2017 NATS Winter Workshop

NATS Winter Workshop: January 5 - 7, 2017

Sing the Body Electric: Wellness for Performers and Teachers
Marriott Mission Valley - San Diego, CA

Workshop Schedule  l   Presenters  

NATS-Winter_Workshop_square_Logo_Web.pngAlthough the 2017 Winter Workshop has concluded, we've captured the entire event on video.

Each session has been recorded and is available for purchase.

DVD/CD Order Form

Click here to purchase the 2017 NATS Winter workshop recordings on CD and DVD.

Follow-up Resources from the Presenters

Alexander Technique - bibliography: James Brody

Body Mapping - resources: Bonnie Draina

Body Mapping - handout: Bonnie Draina

Five Tasks of Constructive Rest: James Brody

Whole Notes - Holistic Options for the Singer’s Health and Wellbeing: Dr. Joseph M. DeStefano

YogaVoice® Presentation: Mark Moliterno

A round of applause goes to presenters Jim Brody and Bonnie Draina, Lynn Helding, Mark Moliterno, Janelle DeStefano, Jennie Morton and Joe DeStefano. Attendance was nearly double the average participation over recent years. "It was a vibrant workshop with a great deal of positive feedback and commitment from participants to incorporate what they learned into their studios," said NATS VP for Workshops Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk.


Join NATS for a workshop at the beautiful Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego; this NATS Winter Workshop offers sessions to help both performers and their teachers find greater freedom in their bodies. Exploring various modalities, including the Alexander Technique, Body Mapping and Yoga for Singers, our expert clinicians bring decades of experience in helping musicians find greater physical awareness and freedom.

A primer on the Alexander Technique, followed by master class sessions to apply the technique in one’s singing and teaching lead us to greater body awareness. In-depth sessions on Body Mapping help participants to produce efficient, coordinated, effective movement. Body Mapping, over time, with application, allows any musician to sing or play like a natural. It is a tool that is useful in many different setti ngs from music studios to exercise studios and to all of the somatic disciplines. YogaVoice® explores the eight fold path of Classical Yoga and its application to the lives and work of performing artists, voice professionals, and people who are interested in improving their communication skills and connecting to their innate creativity.
YogaVoice® is an organic way of working with an individual to bring balance and integrity to both the physical instrument and the creative Self, and can complement any vocal method. W e complement our focus on the performer’s body by addressing neurological issues of both singing and teaching.
Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, Vice President for Workshops
Janelle DeStefano, Local Co-coordinator
Laurinda Nikkel, Local Co-coordinator


NATS Featured Presenters

James Brody


James Brody’s oboe playing has been praised by the New York Times for its “wonderfully euphonious spirit.” While a member of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet, he performed concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall and in the Far East. Brody’s major teachers include John Mack, Jerry Sirucek, and William Baker. He also studied the Baroque oboe with Grant Moore and James Caldwell and chamber music with Marcel Moyse.

Brody has studied the Alexander Technique with Marjorie Barstow and Barbara Conable (among others), was teacher certified at The Alexander Foundation, and has created the Wellness Program for Musicians at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a comprehensive approach to the well-being of music students. He has taught the Technique throughout the U.S. and Europe and hosts an annual Summer Course on the CU-Boulder campus.

Brody is the co-author of the textbook Rock and Roll: an introduction published by Schirmer. His degrees are from Indiana University and The Ohio State University.

Janelle DeStefano, DMA

Janelle_Headshot.jpgA passionate teacher and performer, mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano is Associate Professor of Voice at Santa Monica College, where she serves as coordinator of vocal activities.  Prior to joining the full-time faculty at SMC, she taught voice for over two decades at collegiate and community music schools including the USC Thornton School of Music, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of San Diego, as well as in her own private studio.  She holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA), with honors, from USC, a Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College; and a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with honors, from UC Santa Cruz.  As an undergraduate, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and in 2010, was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.  An active NATS member, she was a recipient of the NATS Emerging Leaders Award, and in 2006, was selected to participate in the prestigious NATS Intern Program.

As a performing artist, Janelle enjoys the entire gamut of classical singing, from opera and oratorio to recital and chamber music.  She has been praised for her “passionate delivery” and “rich seamless voice,” and has been featured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; San Diego Opera, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, El Mundo; Bach Collegium San Diego; and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

A long-time practitioner of Yang Style Taiji, Janelle began the study of the Chen Man Ching style to support her health and wellbeing while a student of voice in Princeton, New Jersey.  As she discovered the benefits of Taiji and Qi Gong, she experimented with applying them to her vocal practice.  Returning to her native California, she continued studies with Robert Nations, L.Ac. (Yang Style) and Bill Helm, T.S. (Yang & Chen Styles), and taught the form for a time at California Health Spa in San Diego.  She continues to incorporate qi gong and meditation practices into her personal health regimen, and includes both breathing and postural exercises in her private vocal studio.

Joseph DeStefano II, D.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Joe-DeStefano-Headshot2.pngWith a private practice in Los Angeles, Dr. Joe DeStefano’s passion for the East Asian healing arts grew out of a lifetime of martial arts training.  With over 40 years’ experience in the martial arts, he holds senior black belt ranks in judoaikido, and karate, and has studied several styles of Chinese qi gong and taiji, including the Tao Tan Pai (“Taoist Elixir”) system, as well as the Chen and Yang styles of Taiji.

A California Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, Joe is board certified in acupuncture, holding Diplomate status from the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and is licensed as a Doctor of Acupuncture by the Health Department of the State of Rhode Island.  He earned a Bachelor of Health Science in Asian Holistic Health, cum laude, from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, and a Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine, magna cum laude, from Emperor’s College in Santa Monica.  In 2008, he traveled to China where he participated in an international training program at Yue Yang Integrative Medicine Hospital in Shanghai.  Joe completed externship training in integrative medicine at Providence-St. Joseph’s Medical Center (Burbank, CA) and the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center at the Venice Family Clinic (Venice, CA). His clinical training includes extensive experience in treatment of orthopedic disorders and pain management, as well as the treatment of behavioral health issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addictions.   

Joe is also an alumnus of Loyola Marymount University, where he earned his B.A. while attending LMU on a voice scholarship. He was a member of the critically acclaimed LMU Choruses under the late Maestro Paul Salamunovich, and was a founding member of the LMU Opera Workshop.  A professional singer and voice-over artist for many years, Joe has a strong personal interest in the health of the active performing artist, and continues to perform regularly with the Los Robles Master Chorale based in Ventura County.

Lynn Helding


Lynn Helding recently joined the University Of Southern California Thornton School Of Music as Associate Professor of Practice in Vocal Pedagogy. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Singing and author of the journal’s “Mindful Voice” column, which illuminates current research in the cognitive, neuro- and social sciences as they relate to music teaching, learning and performance. Ms. Helding is a thought-leader within the dynamic field of contemporary voice science, or vocology and was elected to head the founding of the first Vocology association, PAVA, incorporated in 2014 as a 501(c)(6) non-profit association. She was the 2005 recipient of the National Van Lawrence Fellowship, jointly awarded by the NATS Foundation and the Voice Foundation to those who have “demonstrated excellence in their profession as singing teachers, and have shown knowledge of voice science.”

Helding’s stage credits include the title role in the first American production of Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo, and leading mezzo-soprano roles with Harrisburg Opera, Nashville Opera, Tennessee Opera Theatre, and Ohio Light Opera. A deep commitment to art song led her to create such projects as Made in America, a narrative song recital of works by eighteen American composers which toured Italy, France, England, Germany, Spain and Australia and Iceland, and the theatrical performance piece This is My Letter to the World, a song recital which she assembled using spoken fragments of Emily Dickson’s letters interspersed with Dickinson songs by composers Aaron Copland, Jake Heggie, William Bolcolm and Lori Laitman, which premiered at the Brook Center for Music in New York City. Her highlights in chamber music include the title role in Schoenberg’s Perrot Lunaire, broadcast on Nashville Public Television, and Good Night, written for Lynn Helding and the Baltic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra by Icelandic composer Thorkell Sigurbjornnson, which premiered at Miller Theatre’s “New Works” series in New York.

Helding studied voice at the University of Montana, in Vienna, Austria, and at Indiana University, where she was the first singer ever accepted to pursue the prestigious Artist Diploma in Voice. She earned her master’s degree in vocal pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and completed theSummer Vocology Institute of the National Center for Voice and Speech in Salt Lake City. Her voice teachers have included Esther England, Dale Moore, and Chris Arneson, and voice science mentors Scott McCoy, Ingo Titze and Katherine Verdolini-Abbott. Previous to USC, she taught voice at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, and served twenty-two years as Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Performance Studies at Dickinson College.

Bonnie Draina

Bonnie_Draina_headshot150x175.jpgBonnie Draina has been teaching Body Mapping to musicians and athletes since 2002, presenting courses and workshops across North America from Hawaii to Newfoundland, for colleges, universities and professional groups. Her clear understanding of the challenges facing performing artists, comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy and engaging presence combine to make her a popular and effective presenter. As a studio voice teacher for 20 years, she has taught at schools such as Drew University and Princeton Theological Seminary. Most recently at the University of Colorado-Boulder, she taught studio voice and vocal pedagogy, and played a key role in the expansion of the Musicians' Wellness Initiative. Dr. Draina holds MM and DMA degrees in voice performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and University of Colorado - Boulder. She is the 2013 recipient of the Van Lawrence Fellowship, which allowed her to further her study of muscle tension dysphonia and other voice disorders.

A classically-trained soprano with eclectic tastes, Dr. Draina has premiered and previewed works by composers such as Lee Hoiby, John B. Hedges, Carter Pann, Sayaka Ishikawa and Laurie Altman, and has a repertoire of several hundred songs, chamber works and operatic and oratorio roles in nine languages. Dr. Draina has worked in the arts in various capacities, including development for the New York Philharmonic, costuming at the Bucks County Playhouse, and opera direction with Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts. Over the years, she has played instruments ranging from piano to sousaphone with marching, jazz and rock bands. In 2014 Mountain Peak Press published Notes of Hope, for which she contributed the chapter titled "Rethinking Recovery." Her Breathing Book for Singers will be released by Mountain Peak Press in 2017.

Bonnie is an avid gardener and proponent of food fermentation, a craft she studied while living at a sustainability education center in Costa Rica. She resides in Nashville with her husband and young son.

Jennie Morton, BSc (Hons) Osteopathy, MS Psychology


Jennie Morton began her career as a classical Ballet dancer before moving into musical theatre, performing on tour and in the West End for many years. She was also the lead singer of a top UK Big Band for 10 years. She subsequently trained as an Osteopath specializing in the treatment of all performing artists, and worked at The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine Clinic in London (UK) for 10 years. Her treatments are focused on injury prevention, rehabilitation, and integration into performance, and she is a specialist in laryngeal manual therapy for vocalists. Now living in Los Angeles, she runs clinics for performing artists at two locations, and also offers performance coaching for singers, actors, instrumentalists, and dancers. She is an adjunct professor at Chapman University, where she works with both the dance and music students, and is on the Board of Directors for the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), an international organization dedicated to the health and wellbeing of performing artists.

Jennie is dedicated to the provision of education on the subject of healthy practice in the performing arts, and provides lectures and workshops internationally for performers, teachers, and medical professionals on the subject of injury prevention and management. She is an Honorary Lecturer for the MSc in Performing Arts Medicine at University College London, for which she compiled the Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular Injury module, and is on the Health and Wellness Committee for the International Society for Music Education. Published articles include “Voice and Dance Technique Integration for Musical Theatre - Triple Threat or Double Trouble?” for the VASTA Voice and Speech Review Journal, “Osteopathy In The Arts” for The Osteopath journal, “The Hazards of the Musical Theatre Workplace” and “The Integration of Voice and Dance Techniques in Musical Theatre” for Medical Problems of Performing Artists, “Osteopathy For Singers” for iSing Magazine, as well as several others on injury management for dancers and musicians. Jennie is the founder of www.healthyperformers.com, and her book The Authentic Performer: Wearing A Mask And The Effect On Health was published in May 2015.

Mark Moliterno, MM, RYT-500, CYT, Founder of YogaVoice®

MMoliterno-Headshot-crop-web.pngMark Moliterno is an accomplished professional opera singer, voice teacher, yoga teacher, IAYT-certified Yoga Therapist, workshop leader, and author and is known as a specialist in helping people understand and overcome physical and energetic blockages to their authentic voices. His extensive performing career has taken him to many countries in a variety of leading operatic roles and as a concert soloist and recitalist. Mark is the founder of YogaVoice®, a unique program which combines several traditions of Yoga philosophy and practice with historical Systematic Vocal Technique, to develop authenticity and wellness in the art of singing. He presents YogaVoice® workshops at professional conferences and gatherings internationally. Mark has published articles in YogaLiving Magazine, The Journal of Singing, The AAM Journal, is a co-author of The Musician’s Breath, and is the author and featured instructor of The Musician’s Breath Yoga DVD. His work, especially related to overcoming performance anxiety, was featured in an article in the May 2014 Yoga Journal magazine, entitled, “How to be fearless”. Mark is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and maintains active private voice and yoga therapy studios in Princeton, NJ and Harleysville, PA. Please visit his website: www.theyogavoice.com.

Mark Moliterno holds the BM and MM degrees in Voice and Opera from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where his mentor was the famous vocal pedagogue, Richard Miller. He subsequently continued his formal musical studies at Rutgers University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Study in Aldeburgh, England, and the Hochschüle für Musik, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Mark currently maintains his singing activity as a performer in the recital and concert repertoires. Known for his compelling and artistic recital singing, he is heard regularly in the New York/Philadelphia area.