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Mental Health Day „Going the mindful way“

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Gasometer B, Guglgasse 8
1110 Vienna

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Participation on site: Gasometer B, Spielraum, Guglgasse 8, 1110 Vienna

Participation online:  JAM MUSIC STAGE

All workshops will be held in English.

Open to students and teachers at Austrian music universities. Participation is free of charge.

Mental health is the essence of our activity in this world. The less distraction happens through an unsteady mind, the easier it becomes to master a study or to learn an instrument. Our life is becoming more and more hectic, the stimuli are becoming more and more intense and uncontrollable. This requires a healthy approach to external circumstances, which we are often unable to change.

Mindfulness is a way to gain resilience in order to better cope with the increasingly complex demands of life, studies and the music business.

At the Mental Health Day we would like to set gentle impulses, present scientific findings as well as focus on our personal inner life. This might give rise to ideas that can be helpful in your studies and career as an artist.


10:00 WELCOME - Univ.-Prof. Peter Gabis

10:15 WORKSHOP "Mental health and mindfulness in everyday life at the university"
Prof. Dr. Mike Sandbothe and Asena Boyadzhieva (MSc)

11:45 Lunch break

13:00 WORKSHOP "Music beyond shame"
Thomas Rückert

16:00 Afternoon break

16:30 LECTURE "Mindfulness in Music Business" (Lecture)
Richard "Wolfie" Wolf               

17:30 PODIUM DISCUSSION with the speakers and questions from the audience
Moderation: Prof. Peter Gabis

10:15 - 11:45

Workshop: "Mental health and mindfulness in everyday life at the university"

Prof. Dr. Mike Sandbothe and Asena Boyadzhieva (MSc) (Wien)

Mike Sendbote (c)Peter-MimietzWhen people talk about "mindfulness" today, they usually associate it with the idea of individual mindfulness exercises that are performed on the yoga mat or meditation cushion and that, when applied daily, enable a meta-conscious approach to one's own consciousness. The workshop introduces the experience of individual mindfulness practice through selected practices (e.g. Breathing Space Exercise, Body Scan, Mindful Movement Exercises) and provides space for sharing experiences. In addition, a concern of the event is to open the horizon also for social, systemic and ecological mindfulness practices. These can contribute in an effective way to making change potentials in institutional structures perceptible, which have an impact on mental health in everyday university life.

The workshop will demonstrate how all four types of mindfulness practices (individual, social, systemic, and ecological) are important for establishing mindfulness in higher education. In doing so, he draws on concrete experiences gathered in the framework of the supra-regional cooperation platform Mindful Universities with multidimensional training programs for students, teachers, staff and leaders at universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Prof. Dr. Mike Sandbothe is founder of the cross-regional cooperation platform Mindful Universities, managing director of Mindful Digital and member of the Mindful Universities Research Lab.

As Professor of Culture and Media and Director of the Institute for Innovative Health Technologies, he works at the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena. From 2015 to 2019, he led the Thuringian model project Mindful Universities in the Digital Society and the AOK-PLUS innovation project Healthy Teaching and Learning (GLL) at Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena.

He has been working on the transfer of project results at the European level within the Erasmus+ program Training in Embodied Critical Thinking (TECT) since 2020. The certified MBSR trainer and Mindful University Lecturer is co-editor of the book series Mindfulness Education Media.

Asena Boyadzhieva is a mind scientist and mindfulness educator. After completing her master's degree in Cognitive Science (MEi:CogSci) at the University of Vienna, she became a certified yoga teacher (RYT® 200) and Achtsam.Digital Trainer for MBST® 1.0. Her academic background provides her with a framework for understanding mental processes, but she believes that true insight comes from embodied experience. She incorporates a variety of practices, such as yoga, tai-chi, and dance, to explore the mind-body connection. Asena is passionate about sharing what she has learned through teaching mindfulness and yoga, especially in an educational context. She aims to bridge individual mindfulness practices with social and environmental themes. At the heart of her approach is the use of the breath as a powerful tool for creating connections between systems, from the body out into the world.


13:00 - 16:00

Workshop: Music beyond shame 

Thomas Rückert (Cologne)

Thomas-Rückert(c)AnnaSiggelkowWhether you are a musician or a student of music, you know the feeling of shame or even fear and panic when you make a mistake while playing music. Does the experience of being on stage create a feeling of joy or security, or is the very idea of it a trigger for stress and discomfort? Is it possible to move in music without stress or anxiety, or does one feel constantly on guard not to make mistakes?

If making music is stressful, then perhaps it's time to let go of early trained beliefs and behavior patterns that sabotage the heart's desire to express itself in music. This practical workshop would like to give helpful suggestions and impulses for this.

Thomas Rückert has been a music teacher and freelance musician for over 25 years. He worked with Lee Konitz, Mark Murphy, Kevin Mahogany, Tony Lakatos, Adam Nussbaum, Randy Brecker, Ack van Rooyen, Jay Anderson, Thomas Morgan and John Goldsby.

In addition, he completed two trainings in Orgodynamics and Somatic Experience by Peter Levine, which teach methods for overcoming trauma. They inspired him to develop numerous techniques to release shame and fear within us while making music, and to increase confidence, aliveness, and joy. He applies this approach in his teaching work as a lecturer for jazz piano at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, the Bergische University in Wuppertal and the Institute of Music in Osnabrück.

16:30 - 17:30

Online Lecture: „Mindfulness in Music Business“

Richard „Wolfie“ Wolf (Los Angeles)

Richard Wolf(c)Shaina WoolleyEmmy-Award winning composer, multi-platinum music producer, USC mindfulness teacher and author Richard "Wolfie" Wolf invites us to take a deep look at the special relationship between the worlds of music, meditation and mindfulness. He shows how these connections can help musicians, students and music fans alike fend off the “Four Horseman of the Musical Apocalypse”: anxiety, depression, addiction and suicide.

In his Podcast „Wolf in Tune“ he interviews artists, musicians, music executives, and mindfulness experts to discuss helpful coping mechanisms for high-stress lifestyles. In this Lecture he gives us a compressed and very vivid insight in how music can be a bridge to a more expansive awareness and a more harmonious way of life.

Richard “Wolfie” Wolf is an Emmy Award ™ winning composer, multi-Platinum RIAA awarded record producer and songwriter, teacher and noted author. 

As a songwriter/ producer/remixer Wolf worked on some of the seminal projects that were the first to fuse Hip-Hop with R&B/Pop on recordings with Prince, Bell Biv Devoe, Freddy Mercury, Coolio, Seal, & MC Lyte. His production and songwriting also appeared on the first Acid Jazz collection The Rebirth Of The Cool Vol.1  (Island Records). Wolf has produced and composed songs and scores for popular visual media for over four decades. He has contributed to the soundtracks for thousands of television episodes ranging from twelve seasons of NCIS and The Sandman to Oprah  and the NFL. His music has also appeared in many films ranging from Madonna’s “Who's That Girl” to “Scooby-Doo & The Cyber Chase”. 

Wolf is on the faculty of The University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music where he teaches a class on "Music & Mindfulness" which was the first course at a university level to explore the special relationship between the two practices. His book “In Tune: Music As The Bridge To Mindfulness” is acclaimed as an innovative guide to contemplative practices for musical people and was the inspiration for his podcast “Wolf In Tune”. The book was written up in The New Yorker, Parade Magazine, Mindful Magazine, Mashable, Spirituality & Health and others.

Wolf has led a five part series on “Mindfulness for the Music Community” for The Recording Academy’s MusiCares and has given similar talks and presentations for the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, ASCAP, The Kroger Wellness Festival and others.

17:30 - 18:15

PODIUM DISCUSSION with the speakers and Q&A from the audience

Moderation: Prof. Peter Gabis (Vienna)

PeterGabisFotocreditSimonBrucknerPeter Gabis teaches jazz drums, percussion, rhythmic training and mindfulness for musicians at the JAM MUSIC LAB private university. In addition to his many years as a musician, he has been involved in consciousness training and meditation for 20 years now. Peter Gabis is a certified trainer for MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and completed the master's course "Mindfulness in Education, Counseling and Health Care" at the KPH Vienna/Krems.

With the friendly support of the Austrian National Union of Students

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