Optimizing Performance

Tools for Musicians During a Pandemic and Beyond  |  January 19–22, 2021

This year has had an impact on our opportunities to learn, and we strongly believe that setting aside time to focus on optimizing performance is valuable, so CIM is offering this four-day, conference-style Intersession at no additional cost to students enrolled for Spring 2021. Set yourself up for your best semester at CIM yet as you completely immerse yourself in performance optimization techniques. Here are only a few topics and speakers to expect during CIM Winter Intersession.

What You'll Learn and Explore:

  • Actionable strategies for positive, sustainable increases in levels of well-being and performance, from Amy Blankson, author of The Future of Happiness
  • How to learn more efficiently and effectively
  • Principles of body mapping, Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais® Method to make better choices about how you move
  • Mindfulness techniques to enhance focus, relaxation, concentration and ease anxiety
  • Stretches to warm up your body and keep it healthy
  • Audition tips from successful working alumni
  • How to design meaningful concerts that attract large audiences

Who You'll Hear From:

  • CIM alumni about the future of classical music
  • Renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta about how she has optimized performance in her illustrious career

CIM Winter Intersession is completely virtual – all activities will take place online. Sessions generally run from 9:30am-noon and 2-5pm, Eastern time. Several sessions run concurrently, so you can choose the content you are most interested in and craft your own optimal experience. For those in time zones that may make real-time attendance difficult, we plan to record sessions and make them available to students for later watching.

Find the Schedule:

Find the tentative schedule of virtual events and activities.

Meet the Presenters

Amy Blankson

Amy Blankson will present during the opening session.

Amy Blankson is the CEO Of Fearless Positivity, Co-Founder of the Digital Wellness Initiative, and bestselling author of The Future of Happiness. A graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Management, she’s the only person to receive a Point of Light award from two US Presidents. She is also a member of the UN Global Happiness Council, a Fellow of the World Innovation Organization, a featured professor in Oprah’s happiness e-course, and a regular contributor to Forbes. Her current work focuses on how to cultivate happiness and well-being in the digital era. Learn more: amyblankson.com

JoAnn Falletta

JoAnn Falletta will present during the closing session. 

A two-time Grammy Award winner, Falletta serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Connie and Marc Jacobson Music Director Laureate of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Brevard Music Center and Artistic Advisor of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. She is also Artistic Advisor to the CIM Orchestra for 2020-21. She is hailed for her work as a conductor, recording artist, audience builder and champion of American composers.

Falletta is a member of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served by presidential appointment on the National Council on the Arts during the Bush and Obama administrations. She is a recipient of many of the classical music industry’s most prestigious awards, including Performance Today’s 2019 Classical Woman of the Year. Learn more: joannfalletta.com

Timothy Adams Jr.

Timothy Adams Jr. will present Audition Techniques for Instrumentalists.

Timothy Adams Jr., the Mildred Goodrum Heyward Professor in Music, was named Chair of the Percussion Department at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music in fall 2010. Prior to joining the faculty at UGA, he held the post of Principal Timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for fifteen years and was Professor of Music at Carnegie Mellon University. Adams spent ten summers as Percussion faculty at the Brevard Music Center where he was frequently a featured soloist and recitalist. An orchestra musician of the highest caliber for over 30 years, Adams began his entrée into playing professionally while still in high school as a substitute percussionist and timpanist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Learn more about Adams!

Larissa Hall Carlson

Larissa Hall Carlson will present daily Mindfulness Workshops.

Larissa Hall Carlson, MA in Mindfulness Studies, E-RYT 500, is a Mindful Living teacher, Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, End-of-Life Doula, Yee Yoga teacher, Yoga Teacher Training Director, Prenatal Yoga teacher and Kripalu Center faculty member. One of her specialties is teaching yoga and mindfulness to elite performers. For over a decade, she has worked in partnership with the musicians and performers of Tanglewood Music Center to help alleviate performance anxiety and stress and to enhance skillfulness and performance excellence. She has also taught yoga, meditation, breathwork and yogic philosophy at the Julliard School, Boston Conservatory, Berkshire Opera Company and the Nashville Ballet, as well as to students at Harvard, Princeton, Lawrenceville and Emma Willard. Learn more: larissacarlson.com

Samantha Damoulakis

Samantha Damoulakis & Russell Hall will present Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method.

Samantha Damoulakis, a former professional ballerina, has practiced Feldenkrais® since the beginning of her career, at age 17. She discovered the Feldenkrais Method to be helpful in recovering from several serious injuries she sustained, as well as proving to be a means of prevention for future injury. It not only helped her heal faster but also improved her technique, artistry and coordination. As a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, Samantha regularly works with musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since 2013, she has co-taught a Feldenkrais course for musicians at CIM with Russell Hall. She has taught workshops and lessons throughout the world using her knowledge and skills, most recently in Sapporo, Japan, and Oberlin, Ohio. Learn more: clevelandmovement.com

Russell Hall

Russell Hall & Samantha Damoulakis will present Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method.

A Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2001, Hall also has more than 35 years of experience as a physical therapist.

Lynn Helding

Lynn Helding will present How Learning Works, Deliberate Practice and Understanding Empathy.

Lynn Helding, Professor of Practice in Voice and Vocal Pedagogy at USC’s Thornton School of Music, is the author of The Musician’s Mind: Teaching, Learning, and Performance in the Age of Brain Sciencethe chapter “Brain” in Scott McCoy’s Your Voice: An Inside View 3rd ed. and an associate editor of the Journal of Singing. Recognized as a “legendary figure in the field of voice pedagogy” by the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University, Helding received their 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. Her stage credits include leading roles with Harrisburg Opera, Nashville Opera and Ohio Light Opera, and solo recitals throughout the US, Italy, France, England, Germany, Spain, Australia and Iceland. Learn more: lynnhelding.com

Gerald Klickstein

Gerald Klickstein will present Deep Practice, 12 Habits of Healthy Musicians, Masterful Memorization and Designing Concerts that Attract Large Audiences.

Gerald Klickstein works at the leading edge of music performance education. Author of celebrated book The Musician’s Way, he appears internationally at prominent universities, conservatories and conferences, where he translates contemporary research into practical actions for musicians to thrive as artists and professionals. In 2012, he founded the Music Entrepreneurship Center at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he served as Director until 2016. Previously, from 1992-2012, he was a member of the distinguished artist-faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; before that, he was a music faculty member at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Michigan State University. Now working as an independent scholar, consultant, and educator, he is also an accomplished guitarist and has appeared widely as a solo and collaborative performer. Learn more: MusiciansWay.com

Heide Brende Leathwood

Heide Brende Leathwood will present Introduction to Alexander Technique.

Heidi Brende Leathwood has been teaching the Alexander Technique full-time since graduating from Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles in 1995, first in private practice in Pasadena, California, and currently at Denver University’s Lamont School of Music in Denver, Colorado, where she is also faculty in the Keyboard Department. She also maintains a private Alexander practice in Denver. As a regularly performing classical pianist, Heidi has worked extensively on how the Alexander Technique can be integrated with performance and has included this focus in her private teaching as well as in group workshops. Her education includes a BM degree from Oberlin Conservatory and an MM and DMA from University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Learn more: heidibrendeleathwood.com

Susan Williams

Susan Williams will lead the Daily Stretch.

Susan Williams, soprano, has performed nationally and internationally in a wide range of leading opera roles and as a vocal soloist. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, she earned a master’s degree at the University of Akron, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She joined the University of Alabama faculty in 2012 after serving on the voice faculty at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Williams earned her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification in 2014 at Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand. In the summer of 2019, she received her second teacher enrichment grant from Music Teacher’s National Association with which she completed a 100-hour module on pranayama, a yogic system of breathwork. Learn more: susanwilliamssoprano.com

Kelly Wilson

Kelly Wilson will present Introduction to Body Mapping.

Kelly Mollnow Wilson teaches musicians to move with ease and comfort, which allows them to deliver musically convincing, effective performances. She teaches Body Mapping for Musicians at Oberlin Conservatory as a Licensed Body Mapping Educator, teaches private flute lessons and performs in Northeast Ohio. She uses her skills as a Neurokinetic Therapy practitioner to help musicians with pain and discomfort. Ms. Wilson holds a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Baldwin-Wallace College. She is the lead author/flute author of Teaching Woodwinds: A Guide for Students and Teachers and serves on the NFA Performance Healthcare Committee. Learn more: precisionperformanceandtherapy.com