We are excited to welcome eight new outstanding educators to the MBWP Teacher Certification Program. Each teacher participated in an initial, intensive workshop, and will spend the next year engaging in, learning about, and incorporating mindfulness into their life and work.
Kaitlyn Burke is the director of Choirs at Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley, CA. She grew up in Arlington, VA. She attended Florida State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and is continuing her studies in the Summer Master’s Program at San Jose State University. She is excited to learn more about mindfulness and how to share it with others.
Zack Clark is a high school band and choir director from Bakersfield, California and a graduate student at San Jose State University. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys wood and metal working as well as fixing up and riding his motorcycles. Zack became interested in mindfulness after he attended a one-week workshop class led by MBWP founder Frank Diaz at San Jose State University. He hopes to incorporate mindfulness into his work as an educator and to help other teachers do the same.
Val Flamini is currently teaching and completing a Ph.D. in music education at Penn State. She has been performing, conducting and teaching primarily vocal/choral music for 20 years in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Meditation and yoga have been a practice for Val most of her adult life and she aims to encourage mindfulness practices in the field of music education.
Jenny Hoye is a middle school Chorus teacher from Harrisonburg, VA. She first became interested in mindfulness after enrolling in a summer elective course entitled “Mindfulness and Self Care for Helping Professionals” during her graduate studies at James Madison University. Since then, mindfulness has remained an important part of her classroom teaching and her own personal self care practices. She hopes to continue gaining more knowledge and experience in this area to share with other music educators and students.
Susan Keller teaches Health and Wellness at Edgewood Intermediate School in Bloomington, Indiana. She earned a Master of Science in Kinesiology from Indiana University, and is thrilled to be able to teach students about social-emotional health, which seems to be greatly ignored in the public school system. Susan is grateful for the her the opportunity to improve her knowledge and commitment to mindfulness through MBWP program.
Dr. Kevin Miescke serves as Instructor of Horn and Lecturer at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to regular solo and chamber music performances, Kevin is a founding member of the Skylark Horn Quartet, and with this group has premiered a new concerto for four horns with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, been featured with the Columbus Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and this summer will be traveling to Vietnam and Japan for performances and masterclasses. Kevin’s interest in mindfulness and meditation originated from a desire to gain more insight into performance-based anxiety for himself and his students, but now appreciates the impact these areas have on his life as a whole.
Emily Rodriguez holds a master’s degree in violin performance. Although originally from Puerto Rico, she currently runs a private string studio in Peru. Emily founded the International Society for the Arts (ISA), a non-profit organization devoted to help artists embody their full potential. She became interested in mindfulness after hearing a masterclass by MBWP founder Frank Diaz at the Violin and Viola Retreat at Indiana University. She loves to explore new ideas, concepts, and methods to help students become their very best, and has been implementing mindfulness into her classes since 2017.
Nick Roseth currently serves on the music education faculty at Indiana University Bloomington teaching undergraduate and graduates courses in music education. He became interested in studying mindfulness after an informal effort to practice meditation on his own proved to be beneficial. He hopes to develop mindfulness practices to improve his teaching and the quality of his life.
The initial stages of MBWP are focused on developing physiological regulation and embodied grounding as a means of aiding meditative practice and artistic expression. Working with our breath and bodies helps to calm our nervous system, facilitating our ability to anchor our awareness in the present moment.
During the middle stages of the curriculum, concentration and awareness are cultivated through mindful and deliberate exploration of our senses, emotions, and patterns of thought, leading to greater clarity, stability, and equanimity.
As we non-judgmentally examine our habitual ways of feeling, thinking, and acting, we gain insight into how our perceptions color reality, giving us the opportunity to let go of unfruitful ways of experiencing and responding to ourselves and others. We then work on reframing our experiences such that they are aligned with our personal values.
During the final stages of MBWP training, after reducing our reactivity through mindful awareness, we develop the capacity to act intentionally in the world, using our experiences, aspirations, values, and ethics as a compass for wise and compassionate action.