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Workshop: Counseling for musicians, students and teachers


Studying or teaching music means doing something you have chosen and love. Therefore you enjoy unique moments with the sound you produce and the emotion you communicate. You discover new friendships, collaborations and challenges: you share with classmates and colleagues things you cannot share with others - often not even with your family -, you set new goals, you derive joy and satisfaction, you encounter reward, admiration, recognition. 


However, doing what you love doesn't mean it's effortless, nor does it mean it relieves you of the other demands and challenges of life. How do you manage, for example, the stress before an exam or a concert? How do you organize your time? How do you balance your other obligations (school, university, work, family) and your need to study music? How do you manage high expectations or challenge from your family, teacher or employer and your environment in general? And how do you handle potential competition in student or professional music ensembles? Are you a perfectionist, do you have high expectations of yourself and do you "punish" yourself? Or do you have low self-confidence and feel that you are being wronged? Are you anxious about your professional and financial rehabilitation? 


These are just a few of the issues that musicians - all over the world - have to learn to manage from an early age. Many manage on their own, but sometimes it takes a lot of time. The tools of counselling can support you - whether you are a student or a professional musician - to discover and cultivate the skills necessary to grow in what you love at less cost and avoiding emotional pitfalls. 



Method and tools

We will work in groups of about twenty people and in sub-groups of four or five. The tools of counselling are applied, namely careful listening, sharing, trust, acceptance, confidentiality. Group members are invited to share with their sub-group initially and then with the plenary group both the emotional difficulties they are experiencing and the ways they have tried to manage them. The coordinator intervenes in the process by giving guidance and towards the end of the meeting with advice, techniques and instructions on how to manage the issues raised more effectively. 



Duration: three hours per meeting 



The coordinator 

Xanthoula Papapanagiotou is a music educator (M.A., PhD, University of London, Institute of Education) and a mental health counsellor (MSc, University of Thessaly, Department of Special Education). She has studied piano and higher theory at the Municipal Conservatory of Volos, vocal performance at the Angela Lalaounis Conservatory in Athens, traditional clarinet and traditional percussion with various teachers in Volos. She is a graduate of the Department of Music Studies of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Arsakios Pedagogical Academy of Psychiko. She has taught music in primary and secondary schools in the country and for fifteen years she was a school music teacher's advisor in Northern Greece and then in Thessaly. Since 2017 she is a permanent lecturer of Music Pedagogy at the Department of Primary Education of the University of Thessaly. As a mental health counsellor she works with various educational and social institutions in the coordination of groups trained in emotion management. For the last three years she has specialized in the professional and personal development of musicians through individual or group counseling sessions.

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