ad agio online workshops

Ticket typeCost
Four session ticket£85
One session ticket£25

workshops for musicians to bring ease to your playing

ad agio ('at ease') is a workshop series aimed at musicians to help you play and perform in a more relaxed and comfortable way, both physically and mentally. Experts in musician wellbeing will lead workshops in topics such as performance anxiety, breathing anatomy and techniques, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, injury prevention and treatment, mindfulness and nutrition.

The first events in the series were about to be announced when lockdown began in the UK. I hope to be able to run them in their original in-person form at some point but, for now, we're offering a series of sessions online via Zoom.

These workshops are for all musicians aged 18+, of all levels and genres. They are aimed at all players and singers who want to play with more ease, avoid injury, feel more confident and enjoy their playing more. They will help you explore a variety of approaches to find ways which work for you. The events are relaxed and supportive with plenty of time to ask questions and try out techniques.

Saturday 4th July, 2-5pm - Performance Anxiety - a new approach with Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence is a horn player in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a musical coach and has just completed a PhD researching performance anxiety. Come and find out how your performance anxiety can transform you as a musician. We can work with your performance anxiety to find out what it means for you. We won’t suppress any symptoms, we will bring them out, play with them, take them on a ride to find their hidden message - a message that could help you be the musician you always wanted to be!

Saturday 11th July, 2-5pm - Feldenkrais with Dianne Hancock

Dianne Hancock of 'The Mindful Body' is a qualified teacher of the Feldenkrais Method and of yoga, and teaches classes, workshops and individual sessions in and around the Sheffield area. She also travels to colleges and universities to teach specialist modules for dancers, actors and musicians. ​In this workshop, Dianne will introduce the Feldenkrais Method and teach several sessions, with a focus on how it can work for musicians. After each lesson, attendees will have short breakout sessions where they can play their instrument to see if the session has influenced their technique or ease of playing, then return for discussion and questions.

Saturday 18th July, 2-4pm -
Catching our Breath: Balance through Breathwork in Uncertain Times with Xenia Pestova Bennett
Dr Xenia Pestova Bennett is a professional pianist, certified yoga instructor and performance coach. She delivers individual and group sessions on anxiety management. Her clients and collaborators include Facebook London, Moving on Music, Sound and Music, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Nottingham. ​This workshop is aimed specifically at musicians and will explore the mind-body connection in reference to how we stand, sit, move and breathe in our daily lives and when we make music. Dr Xenia Pestova Bennett will introduce simple breathing techniques to find balance, recalibrate and reduce anxiety in uncertain times. Participants will be guided through a series of exercises to help create an individual “toolkit” which can be accessed in times of need.

Saturday 25th July, 2-4pm - Alexander Technique for Musicians with Lucy Ascham; ​followed by optional discussion session

Lucy runs 'With Poise' Alexander Technique courses in Sheffield and Manchester. She began learning the Alexander Technique in 1989 as a music student in Dartington, where she graduated with a degree in trumpet and Balinese gamelan. She trained through Cumbria Alexander Training and qualified as a certified teacher in 2003. She has taught players of the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester University Wellbeing Programme, Manchester Buddhist Centre, and has also worked in admin for the CBSO, as orchestra coordinator for the BBC Philharmonic, and in stage management at the RNCM.

Lucy brings her musical background and understanding to run a session helping music-makers to play with more comfort, confidence and stamina. Lucy's workshop will be followed by an optional informal discussion - at the end of this short series, let us know what you got out of the sessions, what challenges you face in your music-making and what you'd like to learn more about in future workshops.

Attendance is £25 per workshop or £85 for all four.
Find out more and book tickets.

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