By Frances Wilson  -  17 April 2020

Founded by renowned violinist Gwendolyn Masin, The Exhale is a series of holistic music masterclasses bringing together a faculty of world-class artists and practitioners. Created for professional musicians, string students who wish to pursue a professional career, players in search of professional development, and amateur musicians, The Exhale offers musicians a safe space to explore, pause and refresh; a place to begin an inner journey to understanding, without outward expectation. A place to exhale. 

Behind the discipline, professionalism and creativity that music-making demands, Gwendolyn Masin recognises the need for internal wellbeing, both emotional and physical. Her vision is a retreat for professional, student and amateur players alike, with exceptional music-making running alongside sessions for the mind and body. 

Originally scheduled to take place at Lake Biel in Switzerland from 13th April, like everything else The Exhale has been impacted by the global coronavirus crisis, but rather than cancel the event, Gwendolyn has moved it online. With an expanded faculty (currently numbering over twenty artists) and a repurposed curriculum, the course is even more comprehensive than before, with the added advantage of being accessible to a wider audience. 

The Exhale will provide much-needed support, advice and inspiration for musicians who may be without access to their regular teacher or who wish to gain insight and encouragement from a broader range of tutors and practitioners. 

The curriculum is designed to guide participants along various journeys through music, movement, mental and physical wellbeing, and nutrition. World-class instrumental-teaching is intermingled with sessions on performance anxiety, how to practice, basics of breathing technique, self-care and resilience, creative enterprise, body mapping, yoga, nutrition, Alexander Technique, listening with your whole body, psychology, Feldenkrais, Dispokinesis, improvisation and meditation. 

The Exhale brings together a faculty of over 20 tutors, many of whom are internationally-renowned musicians, including Gwendolyn Masin, cellists Ruth Phillips and Dale Culliford, violinists Franziska Huber, Pavlo Beznosiuk and Jennifer Johnson (author of What Every Violinist Needs to Know About the Body), Yoga teacher Clare Nicholls, violist and Alexander Technique practitioner Matthew Jones, and psychotherapists Emma Black and Dana Fonteneau. 

The Exhale fosters musical freedom, inspiration as well as musicality as a whole, based on a harmonic balance of concentration and performance along with physical and mental well-being. This is a time for sharing and growing together. Participant fees are by donation, and The Exhale will be giving a portion of its participant donations to selected charities. 

Find out more at www.the-exhale.com

About Frances Wilson

Frances Wilson is a pianist, piano teacher, music PR, and writer on music and pianism as The Cross-Eyed Pianist. In addition to her blog, Frances is a regular writer for Hong Kong-based classical music website Interlude HK, and has also written for Pianist magazine, reviewed for Bachtrack.com, and contributed a series of articles on Schubert's penultimate piano sonata to The Schubertian, the journal of the Schubert Institute of the UK. She has also appeared on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters to discuss the role of music criticism today and the effect of the internet on music journalism and writing. Frances lives in west Dorset with her husband, cat and 'Bechy', a 1913 C Bechstein grand piano.

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