Aline Benoit, Mind/Body - Mental Skills, Performance Issues
Aline Benoit is on the faculty of the Mind/Body and Teaching Artist Programs at Longy. An advocate for musician wellness, she has a Masters Degree in Holistic Counseling Psychology from Lesley University, and has completed the teacher training in Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction at the U. Mass. Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health-Care and Society. She is a Certified Music Practitioner, through the Music for Healing and Transition Program, and is currently working as a CMP with the Palliative Care Team at Mount Auburn Hospital.
Her many years as a teacher and professional performer, augmented by clinical experience in psychology, inspired her to develop her Performance Enhancement seminars, which she has presented at colleges, conservatories, festivals and workshops throughout the country. For Longy’s Mind/Body Program, she teaches an experiential course in mental skills/wellness: Achieving your Personal Best: A Mind/Body Approach to Performance Preparation.
Dedicated to the Teaching Artist Program’s mission of community engagement and social justice, Ms. Benoit teaches the project-based course The Healing Art of Music, and coordinates the students’ interactive performances at Longy’s Community Partners, a group of five area health care facilities.
Ms. Benoit received a Bachelor of Music with Honors and a Performer’s Certificate in Clarinet from the Eastman School of Music. Her first professional position was that of Principal Clarinetist of the National Symphony of Costa Rica. She has done freelance work with the Boston Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, Emmanuel Music, Boston Classical Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Boston and the Boston Pops. Currently she is a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Since 1998 she has played 2nd and E-flat clarinet with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and has made more than thirty national and international tours with that organization.
In her teaching career, she was a member of the applied music faculty at Tufts University for thirteen years. She also taught at the U. Mass. Boston and Lowell, and at Clark University. She was on the faculty of the Community Education Division at the Eastman School of Music, as well as the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. She currently teaches in her private studio in Newton, MA.
Aline Benoit is a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the College Music Society
I’ve always liked the State University of New York’s motto “Let each become all s/he is capable of being.” In many ways, this reflects my hopes as a teacher: to assist my students in the process of realizing their potential. I see my role as that of facilitator in their discovery of personal strengths and talents.
One of the courses I teach at Longy, Achieving Your Personal Best: A Mind/Body Approach to Performance Preparation, was created out of a need left unaddressed in my own music education. The focus at that time was mostly on technical and interpretive aspects of music making. No one was really examining the psychology and physiology of performance preparation. I’ve always been fascinated by the person behind the instrument, by the process of artistic creation and expression.
With its Mind/Body Program, Longy is in the vanguard of this movement to heighten awareness of the whole musician, the whole person. I believe that most students already have the seeds of their success within them—they just need to be nurtured. The Longy students with whom I have worked bring such a high level of insight, musical sophistication and openness to the class that it is inspiring and enlightening for all of us. The best thing about the skills, strategies, ideas and philosophy we explore in our program is that they enable our students to be more successful, not just in their musical performances, but on the most important stage of all: life!
Longy’s Teaching Artist Program also addresses another need in music education in the 21st century: finding and creating ways to expand our audiences, and offering increased educational and employment possibilities for our students. In my Healing Art of Music class, I have had the privilege of witnessing the joy and healing power of live music, as our students share their skill and love in performances for underserved populations in the community. As a teacher, I believe experiential learning imparts profound lessons that surpass any other teaching method.
B.M. (clarinet) Eastman School of Music; M.A. (holistic counseling psychology) Lesley University. Teacher’s Practicum (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Solo, chamber and orchestral performances, including the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Mental skills/stress management consultant for performing artists since 1986. (Over 100 workshops for music schools, festivals and other organizations throughout the US.) Faculty: Longy School of Music.