Social Nerwork

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Music and psychological knowledge inform each other.


I offer informative, entertaining, 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, I  also offer keynote speeches and workshops illustrating how music and mental life are relevant in understanding and dealing with a variety of social and psychological issues. 

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




Click each of the topics below for a detailed description.

nagel_kch_12-15_012Often a Masterclass is offered to students with the goal of improving technical approaches and musical understanding.  The Nagels offer a unique and comprehensive approach to the traditional Masterclass.  After listening to students play, Louis Nagel offers comments about approaches to the music and technique management with the goals of performing with greater security.  Julie Jaffee Nagel engages the student in a dialogue about the student’s feelings experienced during the performance - and offers ideas and suggestions for increasing psychological security, especially around specific issues of stage fright.  Together, they teach the whole person. 

It’s no joke that you have to practice. Performers know that!! But what if you are prepared and practiced for your concert, speech, exam, interview and you still experience debilitating performance anxiety?  This presentation addresses the idea that practice does NOT make perfect and examines the detours and derailments that occur on the path to what “Carnegie Hall” represents as a metaphor to each individual who seeks public approval.  You will come to understand what trips you up in pursuit of your goals, what you do to yourself that is not in your best interest, and how your attitude affects your performance.

This presentation will help you discover:

  • How your attitude is as important as your aptitude and ability for successful performing
  • How attitudes are formed early in life that stay with you  when under pressure
  • What you can and cannot control and how to better manage your feelings
  • How you can  release yourself from your psychological prison of performance nerves
  • The benefits of good-enough practice vs. the quest for perfection

Performance anxiety can begin long before you walk on stage or into a classroom or important meeting. It can begin before you even walk or talk – or sing or dance or play a musical instrument!!! This presentation explores how and why life-long relationships and old feelings come alive inside you when you are in front of the public.  

Through stories and anecdotes, audio visual examples, and research studies, we will explore important milestones in life situations that may have led to your feelings about performing and being before a public.

Audiences will:

  • Learn about how your earliest experiences shape later attitudes and feelings about yourself and others
  • Discover how infancy is embedded in performance attitudes which may lead to self doubts and anxiety – or self confidence and enjoyment
  • Develop confidence in your abilities and yourself on and off stage
  • Appreciate the complexity of how the  mind works in order to better control your anxiety

Have you ever wondered why music makes you feel “a certain way”?  Music can evoke elevating and disquieting emotions – sometimes simultaneously. Why does this happen? What is it about music itself that has such power over our feelings? And how can we use music in everyday life for educational, social, community, business, and mental health purposes?  


This presentation offers my original research about how music itself works. You will be transported on a journey outside the box of the concert hall and understand the power of music in our mental lives. Through video and audio examples, and discussing how music and the mind “work”, you will be able to better understand how resonate to the sound of music– even if you do not have any formal knowledge of music. You are moved by tuning in to what you hear.  And you can use music in your life for a variety of purposes and projects. This creative program is of value to educators, social service organizations, mental health practitioners, and academics.

Participants in this program will learn how:


  • Music has the power to evoke  powerful feelings 
  • How does music “work” to tap into deep emotion
  • How can music and psychological ideas be used outside the concert hall and consulting room?

Freud dismissed music. Mozart tells us he only can think in music. Who is right? Is there a right?  Who is the therapist? Who is the patient?  


My original dialogue between two great minds invites you to debate along with these two men the power and relevance of words and music. This lively dialogue, along with a mystery guest and a performance of Mozart’s music by concert pianist Louis Nagel, ( delights and informs. Become a part of history and imagination – where anything is possible.

Enjoy the opportunity to participate in psychological coaching and advice, on stage, following your live performance or presentation. Dr. Nagel will highlight your concerns with you and offer ideas about ways to feel greater confidence and enjoyment when you are in public situations. This live Master Class format is unique and helpful both for the individual presenter/performer but also for the audience as well.

As a participant in this workshop, you will:


  • Discover how your thoughts can enhance or distract from your performance
  • Learn new perspectives that result in greater confidence when anxious
  • Develop a “jam plan” for performance mishaps
  • Learn how to focus and see yourself as successful

Personalized presentations can be designed according to the interests of your organization. Webinars and web-based presentations are also available.  

Contact me today about engaging with you or your organization.



"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





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


  • 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