Festival Workshops

Festival Workshops are designed with the whole music student in mind. Check out some past Festival Workshops!

Change Your Mind, Change Your Playing - A Peak Performance Primer

Presented by Joe Burgstaller, Yamaha Artist

Attain new freedom and power through special performance exercises, strategies, and insights drawn from behavioral science, neuroscience, sports-inspired psychology, and career experience. Explore how the brain presents reality, then dive into performance anxiety management, inner chatter, presence, awareness, audience connection, powerful practice techniques, and more.

Expressing Your Individuality Through Music

Presented by Jen Marotta, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Trumpet Performance at USC Thornton School of Music

Most musicians have a goal of being able to express themselves to others. When performing, musicians constantly have to balance knowing what they want to say with their music, and how to address any technical issues that get in the way of saying that. In this session, we’ll talk about different ideas on how to phrase, how to know what you want to say musically, and how to practice it enough so that it becomes natural. We’ll also talk about balancing the analytical side of our practice sessions with the expression and musicality of our performance. Knowing what to address in your practice can help you to free your expression when you perform!

Musical Opportunities at the Collegiate Level for Majors and Non-Majors

Presented by Barry L. Houser, Director of Bands at University of Illinois

Don’t STOP NOW! One of the best ways to successfully make the transition to college is to stay in a music ensemble. You know how to band but you aren’t sure how to college yet and the familiarity of schedule, personalities, and consistency can be a reassuring structure for a new college student. College is the perfect place to continue your love of music, a chance to immerse yourself in a celebrated musical community, to connect with a diverse study body, to train with industry-leading faculty and staff, and have some amazing opportunities to travel. Whether you plan to major in music or another academic concentration, there are so many ways and options to continue your love of music. We will explore the variety of musical opportunities provided to you at the collegiate level along with some tips and tricks to prepare for this next chapter of your life.

Seize the Day! Student Leadership Sets the Tone for Self-Image and Bright Futures

Presented by Ron Lambert, Yamaha Artist

Every new day holds an opportunity to shine, to grow, to be our best! Life-changing experiences at a young age have global impacts on the adults that we become. Kids that become Dynamic Student Leaders also become Dynamic Citizens. Their leadership roles in the arts set them up for success in all walks of life – at home, on campus, and in their chosen professions. We can’t predict the future but we can be ready for it!

Walking the Path Forward: What Does it Mean to Belong?

Presented by Joanna Hersey, Yamaha Artist

Many of us wish to answer the call for more inclusion in the field of music but are unsure how to begin. This conversation will outline steps everyone can take to enrich our community through positive work as musicians in schools and in our communities. It’s never too early to empower students to take a role in repertoire choices and cultivate their music classrooms as inclusive spaces where all are welcome. Students can be encouraged to recognize injustice and to practice the values of belonging in their musical activities. This presentation will include time for students to share experiences and discuss among themselves how music has supported and encouraged them, as well as providing space to be honest about difficult moments. This conversation will remind students of the importance of speaking up and assisting their educational leaders with the responsibility for creating belonging in our musical spaces.

Winning at the Game of Practice

Presented by Adam Frey, Yamaha Artist

Learn how to improve your practice to perform with more confidence and achieve better results at auditions! Practice is a game that requires intelligence and strategy. We will identify your strengths and weaknesses that are limiting your performance and audition success. Everyone will leave this class with insights into how to organize their practice and design exercises to “level up!” A question and answer session will feature a lighting round of rapid-fire weakness questions and customized exercises for the participants. A few volunteers will have the chance to be coached on how to improve them. This class will be applicable to all instrumentalists.