Melissa Vining is a flutist, teacher, and specialist in musicians’ health and wellness. Melissa teaches musicians about skills and strategies to help reduce risk of playing-related injury and increase confidence in their playing. A dynamic leader in the music community, she is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and serves on the board of the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association (MMTA). Melissa’s work in musicians’ health and wellness inspired her recent presentation on injury prevention at the 2017 MTNA National Conference in Baltimore, MD.
Melissa enjoys teaching diverse groups of students as both an independent music teacher and a public-school band director. She is the founder and director of Mind Body Music Academy, an independent teaching studio in Boston offering flute lessons for adults and children and musicians’ wellness education services for musicians and music teachers. Melissa also works as a competition adjudicator, notably, for the junior and senior woodwind groups at the 2017 MTNA Eastern Division Competition at Boston University.
Melissa strives for excellence as both a musician and a teacher. In 2017, she was awarded the MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant to support professional growth through continuing education. She has participated in many workshops, lectures, and classes including Body Mapping, Alexander Technique, Koru Mindfulness, injury prevention, fitness for musicians, and mental performance preparation. Melissa currently performs as a freelance flutist in Boston. She previously played as substitute flutist with the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra and substitute alto saxophonist with the Mood Swings Jazz Orchestra.
Melissa earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa where she studied flute with Dr. Angeleita Floyd, Dr. Angela Collier Reynolds, and Dr. Hannah Leffler, and studied piano with Sean Botkin. As an undergraduate student, Melissa performed in masterclasses with Dr. Virginia Broffitt Kunzer, Shivhan Dohse Morton, and Erica Peel. She served in several leadership positions at UNI, including drum major of the 300-member marching band and chapter president of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.
Melissa went on to earn her Master of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University. As a graduate student, she gained foundational business skills which propelled her forward in her career as an independent musician, teacher, and entrepreneur. Melissa worked as an arts administrator for several music organizations including the Boston Flute Academy, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and the Community Music Center of Boston. Additionally, she worked on the 2016-2017 capital campaign for Trinity Church in the City of Boston, where she helped raise $25 million for the restoration of Trinity’s historic building in Copley Square.