Aline Benoit, Teaching Artist Program, mental skills, performance issues
Aline Benoit teaches the course Achieving Your Personal Best in the Mind/Body Department at Longy. An advocate for musician wellness, she has a Masters Degree in Holistic Counseling Psychology from Lesley University, and in 2009 completed the Teacher Practicum in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the U. Mass. Medical Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health-Care and Society. Her many years as a teacher and professional performer, augmented by clinical experience in psychology, inspired her to develop her Performance Enhancement Seminars in 1985. Since that time she has presented programs at colleges, conservatories, festivals and workshops throughout the country including seminars at the Eastman School of Music, Interlochen Arts Academy, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Longy, the MENC state conference in Florida, the Performing Arts Medical Association of Central New York, and at the 2009 and 2010 PAMA Regional Conferences in Boston.
From 2005-2010 she worked as the Performance Enhancement/Stress Management Specialist with Performing Arts Physical Therapy, PC of Boston. From 2005-2008 she wrote the Musician’s Health Forum for the AF of M Local 9 publication The Interlude.
Aline 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. A former member of the Portland Symphony, she has also done extensive freelance work with orchestras in Boston including, the Boston 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 twenty-five national and international tours with that organization.
In her teaching career, Ms Benoit was a member of the applied music faculty at Tufts University for thirteen years. She also taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Lowell and at Clark University. She was on the faculty of the Community Education Division at the Eastman School of Music for four years, and served as Acting Assistant Dean of Students at Eastman. She currently teaches in her private studio in Newton, MA.
Aline Benoit is a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the Performing Arts Medical Association.
“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.
The course I teach at Longy, Achieving Your Personal Best: A Mind/Body Approach to Performance Preparation, was created out of a need that was 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, the meaning of making music.
With the creation of its Mind/Body Department, 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 department 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!”
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.