Musicians’ Wellness Program

The Musicians’ Wellness program at Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music aims to enrich, expand, and empower the whole artist. Blair’s program goes beyond an exclusive focus on performance injury, instead taking a holistic view of a life in music. The work we do not only results in more skillful music-making; it also suggests a fuller purpose for music itself — helping performer and audience integrate mind, body, and inner experience into a more seamless whole.

Musicians’ Wellness faculty come from Blair’s Theory, Strings, and Voice areas, as well as the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Nashville Symphony. We are working artists and clinicians who directly apply the traditions we employ to the day-in, day-out challenges of a life in the arts.

Tutoring session


Simone Parker

Principles of the Alexander Technique as applied to everyday life and performance. Exercises in Body Mapping offer an accurate and heightened kinesthetic sense. Students gain new perspectives on how to engage in daily activities without strain or injury, thereby enhancing all activities. Throughout, there is a focus on self-discovery, observation, and awareness of practice and performance habits. Upper levels include a chance for students to perform and receive a masterclass-style teaching experience with peer group feedback.

Tutoring session


Jennifer McGuire

Study, activation and alignment of the seven chakras, or energy centers in the body, through beginner-level yoga, breath practices and meditation. Students come away with a basic knowledge of the chakra system and can pair specific yoga poses and breath practices with each chakra. Each yoga flow moves the body through a variety of ranges of motion, increasing strength, mobility and flexibility. Students also learn about emotions and tendencies associated with each chakra, and learn methods of regulating these emotions that can easily be incorporated into their daily lives. The ultimate goal is to align the physical and emotional bodies so that each student, musician or not, can live their most authentic lives in accord with their deepest values.

Tutoring session


Joshua McGuire

A practice-centered approach helps students develop a regular meditation routine. Each weekly session incorporates sitting meditation, listening, and performance. In-class readings from a variety of mindfulness and philosophical traditions the world over inform class discussion. A musician must handle the fingers, the hands, the arms, the breath, and so on in a relaxed and efficient manner; this class practices handling the mind in a relaxed and efficient manner.

Tutoring session


Cindy Hui-Lo

Principles of Tai Chi applied to musical performance. Tai Chi for Musicians introduces the fundamentals of Tai Chi Chuan for body and mind integration, performance injury prevention, stress management, systemic balance, and overall well-being. Class practice adopts the Yang Family Tai Chi Kung and emphasizes body awareness, proprioception, self-regulation, dynamic movement and breath coordination, movement fluidity, and compensatory behavior reduction.