Vourneen Ryan is a Performance Psychologist and Owner of The School of Performance.
Vourneen is a professional musician who performs regularly with many of the major orchestras in Ireland and the UK, including the RTE Concert Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Vourneen was invited to join the internationally-acclaimed Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004, where she held the post of Co-Principal Flute.
Vourneen’s appetite for performance psychology was born from her own experience of working in a high level performing environment. Vourneen felt her own training as a professional musician did not equip her with the necessary tools to deal with performance situations such as auditions, examinations and high stress performances. A 1987 study of the 51 largest orchestras in the U.S. found that about 27% of symphony musicians took beta blockers occasionally to help calm their nerves before a performance.
Vourneen was drawn to the world of sport for inspiration and was introduced to a wealth of knowledge from the field of sports psychology. She continued in pursuit of this knowledge at Waterford Institute of Technology earning a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Since then, Vourneen has worked with musicians of all skill levels and ages. As a professional performing artist herself, Vourneen employs a hands on approach to her performance psychology practice, with a strong emphasis on the practical aspects of mental skills training. She has delivered Team Development workshops to students at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Mental Skills Training for Performance workshops to students at the University of Limerick and DKIT. Vourneen is currently a teacher of flute studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and utilises mental skills training techniques to motivate and inspire her students.
Vourneen believes that elite performers like professional musicians can learn from the mental training regimes embraced by sports psychology. Mindful Mental Toughness can be developed, such that performing under pressure is something to be anticipated and planned for, not feared.
Robin Panter- facilitator and workshop leader specialising in team development.
Robin Panter is from Liverpool and studied the Viola at the Royal Northern College of Music with Roger Benedict and Scott Dickinson. In 2004 Robin joined the viola section of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and while in Glasgow teamed up with a group of musicians to set up a Scottish version of “El Sistema” visiting Venezuela and applying its groundbreaking social and community development programme into schools in Raploch, Stirling. Robin now lives in Ireland where he is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and regularly performs with the RTÉ and Ulster orchestras amongst others. Robin is also a keen chamber musician and is a member of the Robinson Panoramic Quartet (Violin Viola Cello and Bass) who have commissioned many new pieces from Irish composers, four of which were performed as part of a residency at Kaleidoscope Night 2014. Robin has facilitated workshops for Music Generation Louth, Music Generation Carlow, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and The Royal Irish Academy of Music and Big Noise Scotland among others.
Robin plays a John Dilworth viola and a Noel Burke bow which were partially funded and supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Music Network is funded by The Arts Council.