Dr. Eric Dickson is Assistant Professor of Music, teaching trumpet at Truman State University. Eric participated in the 5-day Mindfulness workshop at IU last summer and will be completing MBWP Teacher certification in July. Before starting my current position at Truman State University, I spent several years as a freelance musician and educator in the … Continue reading Unexpected Mindfulness
A few months ago, you found me after class to talk about your racing mind. You shared your frustrations about lacking focus, feeling inadequate, and worrying about the future. I want you to know that I heard you. I want you to know that you are not alone, and that for a long time, I … Continue reading You are already enough – thoughts on self-compassion to a recent student
Holly Brown is a third-year elementary band teacher in Connecticut. Ms. Brown teaches band to 4th and 5th students at three different schools within her district. She participated in the 5-day Mindfulness Workshop at IU and is currently enrolled in the MBWP Teacher Training Program. Senior year of high school. Gym class. This was … Continue reading Meditation and Mindfulness: Thoughts from a New Music Teacher
As a music teacher educator, I was fascinated by the opportunity to discover how I might meaningfully pull mindfulness into not only my classroom but also into the culture of my department. Musicians experience the gamut of unique, intense pressures and demands on time. How could I develop my own personal practice while also learning how to share mindfulness with my students and colleagues? And there was so very much to share – the pause, the stillness, the clarity, the awareness, the openness, the absence of judgment, the measured calm, the wonder. I felt such gratitude for each of these evolving dimensions within my presence of mind, and with that gratitude came a pure desire to give.
What is perfection? If someone asked you to describe your own idea of perfection, what would you say? For many musicians, ideas about perfection lie on some continuum between internally imposed and externally influenced idealizations about musical competency. Furthermore, these idealizations are by definition abstractions rather than the thing itself. The perfect note, phrase, or … Continue reading Mindfulness and Musical Perfectionism – the hidden costs of chasing after an unexamined illusion
A couple of years ago, I received an invitation to present on the topic of music and mindfulness for a symposium featuring some preeminent researchers. One of these scholars was none other than Richard Davidson, author of The Emotional Life of the Brain, and head of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. … Continue reading Why attention matters – musings on investigating meditation with musicians
Earlier this spring, after years of research and personal practice, I decided to finally put my thoughts together and offer a mindfulness-based class on teaching and wellness. The class is modeled after the popular 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital, with readings, practices, and discussions designed specifically for … Continue reading Five things I learned after five weeks of teaching mindfulness to teachers