practice, my flute playing has reaped many benefits, often in unexpected ways.   What is yoga?  It can be defined as “a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.” There are many different styles of yoga, (over 14) from Bikram yoga (or hot yoga, practiced in a room close to 105 degrees and 40% humidity) to restorative yoga, which focus more on stretching and relaxation, and power yoga, which is more athletic and demanding. You will be able to experiment with different styles once you try out the discipline, and it really helps to know which kind of class you will be taking before you go. Now, some of you out there are more of the solitary exercise types who use videos: nothing wrong with that! However, you will miss out on the experience of community in a face-to-face class, bonding with other students and having a knowledgeable instructor there to answer questions and help you with correct alignment in poses, or asanas. If you go to a gym or yoga studio, ask which kind of class you will be taking, what kind of equipment you should bring (your own yoga mat and a towel are usually all it takes) and if this class is appropriate for you as a new student. If you decide to try hot yoga, please make sure to hydrate REALLY well before you go! There are also classes which combine styles of yoga or have target audiences (maternity yoga) for example so it helps to look at the specific kind of class you will be taking. Physical Benefits Flute playing is asymmetrical by it’s very nature: since we hold the instrument across our bodies from left to right, we are shortening muscles on the right side, and lengthening them on the left side. This natural imbalance from holding the flute hours each day over the years can be helped with many gentle stretches of the arms, upper back, neck, and torso. Sitting for long periods of time in orchestra rehearsals or when teaching tightens the hips, legs, and back: the stretching in yoga can reverse all this tension by working out the entire lower body. Restorative yoga classes will concentrate on asanas that will work to lengthen muscles and destroy tension. I take this kind of class once a week and I can notice the difference if I need to miss a week…my body LOVES to stretch and relax. Emotional Benefits It is HARD to...

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Performing Yoga Throughout Your Recital. By Jonathan Huffman

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, November 2014 | 0 comments

Performing Yoga Throughout Your Recital.  By Jonathan Huffman

"Don't shun your performance anxiety ---harness it and become its best friend. After years of struggling with anxiety myself, yoga has helped me understand that sometimes you need to be uncomfortable as an artist."– Amanda Taylor, yoga instructor “Yoga is an effective strategy for managing performance nerves, especially when guided by someone as qualified and sensitive to the multi-layered issues of musicians’ anxiety as is Amanda Taylor. Some musicians learn to control their jitters through one modality such as yoga, while others require multiple practices such as positive self-talk, mental visualization and self-compassion. As Amanda emphasizes: when a program of poses and/or skills is developed based on *the individual,* success is more apt to be achieved." – Helen Spielman, performance anxiety coach “I wish that, long ago, I had learned yoga from someone as tuned in to her students as Amanda Taylor, when I was struggling with my own performance anxiety.”- Helen Spielman “Yoga helps me immensely with stress and anxiety. Practicing yoga helps me concentrate on specific physical and mental aspects while performing. I guide my body through poses just like I guide it through performances. For every pose or section, I have to concentrate on different things such as balance, breath, or ease.”- Meera Gudipati, Winner of the 2013 National Flute Association Orchestral Audition Masterclass Performing Yoga Throughout Your Recital: Therapeutic Effects of Yoga with Amanda Taylor At the 2014 Wildacres Flute Retreat in North Carolina I had the pleasure of sitting with Amanda Taylor, flutist/yoga instructor, to discuss her history with performance anxiety. Inspired by her personal anxiety struggles and the physical challenges brought on by a car accident, Taylor examined her options and ultimately developed accessible, cross-disciplinary techniques beneficial to anyone, but specifically crafted for musicians. Among her specialties: to instill posture, breath support, optimum relaxation, and increase confidence. Background Amanda Taylor always assumed music would be part of her life. After all, she was highly involved in her formative years, playing flute in various ensembles and taking part in camps and competitions. As expected, she decided to pursue music as a career, first receiving an undergraduate degree from University of Louisville and then a Masters in Music from University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Mid academic career, Taylor noticed a significant change in her perceptions about performance and her ability to execute what she had come to expect from herself. Most notably, Taylor experienced distress over performing her master's recital. Fearful of losing the time invested in her future and not knowing where to start, she turned to the medical profession for a solution. Her physician prescribed beta-blockers that restrict the binding of norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) and therefore weaken the effects of stress hormones. While the medication aided in the reduction of Taylor's physical symptoms it did not address her cognitive worries; "am I prepared, will the audience judge me, what happens if I fail?" To compound matters, during her doctoral studies, Taylor was involved in a terrible car accident. Prior to the accident, she lived an active lifestyle and enjoyed the physical aspect of working out, especially running. After the accident, Taylor was limited in her range of motion and forced to find an alternative workout routine. After much experimentation, Taylor discovered the benefits of yoga, which provided her with physical stimulation and challenged her...

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