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Flutist, Educator,
Ethnomusicologist, Entrepreneur,
and Mindfulness Meditation   

New as of 8/4/2023

I am at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago! I hope you can join me for the Flute Choir Warm-up with Native American Repertoire with Mihoko Watanabe 8 am-8:45 MST in the 221AB in the convention center. See you there :)! 

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Meet Mihoko

  • Flutist- Solos, Chamber Music, Orchestral, Masterclasses, and Recitals 

  • 32 years of University Teaching Experience 

    • Ball State University (previously, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and University of Windsor)

    • Professor of Flute

    • Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies in Music

    • Woodwind Area Coordinator

    • Recipient of Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award and Excellent in Creative Endeavor Award

  • Certified Mindful Meditation Teacher

  • Education/Degrees

    • Bachelor of Music from Musashino Academia Musicae  

    • Master of Music Performance and Literature, and Performer’s Certificate from Eastman School of Music  

    • Doctor of Musical Arts and Ethnomusicology Specialist Certificate from the University of Michigan 

  • Interests/Curiosity/Active 

    • Mindfulness Wellness and Meditation​

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

    • Facilitation and Coaching 



At every meeting, lesson, class, or an informal chat, Dr. Watanabe has a way of making me feel inspired and ready to take on any challenge that comes my way. I am very grateful to have learned from her and to be able to call her a mentor. I learned how to perform at a very high level, be ambitious and innovative with programming, and connect to the audience through program notes and musical nuances. I also learned how to be resilient, not fear interpersonal conflicts, and how to pursue life and career goals with a healthy mindset.

- Dr. Hilary Janysek, Texas Lutheran University

In my years of studying with Dr. Watanabe, I became a more refined flutist, a more organized and thoughtful teacher, and a more confident lecturer and writer. She gave me the additional tools I needed to go deeper in my expression with a more expansive palette of colors. Dr. Watanabe encouraged my “third ear” and always encouraged me to truly listen to my expression and how the ingredients of my expression (phrasing, dynamics, color, vibrato, articulation, etc.) were heard by the audience. I had more confidence in my abilities as a teacher, soloist, and collaborator when I graduated with my Doctorate than when I begin. I am forever grateful for her guidance.

- Dr. Emily Stanek,  Willamette University 

I would say my life changed as well as the life of people who surrounds me such as my family and close friends. I think being a grateful and positive person affects others' lives. Once I started to change my words (it's bad, it's difficult, I can't do it) to it's a good challenge, I'm working in a process and tomorrow will be better than today, I will be able to do it. I feel like I opened a new door for myself. That door has more possibilities for me and if I can experience it, I will be able to share it and help other people to have that experience. Thank you so much for your inspiration and support through this process

- Paola Cubilos, Doctoral Student at Ball State University 

My life before working with Dr. Watanabe was one full of anxiety and uncertainty. I lived without mindfulness and control of my life which kept me in constant darkness and depression. I gained the power of mindfulness and meditation in that Dr. Watanabe closely worked with me in teaching me how to have control of my mind and find more positive aspects within my life in order to be more successful. Through the meditation techniques that she has shared with me, I am able to practice them within my own time in order to improve my focus, moods, and energy overall.

- Alyssa Santivanez, Senior Student at Ball State University 


I used to doubt my abilities when it came to flute playing and became doubtful if I’d ever improved or been good enough. I learned a lot about mindfulness and emotional intelligence, and how we can positively influence ourselves with something as simple as mindset while practicing or in life. I am more process-focused now rather than result-focused. If I can focus on how I improve and why something works then I know how to retain for next time. I think I am satisfied with where I am as a musician, though we can always improve. As a person, I hope to continue to be a good servitude leader and continue practicing mindfulness.

Kevin Dong, Senior Student at Ball State University 

“In mindfulness, one is not only restful and happy but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, 
The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

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