The MBWP curriculum emphasizes four primary areas of skill development: (a) physiological regulation and embodied grounding, (B) concentration and awareness, (c) cognitive and emotional reframing, and (d) intentional action. For each of these areas, we provide media and readings, guide group and individual practices, and facilitate structured planning and reflection. Our sequence of topics and practices have been thoughtfully organized to cultivate growth in multiple domains, providing students with opportunities to engage with mindfulness based on personalized needs and aspirations.
Sequence of Skills
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. In the third stage of practice, we focus on reframing experience as a source of information and wisdom. Then, having reduced 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.
Mindfulness for Educators
As educators, the skills learned through MBWP have a direct impact on the states of mind and behavior that we bring to our professional work. Research suggests that practicing mindfulness may result in many beneficial outcomes for teachers, including:
- Improved self-control, feelings of compassion, less reactivity, and improved sleep (Frank, Reibel, Broderick, Cantrell, & Metz, 2015)
- Feelings of well-being and reduced burnout (Jennings, Frank, Snowberg, Coccia, & Greenberg, 2013)
- Reduced feelings of stress among urban teachers (Jennings, Snowberh, Coccia, & Greenberg, 2011)
- Improved focus, memory, and self-compassion (Roeser et al., 2013)
- Improved relationships between students and teachers (Lancioni, Winston, Karazsia, & Singh, 2013)
Mindfulness for Performers
Many artists and musicians experience performance anxiety, excessive perfectionism, burnout, and bodily injury. As mindfulness works on awareness of the mind-body system, MBWP can give you insight into patterns of thought, emotion, and movement that prevent you from practicing and performing at your best. Emerging research among musicians demonstrates that mindfulness may result in:
- Decreased anxiety (Lin, Chang, Zemon, & Midlarsky, 2008)
- Increased experiences of awe and curiosity (Diaz, 2013)
- Reduced feelings of perfectionism (Diaz, 2018)
Mindfulness as Pedagogy
In the MBWP program, we work with educators involved in K-College classroom and studio settings who teach everything from performance skills to graduate level research. Therefore, rather than providing a prescribed curriculum, we help educators interested in teaching MBWP principles to design lesson plans and curriculum appropriate to their needs and interests. Previous participants have implemented MBWP principles into warm-up exercises, listening and movement skills, conducting curriculum, and practice and rehearsal strategies among others.
Diaz, F. M. (2013). Mindfulness, attention, and flow during music listening: An empirical investigation. Psychology of Music, 41(1), 42-58.
Diaz, F. M. (2018). Relationships Among Meditation, Perfectionism, Mindfulness, and Performance Anxiety Among Collegiate Music Students. Journal of Research in Music Education, 0022429418765447.
Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Broderick, P., Cantrell, T., & Metz, S. (2015). The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction on educator stress and well-being: Results from a pilot study. Mindfulness, 6(2), 208-216.
Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving classroom learning environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of a randomized controlled trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374.
Jennings, P. A., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2011). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of two pilot studies. The Journal of Classroom Interaction, 37-48.
Lin, P., Chang, J., Zemon, V., & Midlarsky, E. (2008). Silent illumination: a study on Chan (Zen) meditation, anxiety, and musical performance quality. Psychology of Music, 36(2), 139-155.
Roeser, R. W., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., … & Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness training and reductions in teacher stress and burnout: Results from two randomized, waitlist-control field trials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 787.
Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Winton, A. S., Karazsia, B. T., Myers, R. E., Latham, L. L., & Singh, J. (2014). Mindfulness-based positive behavior support (MBPBS) for mothers of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: Effects on adolescents’ behavior and parental stress. Mindfulness, 5(6), 646-657.