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Communication Training

The Heifetz Performance and Communication Training method was developed to guide musicians to discover their full creative potential and express their individuality not only through technically and intellectually robust music making, but also through emotional and even physical engagement with the music they play. It strives to empower young performers to perfect their artistry by developing their physical, mental, and emotional range, and also provides a great opportunity to forge powerful interactions with fellow Heifetz students.

Students are guided through multidisciplinary courses and led to connect the experiences back to their musical pursuits with the following overarching goals:

Annabella Lenzu teaches a Heifetz Communication Training class

1. Know Oneself

Becoming aware of one’s personality traits and understanding various human emotions is essential in conveying a convincing and authentic performance. The goal of the Heifetz Performance and Communication Training method is to support students as they access their own store of emotions and unique personality characteristics.

2. Open Oneself

Heifetz Performance and Communication Training is designed to provide a comfortable and safe environment for students to explore their emotional range, to overcome personal inhibitions, and to be willing to take risks as they develop their own expressiveness and interpretive style as connected to the music they perform.

Heifetz students join together in a circle for a Communication Training course
Melissa White teaches Heifetz students about self-expression

3. Express Oneself

Once there is a clearer understanding of their individual personality and emotional range, students then explore how their physical and mental life work together to create an authentic and expressive performance. An essential element toward achieving these goals is gaining an awareness of the connection between musical training and emotional expression. Heifetz Performance and Communication Training is designed to support students as they balance and integrate all these features, deepening their connection to the music and to the audience.

4. Improve One’s Physical Freedom and Health

One of the underlying bases for performing at one’s best is to have the necessary bodily strength, agility, and flexibility to do so. These traits enable the performer to have the freedom to demonstrate technical prowess, emotional resonance, and engagement with the audience. Physical fitness should become a regular component of every performer’s life. It is the aim of the Heifetz Institute to provide each student with the skills to develop a physical fitness regimen that meets individual needs and provides a sense of well-being.

Elena Urioste teaches yoga to Heifetz students

Communication Training Faculty & Courses

Daniel Pettrow

Daniel Pettrow

Speaking in Public

Your opportunity to connect with your audience begins the moment you set foot on stage. Communication Training director Daniel Pettrow will teach you how to carry yourself and to speak skillfully to engage your audience before you play a note.


In these drama and improvisation classes, you will discover how we connect as human beings and how to use that understanding to bring your audience with you as you perform. Communication Training Director Daniel Pettrow brings his expertise as a New York-based director, actor, and teacher to these invariably eye-opening (and sometimes career-altering) sessions.

Photo of Anabella Lenzu

Anabella Lenzu


Gesture, posture, motion – they all communicate. Harness the power of what meets the eye to enhance what meets the ear. In 2020 we will welcome back the dynamic Anabella Lenzu to the Institute, a dancer, choreographer and teacher with over 25 years experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy and the USA. Anabella is the Artistic Director of Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama.

Photo of Elena Urioste & Melissa White

Elena Urioste & Melissa White

Yoga/Wellness for Musicians

The ultimate in self-care for musicians – from what to eat to perform at your peak, to the small, daily habits that lead to long careers. Integrate what you learn on the yoga mat with your musical studies with violinists and yoga fanatics Melissa White and Elena Urioste, whose Intermission Sessions have been healing and helping musicians nationwide.

John Gregorio

John Gregorio

Freedom of Expression

Explore and expand your unique expressive potential with renowned performer and improvisation educator John Gregorio.

John Gregorio

Maile Okamura

Freedom of Expression

Explore and expand your unique expressive potential with acclaimed dancer and costume designer Maile Okamura of the Mark Morris Dance Group.

John Gregorio

Adam Hockman

Practice & Performance Training Counselor

The Heifetz experience is about more than just music and performance. From setting goals to time management to dealing with stress, we offer workshops all summer long to help our students become their best selves on and off the stage.