Self-Care Information



Constructive Rest 

Lying Down


Over a couch or chair 


Sitting in a chair 

Five Tasks of Constructive Rest

  1. Cultivate a whole and integrated body awareness

  2. Cultivate the greatest degree of muscular freedom you can have in the moment.

  3. Cultivate ease in your breathing

  4. Cultivate an accurate, adequate body map

  5. Cultivate and renew your relationship with the space you are in and the pacing of time. 

(be in the moment you are in and set a timer if you fear falling asleep or taking too much time)


Recommendation is 10 minutes of constructive rest, 2 times a day. 


Constructive Rest Guided Series by David Nesmith






Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker 


Sleep - 20% increase in performance speed and almost 35% increase in accuracy after after 8 hours of sleep (Brain continues to improve motor skill in absence of further practice)

after sleep - the uneveness was gone in performance ... brain practices the transitions during sleep:  moving memory from short term/long term storage to brain circuits that are unconscious (automatic)


Over 750 scientific studies with sleep and human performance - many using elite athletes.  

These are the results for anything less than 8 hours of sleep per night:  time to physical exhaustion drops 13-30%; aerobic output is reduced; impairments in limb extension, vertical jump; decreases in peak and sustained muscle strength, impairments in metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory capabilities.... etc. 

Flute Resources on Body Mapping


Body Mapping for Flutists by Lea Pearson 


The Breathing Book for Flutists by Amy Likar 


Move Well Avoid Injury DVD with Amy Likar and Barbara Conable

Available for Digital Download at 


Guides on Practicing


Practicing for Artistic Success by Burton Kaplan


The Art of Practicing by Madeline Bruser


Practice Techniques


  1. The goal is maximum efficiency, not mindless repetition.

  2. Have written goals for each practice section - write down your experience each practice session, did you meet the goal?,  what do you need to change for the next time

  3. Warmups should include your body - AO joint, feet, pelvis, hip joints, arm joints;  awareness of these places can be incorporated with long tones, slow scales or improvising.

  4. Involve all of your senses.

  5. Hard spots - is it a rhythm problem, a note/finger problem or both? Is there a pattern (Ab fully diminished arpeggio?  What specifically makes this spot hard?

  6. Chunking - instead of playing the whole thing, start in smaller pieces, maybe just a few notes at a time

  7. Frequent breaks to evaluate what’s happening (or not) with your body.  Set the timer on your phone for 5-10 minutes, stop, check in with yourself, start again.

  8. Mental practice - your brain doesn’t know the difference between extremely accurate mental practicing and practicing with flute in hand.

  9. Really interesting practice techniques on this podcast -

  10. Are you using appropriate effort for the task?  Goldilocks rule - not too much, not too little, just the right amount for the job.

Overview of resources on Performance Anxiety 

Must be an NFA Member to access


Conable, Barbara. “What to do about performance anxiety,” Andover Educators (2004);  

Conable was the founder of Andover Educators which was recently renamed the Association for Body Mapping Education. This article presents a clear, easy-to-understand examination of performance anxiety and how to deal with it. 


Kageyama, Noa

Noa Kageyama, a seasoned musician with a master’s from Juilliard who then went to Indiana University for a PhD in psychology, has developed the website and program, “The Bulletproof Musician,” to systematically train musicians to work on their practice in such a way to enhance their performances.  He has an online course called “Beyond Practicing 101,” and he writes a blog with interesting posts.


Time Management


Ask yourself what is getting in your way?

Ie: social media, cell phone, email, social media, texts, social media


What else takes you away from your work? 


Other Resources

Wonderful podcast with Bronwen Ackermann on Musicians and Injuries 


Chair cushion:  Judy Johnson Henderson  -

From Amy - This chair cushion has made it possible for me to do all of the online teaching I do and feel good! Love this seat cushion! It turns any metal folding chair into a decent chair! From Kelly - I have one also!  Love it!!


Therm-A-Rest Trail Seat 

Also good and and can roll up and fit in a gig back when you can’t carry the chair wedge described above. (From Kelly - I have one of these in the car for use in the driver’s seat.)