Office of the Dean of the Conservatory

Conservatory Student Wellness Programs

Each semester, Oberlin Conservatory offers a series of programming intended to promote robust physical and mental health for students, and also to integrate social justice programming with a focus on maintaining a healthy community environment for all.

Past events have included both extended and short-term workshops and programs with visiting clinicians in Alexander Technique, mindfulness, injury prevention, yoga for musicians, and racial equity in music.

If there are additional programs or resources you would like to see offered, please contact Associate Dean for Academic Support Chris Jenkins at .


Spring 2023 Programming

Alexander Technique

Individual Sessions with Wendy Waggener and Anita Mischuk

Neck or shoulder pain? Shallow breathing? Other issues relating to tension? Learn how to address these issues with breath work and body alignment. 

Numerous appointment times are available Tuesday, February 21 through Saturday, February 25.

Sign-up for a session with Wendy or Anita here.

Bulletproof Musician with Noa Kageyama

Noa Kageyama '98 (Oberlin College, Psychology) is licensed sport and performance psychologist on the faculty at The Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, and New World Symphony. He returns to Oberlin this spring to lead sessions via Zoom. Learn how to practice efficiently, manage performance anxiety, and experiment—with confidence!

Four Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
February 21
February 28
March 7 
March 14

Register here by February 17.


Previous Events

Mindfulness for Performers with John Thomas Dodson

For three Sundays in March, orchestra conductor and mindfulness teacher John Thomas Dodson will lead sessions at Oberlin. Please feel free to bring your instrument to each session, along with some music you're working on. Each meeting will involve learning mindfulness skills and applying them to making music.

Workshop times and locations:

Sunday, March 13: 1-2:30 p.m. in Bibbins Hall 223

Sunday, March 20: 1-2:30 p.m. in Bibbins Hall 325

Sunday, March 27: 1-2:30 p.m. in Bibbins Hall 223

Please register for each session you plan to attend.

There is also a supportive website for this series including videos, quotes, essays, and short guided meditations.



Body Mapping and Yoga Workshops with Rena Urso

Join Rena Urso for two specially curated workshops on Monday, December 13 focusing on meditation and movement exploration through yoga.

Yoga I Workshop: 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Central 21
Yoga II Workshop: 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Bibbins 233

Dress comfortably and if possible, bring your yoga mat.

About the workshop series:

A favorite quote from Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl encapsulates meditation perfectly: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Some believe that in order to mediate all the conditions around them must be perfect; alone in a silent space without any thoughts to cloud the experience. Meditation isn’t the absence of thoughts, and the notion that everything must be just right, or completely silent to practice, is false. 

In the Yoga I Workshop, you will discover how to blend the practice of Yin Yoga and Pranayama with Body Mapping, resulting in greater flexibility and ease in all that you do.

In the Yoga II Workshop, you will learn how to implement meditation principals into your yoga practice, performance, and daily lives.  

About Rena Urso:

As a Licensed Body Mapping Educator Rena presents workshops and masterclasses all over the world, as well as the course she created at CSULB, Body Mapping for the Performing Artist. Her popular monthly column in The Flute View covers a myriad of topics related to injury prevention and musician wellness. Rena is a RYT-200 certified yoga teacher and certified meditation teacher and enjoys blending these somatic and wellness practices to offer musicians essential tools to play without pain. She is also delighted to be a Training Mentor for the Association of Body Mapping Educators.

Learn more about Rena Urso.


Oberlin recommends attendance for vaccinated people. Everyone is required to wear a mask indoors at all times. Anyone with symptoms should refrain from attending campus events. Oberlin policies are subject to change based on evolving public health recommendations.



Performance Psychology Essentials with Noa Kageyama '98

If you are looking for tips to decrease performance anxiety and increase your confidence on stage, this live online series of classes is for you!

This is offered to Oberlin Conservatory students, free of charge. Enrollment is capped at 150 students. 

The live 60-minute sessions will occur on four Thursdays in September, from 1 - 2 pm ET via Zoom. Classes will also be recorded so that students in different time zones can also participate!

Thursday, Sept. 2
Thursday, Sept. 9
Thursday, Sept. 16
Thursday, Sept. 23

To participate, register here.

Learn more about Noa Kageyama.



Yoga for musicians and injury prevention

Sphinx Competition prizewinners Elena Urioste and Melissa White return to host their "Intermission Sessions”—yoga programming focused on physical wellness for musicians.

They will also give two masterclasses for violin and chamber music students on the evening of March 25. Follow the links below to the Events Calendar for more details.

Yoga for Musicians  March 25: 12:00 - 1:15 pm

Learn a series of poses intended specifically to enhance mobility and tone the muscles musicians rely upon. 

Yoga for Musicians: Injury Prevention March 25: 3:30 - 5:45 pm

Learn strategies for practicing that will prevent injury; particularly if you are a string player experiencing discomfort when you play, bring your instrument, and receive coaching to reduce the potential for injury.


March Mindfulness Workshops

Conductor and mindfulness practitioner John Thomas Dodson will lead three virtual mindfulness workshops on three Sundays in March 2021 to offer strategies to help you access inner calm, find ways to take meaningful action, and connect to yourself and the world.

Dodson is the founder of Blue Heron Mindfulness Living  and an expert on Buddhist and Vipassana meditation.

Session 1 March 7: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

  • You might be feeling anxious about the future.
  • You might be feeling lost – without familiar reference points.
  • You might be feeling like you’re losing time, relationships, and skills.

How do you access inner calm regardless of circumstances?

Session 2  March 14: 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Loss of Control

  • You can’t control the field, current conditions, or the future.
  • You might be facing a loss of confidence about pursuing your career path.
  • You might feel unmotivated without traditional goals.

How can you take meaningful action? Where can you impact your world?

Session 3 March 28: 2:00 – 4:00 pm

  • You might be feeling disconnected and isolated.
  • You might be unsure how to connect with people who aren’t nearby.
  • You might be experiencing a deep need to perform and play.

How do you connect to yourself? How can you remake your connection to the world?