Frank M. Diaz, Ph.D. is the founder and Director of the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Wellness and Pedagogy (MBWP) and a professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is also Co-Director of the Music and Mind Lab and an Affiliate Member of the Cognitive Science Department at IU. Frank has been a dedicated meditation practitioner for over 20 years, having studied with various teachers and in a number of meditative traditions. Frank is also a recognized Zen Buddhist teacher and has taught secular and religious meditative practices to thousands of students through courses and workshops at educational, religious, and non-profit institutions across the United States. At IU, Frank established one of the country’s first academic courses focused on mindfulness in teaching and performing arts, and leads several mindfulness initiatives through partnerships with the Jacobs School of Music, IU Lifelong Learning, and the Ezkenazi Museum of Art. His work as a meditation teacher and researcher has been featured in media outlets such as NPR, Huffington Post, and Science Daily, and in publications such as Oregon Quarterly, Psychology of Music, and the Journal of Research in Music Education.
Holly Brown is an elementary band teacher in Connecticut. She developed an interest in mindfulness in 2011 and became an MBWP certified teacher in 2018. Holly specializes in the use of mindfulness with elementary-aged music students and has presented in venues such as the Connecticut Music Educators Association conference on the use of mindfulness in the classroom.
Eric Dickson, D.M. serves on the music faculty at Truman State University, where he teaches applied trumpet and jazz appreciation in addition to directing the Truman Brass Choir and the Truman Trumpet Ensemble. He was initially drawn to the practice of mindfulness after experiencing firsthand the positive impact it can have on music performance. Dickson incorporates mindfulness concepts into all aspects of his teaching and leads bi-weekly mindfulness practice sessions for the students, faculty, and staff of Truman State University.
Dr. Lisa Martin is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Music Education at Bowling Green State University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate music education courses. At BGSU, she teaches mindfulness to music students through the Mindfulness Club and serves a consultant on MBWP approaches for studio professors and other colleagues at the University.
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. Kaitlyn received MBWP certification in 2019 and is an expert on the use of mindfulness with middle school aged singers and choirs.
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 earned MBWP certification in 2019 and specializes in the use of mindfulness in secondary instrumental music education.
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. Val received MBWP Teacher Certification in 2019.
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.
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 received MBWP certification in 2019 and specializes in the use of mindfulness for social emotional learning among middle school aged students.
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 specializes in applications of mindfulness in performance and studio teaching.
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.
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.