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Understanding Anxiety


I offer informative and educational presentations to educators, business leaders, cultural institutions, arts organizations, social service organizations and mental health professionals. 

While I am often invited to present on the topic of stage fright and music performance, I also offer keynote speeches and workshops illustrating how understanding performance anxiety is relevant to dealing effectively with a variety of social and psychological issues. I also offer presentations on the #MeToo Movement and the 21st Century Musician.

My original theater piece, "A Conversation Between Freud and Mozart” is on youtube (private channel) and is used to discuss conflicts despite disagreements, the value of music in mental life,  and using music to promote social justice.

I have gained a reputation for my multi-faceted approach to performance anxiety and the ability to explain complex concepts in understandable ways. My presentations are enlivened with audio-visuals and a lot of time for audience Q&A.


CURRENT TOPICS FOR KEYNOTE AND PRESENTATIONS TO A VARIETY OF AUDIENCES. Presentations can be arranged in collaboration with an organization’s interests.  Zoom format.

Contact me today about engaging with you or your organization.

1. #Me Too and Music  Education  (or other area) - A Psychologist’s Perspective on Pain and Healing

2. Oppression and Injustice as Heard in Music: Becoming an Advocate for Social Justice

3. It’s Not Easy Being Green: Kermit the Frog has Stage Fright

4. Shame on You!! - Some Thoughts about Performance Anxiety

5. Covid19 and Job Loss: What Does Psychological Development Have to Do With It?

"A Conversation Between Freud and Mozart" preview.


"Challenges and Opportunities for College Professors Regarding Inclusion of Mental Health Courses in the Music Curriculum" College Music Society Webinar



"Melodies of the Mind" presentation at Mt. Sinai Medical Center NY Academy of Medicine


"Managing Performance Anxiety" presentation at Ann Arbor American Guild of Organists




University of Colorado/Boulder. A Conversation Between Freud and Mozart (Performed at Steinway Hall, NYC on  February 13, 2020.  Julie Jaffee Nagel, Author - January 31. 2021. Town Hall conversations with UC/Boulder Roser School  Music Students,  Faculty, and  Wellness Program.

Understanding  Performance Anxiety - Osher Life Long Learning Institute - 4 week course - March 4-25, 2021 (4 sessions open to public)  Registration necessary.

Michigan Council for Psychoanalysis and Psychology, “Memory Slip and Performance Anxiety” April 18, 2021.


Understanding Oppression, Injustice, and Intolerance Through Music. (5 session Zoom course - ) Osher Lifelong Learning Institute: University of Michigan. October 2020

Understanding Oppression, Injustice, and Intolerance Through Music (invited Dewald Lecture) St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, Nov. 6, 2020. (Zoom)

Understanding Oppression, Intolerance, and Injustice as Heard in Music.  Music Teachers National Association. Webinar. November 6, 2020. (will be archived)

#MeToo and Music Education. College Music Society, November 13, 2020 (Zoom)

Symposium: “#MeToo and Music Teaching”. American Psychoanalytic Association national meetings, New York, Feb. 13, 2020.

A Conversation Between Freud and Mozart”. Steinway Hall, NY, NY ( original dialogue by Julie Jaffee Nagel) with two actors and pianists. American Psychoanalytic Association National Meetings. February 13, 2020 (videotaped - see audience comments)

Stage Fright! A presentation for teachers and Joint Masterclass with music students - with Louis Nagel - illustrating both pedagogical and psychological approaches to teaching and performance. Florida State Music Teachers Conference. October 18 and 19, 2019. Gainesville, Florida.

Music Teachers National Association Conference, (invited presentation by President of MTNA) #MeToo: Implications for Music Teachers. Spokane, Washington. March 2019.

Presenter at Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) - Topic: Stage Fright  (“It’s Not Easy Bein’Green) and Joint Master Class (pedagogy/psychology) with Louis Nagel - June 2018 - Orange County, California

Chair: National Conference on Keyboard - Topic: Round Table discussion on Answering Your Questions About Performance Anxiety, Lombard, Illinois. - July, 2017

Chair annual Discussion Group “Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Music” at the American Psychoanalytic Association National Meetings in New York. Topic: Role of Music in Addressing Shame, Prejudice, Violence, and Healing in Society - January, 2017

Co-Chairing a full day program at Music Teachers National Association Meetings (Co-Sponsored by American Psychoanalytic Association), Baltimore, Maryland on Mental and Physical Health of Musicians. Topic: Overcoming Obstacles - Keeping Musicians Physically and Emotionally Healthy - March, 2017

Mississippi Music Teachers State Conference, featured presenter - November, 2016

College Music Society Webinar, Challenges and Opportunities for College Professors Regarding Inclusion of Mental Health Courses in the Music Curriculum, October 14, 2016

Music Teachers National Association, Psychological and Physical Wellness, Las Vegas, NV - March, 2015

Lynn University, Residency Stage Fright, Boca Raton, Florida - February, 2015

American Psychoanalytic Association, Stage Fright and Shame Dynamics, New York City - January, 2015

Ohio State Music Teachers’ Convention, Performance Anxiety - featured speaker, Wilmington, Ohio - October, 2014

Contemporary Freudian Society, "A Conversation Between Freud and Mozart", New York City - October, 2014

American Psychoanalytic Association, “TED” talk on Performance Anxiety, Chicago, Illinois - June, 2014

First Presbyterian Church, Performance Anxiety presentation, Ann Arbor, Michigan, April, 2014

Kempf Historic House, “Melodies of the Mind”, Ann Arbor, Michigan - April 2014

Irving S. Gilmore Piano Competition Piano Keys Fest - Kalamazoo, Michigan - February, 2014

American Guild of Organists - Ann Arbor Chapter, Ann Arbor, Michigan - February, 2014

American Psychoanalytic Association - Discussant of paper by Paul Ornstein, M.D. - January, 2014

American Psychoanalytic Association - Chair, program on Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Music (guest presenters: Toby Perlman, Perlman Music Program and Dean Adam Meyer, Juilliard School) - January, 2014

Conversation between Mozart and Freud (original dialogue by Julie Jaffee Nagel, with Al Fallick and John alexander Sakelos, actors, Carol Siegel, Director Freud Museum, London  and pianist, Louis Nagel) Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Juilliard School: Melodies of the Mind presentation and book signing, October 2013

William Alanson White Institute Conference: The Tritone in Gee, Officer Krupke - West Side Story, October 2013

Tennessee State Music Teachers’ Conference: Melodies of the Mind and Stage*****Fright -  Jackson, Tennessee. June 2013

National Conference on Piano Pedagogy: Presenter Master Class -  Chicago, Illinois: July 2013

Association for Psychoanalytic Thought: An original conversation between Freud and Mozart (by Julie Jaffee Nagel) -  The Steinway Gallery, Commerce Township, Michigan. Feb. 2013.

Chair of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Music, American Psychoanalytic Association, winter meetings, New York 2013. Music and Human Development: Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research, National Endowment for the Arts, Presenter; Stuart Twemlow, M.D. Discussant.

Association for Psychoanalytic Thought: Presenter (with Louis Nagel) Melodies of the Mind.- Feb. 2, 2013, Steinway Gallery, Commerce Township, Michigan. 

Michigan Psychoanalytic Council: Presenter, “Ambiguity in Gee, Officer Krupke “ (West Side Story) - Feb. 17 2013. Womans’ City Club, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Psychoanalytic Perspectives On Music: "Inner Landscapes: Martha Graham and Dance" (Presenter: Janet Eilber, Artistic Director, Martha Graham Dance Company)

Conference on Creativity: Performance Anxiety as a Painful Signature Style for a Musical Performer - Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2011

Conference on Art and Psychoanalysis: Psychodynamic and Musical Perspectives on Rage and Shame in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor - Florence, Italy, May 2011

National Conference on Piano Pedagogy: Performance Anxiety: When is a Symptom More than a Symptom? -  Chicago, Illinois, July 2011.

University of Michigan School of Music: "Mozart and Freud in Conversation and Performance" (with Louis Nagel, piano, Joel Sparks, actor). Jan. 27, 2011.

Michigan Psychoanalytic Society: "Ambiguity in West Side Story" - Dec. 2010.

International Piano Festival and Institute: Two presentations on "Understanding Performance Anxiety" - New Orleans, Louisiana, July 22 and 23, 2010.

Gertrude and Ernst Ticho Memorial Award/Lecture. American Psychoanalytic Association: Melodies in My Mind: The Polyphony of Mental Life - Washington, D.C., June 11, 2010

Trinity Arts Series: Melodies of the Mind: A Psychoanalytic and Musical Perspective on Mozart in 1778. Lecture and concert with Louis Nagel - New Orleans, Louisiana. Sponsored by a grant from the American Psychoanalytic Association and Ernst Svenson Fund for Psychoanalysis and the Arts at New Orleans/Birmingham Psychoanalytic Institute. Feb. 28, 2010.

American Psychoanalytic Association: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Music: "The Musician and Psychoanalyst as Citizen", Chair. Joseph Polisi, President Juilliard, presenter; Steven Levy, Editor, JAPA, Discussant. January 14, 2010, New York