It’s finally here! Wednesday morning (VERY early…zzz…) I board a plane for Orlando for the National Flute Asssociation 2018 convention! There are so many things I love about being able to attend this convention every year, and I always come back feeling so rejuvenated and excited about the work that I do here! Here are some of the sessions that I am most excited about.

Continuing with the growing trend of awareness about the music/body connection, there are SO many presentations, warm-ups, and lectures associated with health and fitness for flute players. It has been so interesting to see this issue evolve in awareness throughout the years, especially with my own experiences with fibromyalgia and poor playing position. I will be attending these sessions related to player health and look forward to sharing my knowledge with you!
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Breath, Body, Flute: Techniques for a Free, Flexible, and Supported Sound
In this interactive workshop, Abigail Sperling and physical therapist Edie Sperling will detail breathing and alignment while playing. Bring your flute.

Exhibitor Showcase: Music Minus Pain – Taming Upper Body Tension
Limited Breathing? Sore neck and back? Hand or wrist problems? If upper body tension or pain is seriously affecting your playing, this workshop is a must! Learn the top 3 tips and powerful lifetime strategies to eliminate tension & pain with Dr. Lea Pearson, Injury Prevention Specialist

10 – 11 a.m.
Alexander Technique & Flute
Certified Alexander Instructor & flutist Karen Sanders explores key concepts of tension-free playing through the Alexander Technique. Flutists will experience the tools to move with ease, breath more naturally, and play both more efficiently and with greater freedom.

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Doctors are IN – Performance Health Check Ups In Orlando
The Doctors are IN features health performance medicine specialist, Dr. Michael Weinstein, Dr. Michael Treister, Dr. Corina Muller, & others including ENT specialist, Dr. Stephen Mitchell, & retired orthodontist/performing flutist, Dr. Chip Shelton, who serve on the NFA Performance Health Advisory Board.

Here is a sampling of some of the other sessions and recitals I will be attending:

2:30 – 4 p.m.
Flute History with (the inimitable!) Trevor Wye
Trevor Wye presents the flute family’s development over time.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
All French Recital
Michel Bellavance, Danielle Breisach, Rita Linard, and Lisa Garner Santa perform favorites and soonto-be-favorites by Bacri, Gaubert, Poulenc, and Ravel.

2:45 – 4 p.m.
Pedagogical Solutions
Bring your flute to try pedagogical solutions for rhythm & embouchure: Elsa Nilsson presents an interactive metronome practice session to strengthen rhythmic understanding; Elise Blatchford demonstrates how center embouchure players can better teach students with a teardrop lip or side embouchure.

5– 6 p.m.
El Sistema Teaching
Flutist Mary Matthews and violist Laura Eakman examine the development of El Sistema in Venezuela and the United States, and discuss possibilities to best promote its philosophies and techniques into our education system and practices.