Every musician deserves to feel healthy, whole and free.
In the MBMS Academy we show you how.
The MBMS Academy for Musicians
An online monthly membership program & learning community that nurtures the health, wholeness and freedom of music artists
Enjoy a Free 1-Month Trial Membership!
Why I Created the MBMS Academy
Thank you for stopping by to learn more about the MBMS Academy for Musicians.
My name is Peter Jacobson, the founder and director of The Mind Body Music School (formerly Total Vocal Freedom).
I founded this school to not only to help musicians become more skilled but to help them be more healthy, whole and free.
Twenty years ago, I was a hopeless and desperate musician in pain. I could hardly play a note without physical pain or sing a note without psychological suffering. I was anything but healthy, whole and free. Instead, I felt depressed and broken beyond repair. As a young musician, this was devastating.
However, there's a happy ending to my story. Reaching rock bottom turned out to be a major blessing because it led me to discover the Alexander Technique. Learning this approach to human potential and freedom was a game-changer and ended up having a profound impact in all areas of my life – physically, mentally, musically and even spiritually.
The Alexander Technique became so important to me that, after six years as a public school music educator, I decided to train as a Alexander Technique teacher, while also pursuing two graduate degrees in orchestral conducting.
After completing my Alexander Technique and music studies, I felt a deep calling to share my knowledge with other musicians. So I started this music school with a special focus on teaching musicians how to use the Alexander Technique to support their music-making and overall quality of life.
7 years ago, I created this online Academy and since then nearly 100 musicians have been a part of our Academy community.
You can see some of their success stories here.
You might be wondering:
What is the MBMS Academy all about?
Here are three defining aspects of the program:
The MBMS Academy: 3 Defining Features
An Alexander Technique-Powered Curriculum
Every music school teaches their student musical and technical skills. But not every music school puts the health, wholeness and freedom of the human being first. In the MBMS Academy, you will learn powerful principles and practices to take better care of your whole self both inside and the outside the act of making music. Every MBMS Academy student learns our core curriculum:
- The 7 Alexander Technique Principles
- The 4 S.E.L.T. Practices
- The 5 Essential Elements of Optimal Music Learning
- The 12 Dynamic Anatomy Basic Ideas
This simple yet powerful curriculum will serve you for your entire life as a musician.
A Vibrant & Supportive Music Community
While the curriculum we teach is powerful and students get incredible benefits from it, there’s one aspect of the program that’s even more powerful: the community.
In the MBMS Academy, we make it a point to nurture healthy relationships with other musicians in our community.
Many deep and lasting friendships have formed in our community – many of them across cultures, borders and languages.
One student said: “You have somehow managed to put together the most supportive group of people I have ever encountered – connecting with them has brought me so much joy."
A Special Focus on Artistic Projects
Pursuing meaningful artistic projects is one of the best ways to grow as a musician. In the MBMS Academy, we provide you with the support you need to be successful in your projects. That support includes inspiration, guidance, motivation, resources, accountability and fresh ideas.
Here are a few examples of possible artistic projects:
- Improving some aspect of your musicianship or technique
- Studying new repertoire (or dusting off old rep)
- Preparing and giving a recital
- Recording and producing an album
Not sure what kind of project to pursue? We'll help you with that too!
Who It's For
As an MBMS Academy student, you will learn universal principles about how you, as a human being, are made and how you work best.
Therefore, any musician will benefit greatly from participating in this program.*
We have musicians from all walks of life in our community, spanning the style, age and ability spectrum.
The people that tend to be attracted to the kind of work we do tend to fall into one or more of these three categories:
- Seekers – you are actively seeking out alternative ways to approach your music-making and/or seeking connection with other like-minded musicians
- Learners – you are a lifelong learner and simply love learning new things, especially new life skills
- Leaders – you are a teacher, director or leader and are looking for new ways to support yourself and others in your orbit
The best way to find out if the Academy is for you is to take it for a test drive!
*We do not recommend this program for people with zero previous music-making experience. Instead, we suggest a series of private lessons with a teacher to build a foundation in basic technique and musicianship.If you need a recommendation, please send us a message. We have many excellent teachers in our learning community.
How It Works
In MBMS Academy, you will have the opportunity to attend the following kinds of classes and events:
1. Weekly Classes
- These 1-hour live weekly classes form the heart of the MBMS Academy experience and are an opportunity to learn and experiment with the core concepts of MBMS approach and the Alexander Technique in the activity of making music.
- Typically the teacher will bring a theme to explore while also responding to the needs and desires of the students. That means every class is relevant, fresh and different!
- These lab classes will include things like: guided activities, breakout groups, 1:1 work (in front of the group) and more.
- As a member, you have the option of attending four different weekly classes. You can attend multiple classes if you like and attend different days/times depending on your schedule. See below for the exact days and times.
- All weekly classes will be taught by MBMS Founder & Director Peter Jacobson and will be available on replay.
2. Special Topic Classes
- These 90-minute classes are offered every 6-week term and allow for a deeper dive into one special topic related to music-making and the Alexander Technique.
- Special topic classes will typically be taught by guest teachers.
- All special topic classes will be recorded and available on replay.
3. Community Events
As part of your membership you will get access to community events like:
- Open Mics
- Peer-to-Peer Exchanges
- Guided Practice Sessions
- Book Discussion Groups
Calendar & Class Schedule
Our 2023-2024 academic year will have 4 x 6-week terms and one 3-week mini-term:
- Early Fall Term: September 11th to October 21st, 2023
- Late Fall Term: October 30th to December 16th, 2023 (No class the week of November 20th)
- January Mini-Term: January 8th to 27th, 2024
- Winter Term: February 5th to March 15th, 2024
- Spring Term: April 8th to May 17th, 2024
The summer term typically offers more intensive experiences (2 or 3-day courses) instead of weekly classes.
Weekly Lab Classes
Choose one or more of the following weekly classes:
- Tuesdays @ 10:00am - 11:00am US Central Time (convert to your local time zone)
- Tuesdays @ 7:00pm - 8:00pm US central time (convert to your local time zone)
- Thursdays @ 3:00pm - 4:00pm US Central Time (convert to your local time zone)
- Saturdays @ 1:00pm - 2:00pm US Central Time (convert to your local time zone)
Special Topic Classes & Community Events
- The days and times of these learning opportunities will be announced soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have time to do the MBMS Academy?
Many of our members have full-time jobs and families and are able to participate in the MBMS Academy. The flexibility and convenience of online classes (and the 24/7 access to replays) makes the material accessible even for busy people.
Will I benefit from watching class recordings if I can’t attend every class live?
Yes, you will get benefit from watching the recordings. Because classes will address common musician issues and problems there will always be something for you to learn and discover no matter if you attend live or watch the recording. Of course, it’s ideal to attend classes live as much as much as possible but we realize people have busy lives and it’s not always possible.
I have a teacher already. Will this conflict with what I learn from them?
Provided you are receiving quality and anatomically-accurate instruction, this program will enhance the work you are doing with your current music teacher. Academy students have reported getting more out of their music lessons with the MBMS skills available to them.
Will I need to change my technique?
No, not unless you want to! The program is designed to improve upon what’s working and help you change what’s not.
How many people will be in each class?
Our class sizes average between 10-16 students.
Will I get certified?
We currently only offer certification through The Integrated Musician Certificate Program.
How much time will it take every week?
The minimum time commitment will be to attend (or watch on replay) the weekly classes. This course is designed to fit into any practice regimen. The explorations and learning materials are practical, adaptable and can be practiced anywhere. Additionally, since this approach is holistic, you will be making new connections between the activities of your daily life and your music-making and how they influence one another.
How long will I have access to course materials for?
As long as your membership fees are paid you will have continued access to all Academy materials.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes, we offer limited need-based scholarships for people facing financial hardship and those in developing nations. To inquire about a scholarship, send us an email.
What if I have more questions?
If you have other questions, please write to us and a member of our team will respond to you within 1-2 business days.
What Your Membership Includes
Weekly 60-minute classes exploring the Alexander Technique applied to music-making via movement explorations, activities and group discussions.
Special Topic Classes
90-minute classes that will allow you to take a deep dive into one special topic related to music-making and the Alexander Technique.
Enjoy regular open mics, peer-to-peer exchanges, guided practice sessions, book discussion groups and listening parties.
The Circle Community
Enjoy our dedicated space to exchange ideas, receive support and celebrate each other. Our virtual home also hosts our user-friendly master calendar and all class replays.
Tuition & Registration
Your Invitation to Join
Thank you for taking the time to read more about the MBMS Academy!
If you feel, based on what you’ve read, that the MBMS Academy would help bring you closer to your artistic goals then I invite you to apply now for your free 1-month trial membership.
It would be our honor to have the opportunity to work with you.
To Your Success!
Founder & Director
The Mind Body Music School