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

  • 11 Feb 2023
  • 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • online


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

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 Movement 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.

Details in Printable Format - 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 as well as 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 (25 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.

  • 11:45 – 12:15 Half hour for lunch – “at-home brown bag” and informal conversation
  • 2:15 – 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.

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