Musicians' Mind Body Warm Up Challenge: Who is Travis Baird?
Some of you may not be familiar with Travis Baird, who is both a violist, music educator, performance coach, and meditation teacher. I first met Travis in person this past summer at the viola conference in Los Angeles, but came across his work last year. Here’s a little bit about Travis~
Q: When did you first become interested in movement/mind body practices and how it affects music making?
A: Back in 2010, I was living in Baltimore and working on my master's degree. While I loved the high-intensity conservatory environment, I did not love the way my body was starting to feel. My back hurt after every rehearsal and I could sense the early signs of several injuries creeping up in my shoulders and neck. Desperate for anything that might help, I stumbled into my first yoga class. Looking back, I realize how lucky I was: the teacher of that yoga class was extremely sensitive to her students' needs and highly skilled as a teacher. A new level of body awareness started blossoming that day. It didn't take long before I was totally obsessed with exploring the full range of how mind body practices influenced music making.
Q: What forms of mind body training do you have and what teachers inspire you?
A: While most of my training is in yoga and meditation, I take a broad approach to my own wellness and I incorporate a wide range of modalities. I spend most days working with folks on mindfulness, meditation, and stress management, so the teachers who I find myself continually returning to are in those areas of expertise. Some of my most recent inspirations have come from Jack Kornfield and Kristin Neff.
Q: What are your favorite ways to move (especially folks who live in very cold climates!)?
A: Each day, I ask myself what type of movement I need. Today, that meant that I started the day with a simple yoga sequence to warm up the core and move my spine a bit. Later today, I'll hit the gym for some medium-intensity squats and deadlifts because I could use a little strengthening in those areas to counter the amount of sitting I've done this week. My favorite go-to movement is a slow hike through the woods, immersing myself in the sights, sounds, and smells of ever-changing nature.
Q: If you could have coffee with a living or dead composer, who would it be?
A: Caroline Shaw. Or Merrill Garbus. In their own ways, they each create music that is powerful, thought-provoking, and beautiful. And they both seem to be extraordinarily interesting people.
Q: How can people connect with your offerings?
A: You can find more of my work at my websites -- Dynamic Music Teacher: dynamicmusicteacher.com and Travis Baird Coaching: travisbairdcoaching.com. If you'd like to explore my methodology for reducing performance anxiety, check out my online course: https://travis-baird.teachable.com/p/performance-ready. And if you're interested in working together to reduce stress, manage overwhelm, and prevent burnout, I'd love to talk with you. My favorite way to work with people is through 1-on-1 coaching. To find out more about how we can work together, send me an email at email@example.com