This week it was an honor to speak with Performance Anxiety Coach: Amber Nicole Dilger. She talked about how art can alleviate anxiety and be used to help others. Amber Nicole Dilger is a licensed Music Educator and has had her teaching license for teaching kindergarten through grade 12 for over 20 years. Why is Amber passionate about her work? The Art of Storytelling has always been at the center of her life. As a young child, she was captivated by stories told in books. She was deeply moved by stories singers sang, emotionally touched by performances of actors and dancers, and enthralled by stories told instrumentally. She found it fascinating how especially the wordless parts of stories played upon our shared cultural expectations of sounds and patterns in order to influence our emotions and ideas. She started to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves in order to learn new skills. Learning and functioning within our understanding of the world is directly related to the stories that our minds and bodies hold so tightly. Peeking into the studies of neuroscience (and specifically cognitive neuroscience) made her years of studying education as an undergraduate click into place with new clarity. She is intrigued by each day that she gets to spend in this lifetime, diving into deeper understanding (and deeper puzzlement) about how and why we humans do the things we do. She feels as if she is a detective, collecting details of this complexity and applying it to the characters she portrays, as well as helping others discover paths and pieces that work for them. She loves participating in a student’s realization that sometimes their physical or mental self is getting in the way of them achieving their mission, and then helping them find detours around the tension or blockage so that new paths can be created. She loves playing with the integration of our body and mind as the instrument of our storytelling in its myriad of forms.

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