Ahh, Long Beach… home sweet home! Upon my arrival home, I was greeted by Auggie, remote control in his mouth, crying and doing the figure eight around my legs, barely able to contain his excitement for seeing his Mommy after what must have certainly felt like an eternity in dog years. Good boy!  Although the 90-something temps, humidity, and wild thunder and lightening storms were a refreshing change, I am happy to be back inside that good ol’ coastal marine layer. Dorm life was fun, but my bed, which was a little like sleeping in a canoe, was a little less fun. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to my own bed and pillow tonight. And so here I sit, nearly 2 am PST (which means 4 am CST) finishing up my thoughts on a truly inspiring time with my Andover Educator colleagues in Ames.

Mary and Linda took us through another extraordinary TaKeTiNa this morning. It was an insightful session and some things sort of came full circle for me. At my first session, I felt the challenge trying to maintain my balance and control of breath while keeping up with the pace of the words, steps, clapping, and call and response. But, each day I gradually felt more ease throughout, and less and less inhibited. At one point today, it all became perfectly clear to me how to breathe and move and stay with the circle, without tension and without judgement. Yes! In fact, I found myself smiling even more than yesterday with each “mistake” I made. Figuring out how to pace my use of air with the call and response with Mary was also a big epiphany. It’s clear to me to imagine the ways TaKeTiNa can carry over to what I do as a flutist. Seriously folks, take a minute and check out the TaKeTiNa website. This means you, musicians, music educators, students, and dancers!  It’s remarkable stuff. Boy, I sure would love to invite Mary and Linda down to BCCM someday to present a workshop. I mean, if it made this big of an impact for me as a professional, I can only imagine the amazing results our BCCM students would experience. “GUM A LAH GUM A LAH!”

After that, Vanessa Mulvey and Lynne Krayer-Luke, a.k.a. Flying Flutistas, presented an amazing workshop. Image

These two ladies are pretty awesome and incredibly creative. Last year, they began their journey with flying trapeze lessons. It was fascinating to hear them share their adventure about how they’re using flying trapeze as a way to overcome a fear of heights, not to mention how it has helped them with performance anxiety. It was inspiring, to say the least and makes total sense. If you’re flying around on a trapeze on a pretty routine basis, it sort of puts things into perspective, no? Some of my favorite points were these: Feel the fear, feel all of the other emotions and let them live all together. Embody emotions in context of tactile and kinesthetic sensations. Arrive in the space, let your emotions and sensory experiences lie within this space and acknowledge your audience. Relate to the space, your instrument, and the audience.

The Flying Flutistas have definitely inspired me to think outside the box and step out of my own personal comfort zone. I’m not sure I see myself as a flying trapeze artist, per se, but maybe stand-up paddle? The Paddling Piccoloista? Hmm …I may be on to something.  (Thank you Vanessa and Lynne!)

The last golden nugget of inspiration and education came from the great Bob Britton while a group of us were waiting for our flights at Des Moines Airport. There we were, learning about balance from Bob, minutes before he had to hop on his plane. Thank you for that last “ah ha moment” Bob.

And so, now we look forward to Summer 2015. Meanwhile, I am so excited about all that I learned and can’t wait to start putting it to use … starting tomorrow morning bright and early at my Long Beach Flute Institute Summer Camp.

So long, Iowa State. It was a lot of fun getting to know you.