Ep 5: The Mindful Musician with Vanessa Cornett
Dr. Vanessa Cornett is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where she also serves as the Director of Keyboard Studies. Author of the forthcoming book The Mindful Musician: Mental Skills for Peak Performance (OUP 2018), she is a nationally recognized specialist in the areas of performance psychology, contemplative practices in higher education, and performance anxiety management for musicians.
She has published papers in the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, Journal of Transformative Education, MTNA eJournal, College Music Symposium, American Music Teacher, Canadian Music Teacher, and the fourth edition of the textbook Creative Piano Teaching. An international clinician, she has given student masterclasses and teacher training workshops in Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and across Europe. She has served as the conference artist and keynote speaker for the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, the MTNA International Wellness Symposium, and for various state conferences of the Music Teachers National Association. She has also presented or performed at the World Piano Conference, International Society of Music Education World Congress, International Conference on Spirituality and Music Education, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
At the University of St. Thomas, she co-directs the Project for Mindfulness and Contemplation, where she teaches student courses and faculty development seminars on mindfulness, and develops meditation podcasts for the campus community. She works as a performance coach for students, faculty, and community musicians struggling with performance anxiety or working to develop skills for peak performance.
In this Episode
In this week’s episode, Vanessa and I take a deep dive into the practice of mindfulness for musicians. We explore:
The One Conscious Breath initiative at St. Thomas University, where Vanessa teaches
The difference between anxiety management and peak performance, plus strategies for each
Mental skill exercises for musicians
The difference between being a practicer and a performer
Mindful goal setting
Teaching and mindfulness
Scope of practice issues around teaching mindfulness and meditation in a music learning context
How both mindfulness and music can connect us with ineffable aspects of our humanity
Vanessa’s forthcoming book, The Mindful Musician