The School for Soulful Artistry™
The School’s Mission
To support high school and college students in the performing and visual arts in acquiring the life, interpersonal, personal empowerment, artistry, and performance skills that facilitate greater self-efficacy and personal agency, improved health and wellness, enhanced artistry, creative freedom, and the capacity to create successful and fulfilling lives.
This mission is accomplished through in-person and online offerings that combine recent breakthroughs in mind–body medicine, neuroscience, somatic, performance, and sports psychology, with time-proven contemplative and mindfulness practices, and innovative approaches to artistic expression. The tools and techniques presented in the school’s curricula are intended to be applied both within a student’s artistic endeavors and within their daily life.
Fulfilling the School’s Mission
The School for Soulful Artistry™ fulfills its mission by:
- Presenting cutting-edge curricula at performing arts high schools and pre-college programs
- Offering small group performance immersions for college and post-college musicians (up to age 30) on the school’s campus
- Conducting and publishing performance-oriented research
What Makes the School’s Curricula So Unique?
The School for Soulful Artistry™ recognizes the interconnectedness of a student’s everyday life and their artistic endeavors. The school’s curricula is focused on helping students develop skills that promote resilience, self-esteem, life balance, mind-body wellness, and healthy relationships. With those skills in place, students are not only able to achieve their artistic goals, but they have the capacity to design a life that reflects their creative spirit.
Today’s students are navigating a world that can often impede their ability to connect to their artistic voice—sensory overload, the effects of social media, disembodiment due to a reliance on technology, bullying and cyber bullying, peer pressure, academic demands, and societal polarization of viewpoints and agendas. All of these experiences can produce mental, emotional, and physical symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, fear, hopelessness, and physical tension or pain. The school’s curricula is focused on offering specific tools and practices to help students navigate today’s world so it is possible to connect to and fulfill their artistic and creative dreams.
Principle of Soulful Artistry
For students to fulfill their creative potential, they need a combination of cutting-edge artistry and performance skills along with life, interpersonal, and personal resiliency skills.
Curricula Grounded in Science, Research, and Proven Methodologies
The curricula offered by The School for Soulful Artistry™ is based on research conducted by Dr. Ferguson, arts-based research, and research conducted by other performance and performance anxiety researchers. In addition, the curricula is informed by proven techniques and tools from mind-body medicine, polyvagal theory, emotional self-regulation, embodied practices and somatic psychology, trauma research, Capacitar: Multicultural Wellness Education, and the HeartMath Institute.
The School for Soulful Artistry™ is committed to conducting research exploring the interventions and approaches that address performance anxiety and perceived blockages in the creative process. To identify the root causes underneath performance issues, the school’s research explores the stories, life experiences, and social interactions that construct a student’s personal mythology (the conscious and unconscious beliefs and values that dictate a performer’s ability to perform well under pressure), and the patterns and dynamics that inhibit an individual from discovering and communicating their unique artistry. Research studies will be conducted both online and in person on campus during The Soulful Musician™ performance immersions. Findings will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
© 2015 Gary Jobe Ferguson, Ph.D.