The Mind Body Music School & Total Vocal Freedom Present...

The 2023 Winter Music Teaching Festival

February 14-16, 2023 (Online)


For Music Teachers & Conductors (Vocal & Instrumental)


Featuring online classes on the Alexander Technique, Body Mapping, Breathing, Keyboard Playing & More!


– Festival Recordings Now Available –


Join 5 Alexander Technique teachers and music specialists for a 3-day lineup of online classes focused on nurturing the health and well-being of music teachers and students. 

This festival is open to any music teacher or conductor (instrumental or vocal) who would like to learn how to use Alexander Technique and Body Mapping principles to improve their own teaching.

To make this festival available to as many teachers/conductors as possible (and to celebrate this inaugural event under the Mind Body Music School name!) we are offering free live attendance to all.

There's also an option to purchase a premium pass, which will give you access to downloadable recordings of the entire festival plus an additional bonus class.

(This festival is sponsored by The Mind Body Music School an expanded version of Total Vocal Freedom.)

Register Now

Festival Overview

πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ Scroll down for class descriptions. πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡  

Day 1: Tuesday, February 14th, 2023 

  • Teaching the Whole Musician: An Introduction to Integrative Music Education 
  • Freeing Your Hands & Arms: Exploring the Bridge Between Your Self and Your Instrument
  • Teaching with Ease: How to Sit, Stand & Speak Without Fatigue

Day 2: Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 

  • Practical Anatomy for Music Teachers: Understanding the Human Mind & Body Instrument
  • 4 Steps to Virtuoso Teaching: Using the S.E.L.T. Practices to Ignite Student Learning
  • Moving Air, Making Sound: The 3 C’s of Better Breathing for Singers & Wind Instrumentalists

Day 3: Thursday, February 16th, 2023

  • The Alexander Technique for Conductors: Improve Your Body Use While Improving Your Ensemble
  • Freedom at the Keyboard: Applying Principles of the Alexander Technique to Piano Teaching and Playing
  • Make Music First: How to Prioritize Your Own Artistry As A Music Teacher
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Festival Teachers

All festival classes (with the exception of one) will be taught and led by TVF/MBMS faculty members Molly Kittle, Peter Jacobson, Michael Hanko & Eleni Vosniadou. You can read more about these 4 here.

The festival will also feature special guest teacher Dr. Christos Noulis, an Alexander Teacher, concert pianist and Professor of Piano at the Macedonian Conservatoire. You can learn more about Christos here.

Festival Class Descriptions 


Day 1 – Tuesday, February 14th, 2023


Teaching the Whole Musician

An Introduction to Integrative Music Education 

With Peter Jacobson
10:00am – 11:00am Central Standard Time

The festival will kick off with an introductory class by TVF & MBMS founder Peter Jacobson on Integrative Music Teaching, a holistic approach whose aim is to optimize the health, learning capacity and performance of the whole musician. This approach combines best practices from the Alexander Technique, Body Mapping, peak performance and music education, and focuses on 4 pathways: 

  1. Spark – harnessing the impetus to communicate via musical sound
  2. Story – exploring how musical and personal narratives intertwine
  3. Self – coordinating the whole person to optimally learn and perform
  4. Skill – cultivating musical and technical ability

This class will feature both practice and theory. In the practical portion of this class, participants will observe Peter teach a sample music lesson using this approach. This will be followed by a discussion of the teaching methods employed. Class participants will leave the class with several fresh, new ideas to teach the whole musician as a “whole” music teacher themselves. 



Freeing Your Hands & Arms

Exploring the Bridge Between Your Self and Your Instrument

With Molly Kittle
12:00pm – 1:00pm Central Standard Time

Hand and arm tension are some of the main limiting factors in free and expressive instrumental music playing. Conditions like tendonitis, carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome and focal dystonia are common among far too many musicians. 

In this class, Molly will offer a way to think about the arm structure (including the fingers, wrists and hands) as its own instrument, one that can be practiced and played like any other instrument. This “fluency” in playing the arm well will not only provide a foundation for pain-free playing, but also the potential for increased freedom, beauty and expressiveness. 

You’ll learn:

  • A few essential anatomical facts about the arm-hand-finger structure
  • How to use gravitational force as an ally in your playing
  • Some pedagogical tools to help your students
    Class material will be explored actively as a group. If time allows, Molly will work with an individual while playing. 

(Note: though this class is geared towards instrumentalists and instrumental music teachers, vocalists and voice teachers will benefit greatly from the material.)


Teaching with Ease

How to Sit, Stand & Speak Without Fatigue 

With Peter Jacobson & Molly Kittle
2:00pm – 3:00pm US Central Standard Time

Do you ever feel fatigued, drained or worn down at the end of a teaching day? Does this feeling tend to snowball over time and lead to burnout and overwhelm? 

If so, you’re not alone. Acute and chronic fatigue is a common issue among music teachers. Fortunately, there are intelligent solutions via the Alexander Technique that you can use to teach more effectively AND actually feel good at the end of a teaching day. 

In this class, we’ll explore some of those solutions by looking at three of the most common activities where body fatigue occurs in music teaching: sitting, standing and speaking. Molly and Peter will work directly with three different volunteers on these activities. You will learn practical ideas on how you can practice in-the-moment self-care and contribute to your own health and well-being during the act of teaching.  

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Day 2 – Wednesday, February 15th, 2023


Practical Anatomy for Music Teachers

Understanding the Human Mind & Body Instrument

With Eleni Vosniadou
10:00am – 11:00am US Central Standard Time

When it comes to core activities of music-making – playing, singing, teaching and conducting – the primary instrument is the human mind and body. 

The problem is that the music itself often becomes so compelling that it draws our attention away from how we think and move. As a result, many musicians end up using way too much muscular effort and tension in their playing and singing.

In this session, you will learn 3 key anatomical connections and how you can use them to support your music learning and teaching: 

  1. The head-torso connection – how our central axis supports the movement of the ribs, jaw, arms and legs
  2. The arms-torso connection – how our arms are supported by our torso
  3. The legs-torso connection – how the lower limbs support the whole torso
    The format of this session will be group exploration. If time allows, Eleni will work with one volunteer in the activity of music-making.  



4 Steps to Virtuoso Teaching

Using the S.E.L.T. Practices to Ignite Student Learning

with Michael Hanko
12:00pm – 1:00pm US Central Standard Time

Are you looking for a fresh way to structure lessons that grabs your students’ attention and has them making deep and lasting discoveries?

Are you eager to retire dull, ineffective, one-size-fits-all teaching models and gain access to the creative master teacher you know is in you?

Do you want to inspire your students to take a more active role in their own growth process, both during their lessons and in their self-guided practice in between?

Do you want lessons to be an absolute blast for you and your students?

In this session, Michael will introduce you to a powerful quartet of practices that you can immediately begin to apply to your teaching:

  • S -- Slowing down, Simplifying
  • E -- Experimenting
  • L -- Listening (non-judgmentally)
  • T -- Trusting

Michael will illustrate each of these simple and powerful practices through group explorations and by working directly with volunteers. As you return to teaching after taking this class, you will see how S.E.L.T. can inspire you to reach beyond the familiar in your lessons. You will find yourself able to create a learning environment in which your students and you are making deep and lasting discoveries every time you teach. And you might also notice that you are having more fun than you thought teachers were allowed to have!


Moving Air, Making Sound

The 3 C’s of Better Breathing for Singers & Wind Instrumentalists

With Michael Hanko & Peter Jacobson
2:00pm – 3:00pm US Central Standard Time

Every musician who moves air to make sound (mainly vocalists & wind players) understands the primary importance of breathing, breath support and breath coordination. And every music teacher who works with an air-moving musician knows the challenges involved in teaching this vast and often mysterious topic. 

In this class, we’ll offer a simple framework that will help cut through the confusion – The 3 C’s of Better Breathing: 

  1. Communicating Musical Ideas – how a focus on musical expression makes our breathing less mechanical and more expressive
  2. Cooperating with the Design – how understanding the anatomy of the air-moving system and its supporting structures can support better breathing
  3. Coordinating Our Whole Self – how to intelligently and holistically approach breath support and coordination

The format of the class will be individual explorations; Peter and Michael will work with one singer and one wind player (brass or woodwind).

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Day 3 – Thursday, February 16th, 2023


The Alexander Technique for Conductors

Improve Your Body Use While Improving Your Ensemble

With Peter Jacobson & Eleni Vosniadou
10:00am – 11:00am US Central Standard Time

Think for a moment of all that is involved in the “simple” act of conducting:  listening to the ensemble, reading the score, cueing (at just the right time), knowing when to stop, what exactly to work on, dealing with challenging ensemble members, etc. There’s also the countless hours spent on programming and score study. Let’s face it – directing a musical ensemble presents a dizzying array of stimuli!

But what often gets lost in the conducting circus is the conductor’s awareness of their own body use. This can become problematic because, after all, the body is the conductor’s primary communication tool! 

In this class, we’ll offer some ways you can invite better body use via two key connections – how the hand connects to the arm and how the head connects to the spine. 

This class will focus on the practical application of Alexander Technique principles to the art of conducting. Peter & Eleni will work directly with 2 conductors.


Freedom at the Keyboard

Applying Principles of the Alexander Technique to Piano Teaching & Playing

With Christos Noulis
12:00pm – 1:00pm US Central Standard Time

Playing a keyboard instrument comes with a minefield of potential body issues – tendonitis, repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, and low back pain (to name just a few). However, these issues aren’t inevitable and can be avoided (while also improving performance) by applying the core principles of the Alexander Technique to your playing. 

In this class, special guest teacher, pianist and piano teacher Christos Noulis will share about his decades of experience applying the discoveries of F.M. Alexander to the art of piano playing. 

Here are some topics that will be covered: 

  • The difference between virtuosity and strain (and why no pain IS your gain)
  • How to use ergonomics to skillfully adapt your body to various keyboards
  • How our habits of thought result in habits in our bodies

This class will benefit any musician or music teacher who plays a keyboard instrument. 


Make Music First

How to Prioritize Your Own Artistry As A Music Teacher

With Peter Jacobson
2:00pm – 3:00pm US Central Time

As music teachers and educators, we wear two artistic hats: performing artist and teaching artist. But the demands of being a teacher often overshadow our own music-making. When this happens, it is a disservice to ourselves and our students, since it is our own musicianship that feeds our soul and keeps us inspired to do our best teaching.

In this final class of the festival, TVF & MBMS founder Peter Jacobson will facilitate one of the most important conversations we can have as music teachers about what it means to strike a healthy balance between our own artistry and our teaching. 

Participants will leave the class with some new ways to think about structuring your schedule and life so you can make your own music first.

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Festival Registration



Single Payment

  • Downloadable recordings of all 9 festival classes
  • An additional 90-minute exclusive bonus class with practice expert Dr. Nora Karakousoglou on March 3rd
  • A Festival Certificate of Completion 
Register for Premium Festival Pass Now