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“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” Pablo Casals

"Make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant." Moshe Feldenkrais

You are invited to attend this online webinar focused on performance anxiety and wellness - 

Calming the Performance Anxiety Beast – Changing the Way We Think, Act and Play

Saturday, February 11th, 2023

Correct Zoom Link:

What is this Event: This online event offered by the Greater Portland Flute Society includes two workshops and a panel discussion presented by four extraordinary flute society members. We will be joined by the esteemed Alexander Technique teacher Gabriella Minnes Brandes and PSU Coordinate Program faculty Stephanie Cooke.

  •  Workshop I -"A Box of Treats to Choose From: Elegantly Care for Performance Anxiety with Simple Breathing and Posture Actions”
  • Panel & Participant Discussion – “Sharing Our Experiences with Calming the Beast”
  • Workshop II - "Exciting New Beginnings: Integrating Alexander Technique into Your Practice!"

Who Should Attend: Flutist of all playing levels and ages, both members and non-members of the flute society. This event will likely be of greatest interest to intermediate through advanced middle/high school students, college students, adult amateurs, semi- and professional level flutists.

Date/Time – Saturday February 11th, 2023, 9:00 – 2:00 – Zoom link sent upon registration.

Affordable Cost - Free for GPFS members, and only $5 for non-member students (college level and younger) and $10 for non-member adults.

Registration Link - Calming the Performance Anxiety Beast – Changing the Way We Think, Act and Play

Please see the workshop descriptions and schedule below along with brief presenter bios.

Printable Version - GPFS Wellness Webinar Information 020123.pdf


9:00 – 2:00 With short breaks and a 30 minute “at-home brown bag” lunch and informal conversation.

    • 9 – 9:10 Welcoming remarks for the event
    • 9:15 - 10:35 Workshop I - "A Box of Treats to Choose From”

Description:  Donna Maebori will help us learn how to elegantly care for performance anxiety with simple breathing and posture actions. In this session, we will start with a brief discussion of anxiety then move into experiencing lots of great ways manage anxiety through calming techniques.  You'll get to sample a number of easy breathing, movement and posture actions that can help "treat" anxiety before, during and even after a performance.  Be ready to participate, with all "treats" done sitting, standing or walking.  Resources for this session are primarily from the Feldenkrais Method of Movement, some yoga, and Donna's own experiences. 

    • 10:45 – 11:45 Panel & Participant Discussion“Sharing Our Experiences with Calming the Beast”

Description: Flutists Adrian Dee, Donna Maebori, Judy Fischbach and Molly Duggan and Stephanie Cooke from the PSU Coordinate Movement program will talk briefly about their own experiences and what they do to “calm the beast.” They will also each share a resource or two they have found helpful (20 minutes). The session will then move to a participant discussion - How would you describe “performance anxiety?” What strategies have you used to “calm the performance anxiety beast?” (20 minutes) The session will close with a  Q&A/group discussion, including hearing participant thoughts about what other information on this topic they would like to have (20 minutes).

    • 11:45 – 12:15 Half hour for lunch – “at-home brown bag” and informal conversation
    • 12:15 – 12:20 Exercise with Donna after lunch – physical Donna – five minutes
    • 12:20 to 1:30 Workshop II - "Exciting New Beginnings: Integrating Alexander Technique into Your Practice!"

Description: This team-taught presentation will start with an introduction of basic concepts and principles of the Alexander Technique. Then Judy will speak about her experiences applying Alexander Technique as a flute student. Both Gaby and Judy will speak about Alexander Technique as a psychophysical modality that focuses on process and a desired end. They will explore the connections between Alexander Technique and wellness and how to minimize injury. They will offer ways in which flute players can integrate Alexander Technique concepts as a part of practicing the flute. Gaby and Judy will lead the participants through constructive rest. There will be time to share “burning” flute related questions, that will be explored through the lens of the Alexander Technique. We'll provide resources for continued learning.

    • 1:30 - 2:00 Half hour for any questions related to the day as needed, wind down in a relaxed way.

Donna Maebori is a GPFS member, flutist and a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher®.  Donna worked her entire adult life as a physical therapist until she retired in 2015.  During her career she studied yoga and completed a Feldenkrais® certification program, with both disciplines used extensively in her specialization treatment of persistent pain as well as balance and dizziness.  She also found both, especially the Feldenkrais, distinctly improved her flute playing.  Always loving the flute and keeping with it since the age of ten, she played in different settings throughout her life, most notably as part a piano-flute duo for ten years until it ended with the pandemic.  Now she enjoys playing for herself and being more active with the Greater Portland Flute Society. 

Adrian Dee is a GPFS member, flutist and composer. He plays with the Newport Symphony and the Allegro con Flauto flute quartet. Learn more: Adrian Dee Website.

Molly Duggan is a GPFS member, flutist, and technician with Canter Flute Repair.

Judy Fischbach is a GPFS member and flutist.

Stephanie Cooke is a pianist and vocalist based in Portland, Oregon. Her sound is at once smooth and hardcore, drawing influence from Stephanie’s jazz and classical roots, with flavors from artists such as Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, and Robert Glasper. After receiving her Master’s degree in Classical Piano in 2012, Stephanie spent two years touring as the pianist for indie-pop group The von Trapps in addition to making guest appearances with internationally-renowned ensemble Pink Martini. In 2017, she formed the jazz-pop group Sarca and now has branched out into a career as a solo artist. Stephanie’s music and live performances are an expression of raw vulnerability and honesty; Stephanie believes that by owning her authentic voice, she can empower herself and her audience. Stephanie’s mission is to encourage others to embrace their own creative, unique voices.In addition to performing, Stephanie teaches piano to students of all levels and ages, is the co-founder of Connection Experiment, a local small business that offers group classes, podcasts and performances that incorporates personal empowerment through music, and teaches Body Mapping for Musicians, a form of somatic education for musicians that helps promote facility and prevent injury when practicing and performing. Stephanie's main goal in private and group classes is to empower her students to find and use their authentic voice as a musician and to stay embodied with awareness through healthy movement.

Gabriella Minnes Brandes, Ph.D., has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 30 years. She has maintained an active practice at the Alexander Technique Centre in Vancouver. She has been invited to run Alexander workshops for musicians, singers, and horseback riders, engineers (among others) as well as workshops for Alexander teachers.  For over a decade she taught the Alexander Technique in the Theatre department at Capilano University, taught at the Pender Island Flute Retreat, Vancouver Opera Young Artists Program (to name a few). She was the founder and co-director of the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique, a three-year CANSTAT recognized school that ran for close to twenty years. She is an active member of the Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique as well as a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (UK), the American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, and Alexander Technique International, where she currently serves as a Board Director.  Learn more: Dr. Gabriella Minnes Brandes.

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