We are located in California 's Bay area, not in France for now!
We are all trained in the best music schools in the US and abroad.
Your pick of violins, cello, flute, piano, guitar. We play the classics, but also contemporary pops, light jazz or folk music too.
We played hundreds of weddings, events and concerts in the Monterey Bay area.
Do you have questions, want to book a show, or collaborate on a new piece,
plan a house concert with a choice of with strings, flute and piano combinations.
Reach out and let's make magic happen!
I plumped my tense body on the squeaky chair in the middle of the concert stage, hugging my cello like a drowning swimmer grasping on to a boey. Trying to calm my nerves, I squinted my eyes to see the panel judges for the cello chair audition in the Bordeaux orchestra, but they remained invisible in the dark, while I sat alone in the spotlight, as they held the key to my success as a professional musician. There was a lot at stake and winning an orchestra position would assure my livelihood as a cellist for my entire career, and that audition felt like the only gateway to my musical success, but also to my development as an emotionally and financially independent adult.
I placed my shaking bow on the string and started playing the prelude in D minor by Bach, a piece I knew well. But that day my left hand would not open fully, remained locked up and prevented my fingers from stretching. Sadly, there were plenty of notes that never got the flat or sharp Bach intended for them !
I felt a surge of shame and self loathing while the beautiful experience of sharing Bach’s music turned into a nightmare. Needless to say, I didn’t get a call back, and that day became a turning point in my musical development. That was my last orchestra audition for a decade.
I knew I couldn’t continue my musical path without some changes: I needed to put myself back together and rekindle my enjoyment of playing music.
I also acknowledged that performing in public required the mental preparation of an athlete, even more like that of a rope walker, as a minimal slip of the finger could send you crashing.
My ‘recovery’ involved for a while taking meds that stopped my arm shaking during concerts, which helped me rebuild confidence that my body would be working on my side again, that hours of practice would lead to a reliable performance.
After that audition I only took on easy performances for friendly audiences, avoiding the competitive, adversarial energy of auditions.
And I did rebuild my confidence bit by bit after each successful concert, increasing progressively the stakes and difficulty of the pieces I performed.
I had to befriend my cello again, learn to play without tension, drop the ego to focus on skills and recommit my intentions of sharing my passion for music, in order to give my audience a pleasurable and entertaining experience, with no drama outside the notes on the score!
I wished I had found a teacher or mentor who believed in my talent, and taken the time to understand my insecurities and sabotaging self talk, helped improve my mental preparation, so I had a chance at succeeding in that difficult career.
I sure could have used some psychological support to maintain the hope that I had my place in the musical world and that I was worthy of musical self expression.
Ten years ago I added another ‘string’ to my bow: a new career, as a psychotherapist. I am now a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a busy private practice in Santa Cruz, California.
I am also now a much happier and competent musician, and play professionally quite a bit.
It is time for me to share with you, budding musician or advanced player, the wisdom I gained from my experiences as a musician and instructor combined with my training as a psychotherapist and in depth knowledge of emotions and the mind.
I am also deeply committed to helping all fellow artists, performers, creators of any genre achieve their full potential through greater understanding and confidence in themselves .
If any part of my story resonates with you, then I can probably help you.
Aude CASTAGNA, MS, LMFT can be reached by phone or zoom for confidential counseling sessions from any country in the world.
You can Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or contact me through my website: santacruzpsyche.com or text me (US) (831) 824-4536
• VIOLIN BOW Stamped ‘E. SARTORY A PARIS ’ octogonal stick , not original
• Original 1925 signed Victor Fétique cello bow with JF Raffin Original Certificate, octogonal pernambucco stick, not original button.
Total length 69,6 cm