June 1


03:00 pm - 04:15 pm

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British Association for Performing Arts Medicine

Healthy Practice Community Drop In: Peer support and training for performance health and wellbeing

BAPAM deliver expert health and wellbeing services in the performing arts. Our events give artists, creators, technicians, teachers, and organisers the knowledge they need to improve health and enjoy sustainable careers.

Join our free online Community Drop In and:

  • Embed health and wellbeing strategies into your creative toolkit
  • Learn new skills with guest coaches and speakers.
  • Set goals
  • Take part in peer discussion and support in a safe space facilitated by an experienced BAPAM clinician

Our Community Drop In is hosted and facilitated by BAPAM GP, Dr Pippa Wheble, who specialises in performance and mental health and is also a violinist and singer.

Making music without pain, being the performer you want to be, using the Feldenkrais Method.

It’s what we would all like as musicians, so how can we get closer to that? I hear the same requests over and over- to be pain free, have less stage anxiety, and more stage presence. They’re all part of the same picture of how we use ourselves. Everything we do involves movement, sensing, feeling and thinking. And as we move through life we pick up habits in all of these areas, some of which include:

how we think about ourselves (our self image)

what we believe possible for us

Our emotional responses to situations

how well we listen to our physical cues – eg discomfort/tiredness

how we move ourselves.

In this short practical session, you’ll begin to learn skills of awareness, interoception (sensing within ourselves), proprioception and kinaesthetic sensing. We’ll do this through movement exploration, in unusual positions, to create a learning environment for you to discover which habits are getting in your way.

Some of the strategies we’ll use are:

Increasing our awareness. If we can’t locate what’s happening when and where, we can’t change it. When we know what we’re doing, we then have choices. If we learn the precise way we experience stage anxiety, for example, we can learn the triggers or beginning stages, and learn how to reduce them, and all the nervous system down.

Reducing effort. As we reduce tension and effort, we can be more aware of how the whole of ourselves is involved in creating a musical experience. The less we get in our own way, the clearer one’s intention between our thinking and playing, or singing.

Learning to sense your skeleton: the clearer the transmission of force through your whole skeleton, the clearer which parts are over working, or which areas of your self image aren’t included.

Resting. Our brain digests information, and creates its neural networks in sleep or non-sleep rest.

Thinking our whole self: We might have names for each body part, but in functional movement there are no divisions, the body and mind work seamlessly together. The more of ourselves we include in our self image, the easier it is to be on stage. We can find and have confidence in our own unique musical voice, and the more aware we are of our habits to weed out habits that are not so useful.

Coach: Emma Alter

Emma has been a professional classical musician for over twenty years, and qualified to teach the Feldenkrais Method since 2013. She specialises in working with musicians, She’s the Musicians’ Union’s in-house Feldenkrais teacher, teaching weekly classes and workshops, and has been a guest lecturer at the majority of music conservatoires in the UK.

She runs monthly StringMoves workshops specifically for string players, and 2-4 day courses together with colleagues under the banner of WellMusician. She is also active internationally, a founder member of the Musicians International Group for Somatic Education. Her website is , and can be found on FB, Twitter, Linked-In and Instagram under the same handle. She’s the vice-Chair for the UK Feldenkrais Guild, the professional body.