Testimonials

“Working with Dana was a life-altering experience. I met Dana when we were in school together, so I’ve known for years that she’s a beautiful cellist with a passionate view towards music-making. What started out as a short-term, goal-oriented set of sessions helping me prepare for an audition blossomed into a half-year exploration of my relationship with my own music-making. Her practical suggestions for dealing with nerves, self-doubt, and professional goals were so clear and practical, making them easy to implement in my own life. And when we stepped back to look at the bigger picture, I was shocked at how empowered I found myself in removing barriers that had been impeding my musical progress for years. I began our sessions with such narrow goals and a correspondingly narrow vision, and it’s a major testament to Dana’s ability that she met all my goals even while blowing up that vision to achieve so much more than I knew was possible.”

-Matt Albert, Grammy Award Winning Violinist


“I highly recommend Dana Fonteneau and the WholeHearted Musician™.  

She helped me overcome obstacles, develop a new way of thinking both at work and home, and most importantly helped encourage new ways to find fulfillment and happiness in my career.

 I consider Dana to be an integral part of my success and recommend anyone that is “stuck” to contact her.”

-David Heyde, Associate Principal Horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra


Dear Dana,

I just wanted to write to thank you on behalf of my students (and myself) for your insights during the recent workshops at the University of Michigan School of Music Theater and Dance. Of course, I had known of your work and heard from a number of other musicians about what a life-changing experience working with you was, but seeing it live was a mind-blower. I know that many of our students, as they approach the “real world” feel a little lost and overwhelmed and with the crunch of being out there and suddenly having to make big choices feel they must make quick decisions which often lock them into paths with less opportunity than they hoped. You showed them a way out of this lock and gave them the tools to craft a life more in keeping with their dreams.

Thank you again!

-Andrew Jennings: Professor of Violin & Chamber Music, University of Michigan, Richard Burgin Master Teacher Chair, Tanglewood Music Center


Dana is a ROCKSTAR!! When I was going through a particularly dark and confusing time in my life and career, I immediately knew that I wanted to talk with Dana. She is a brilliant, warm soul, and an empathetic and thoughtful listener. I also was reassured that she would know exactly where I was coming from, since she was a musician as well. My sessions were supportive, challenging, and energizing, and she taught me many new skills to help me continue to navigate my life successfully in all areas. Most importantly, she helped me reclaim my passion and love for my music and my life. I am ever so grateful.”

-Kari Giles, Assistant Concertmaster of the Charlotte Symphony


“I had the pleasure and good fortune to meet Dana Fonteneau at the Chamber Music America conference in January, 2015. Dana is a truly unique person who understands the goals, passions and struggles of today’s classical musician. What makes her so effective is that she cares about the individual journey of each artist. Having been through similar experiences of her own, she generously offers her counsel with a genuine intent to encourage and see others flourish. In the cutthroat world of music there are very few who are out there to help fellow artists on their journey, but Dana is one of them. She is equipped with skills and knowledge which helped me objectively look at the strengths and weaknesses with which I live my life and build my career. In just one session with her, I gained insights and a lasting confidence which has allowed me to correct past mistakes and become more effective and creative as a performer, teacher, and artistic leader.

Dana is poised to become a significant voice in the music world. She has the keys to teaching music students and artists how to become more empowered, compassionate, whole and visionary contributors to a world that sorely needs such citizens. 

As a writer, her voice is cogently and insightful, and her blog is tailor-made to those trying to figure out how to be a positive force for the world around them. Dana offers an alternative, yet practical and fruitful way for musicians who are tired of the competitive rat race but want to make a difference through their music.” 

-Yi-heng Yang,  Juilliard graduate and internationally recognized performer of modern and historical keyboards, based in New York City.


Responses to the WholeHearted Musician’s Career Building Workshops

“This (workshop) has clarified much of my purpose.  I tapped into some deep inspiration that has evaded me for some time-I was moved to tears.  Realigned with my vision and purpose, I now have some really great tools to use.”

-Matthew Linaman, founding member of Cello Street Quartet, recent SFCM graduate

“This workshop inspired me to take accountability and actions for planning what I want my musical life to be.  I can’t wait to use these tools to really know what is valuable and important to me as a person and cellist and create the life that I WANT.  Dana explained everything in a very uplifting and positive way and I look forward to working more with her.”

-J.M. cellist, graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

“This was a great opportunity to take the time to evaluate my priorities and values-I felt challenged and excited about the process.  I was nervous about the work involved but in reality it felt easy (and FUN!) and I learned a lot.  I was impressed and inspired by the others in the group and am reminded that we all have our individual path and experiences.  Thank you for giving me the FORMAT to take the time and space to step back, pause and be intentional about what I want next!”

-Jennifer Kloetzel,  Juilliard graduate, soloist and cellist of the Cypress String Quartet

1 Comment

  1. I am an associate professor of Violin at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I teach a course in Performance Preparation, in which we cover a variety of topics. I would be interested to know if you do mini “residencies” at Universities? I would like to see if we could bring you to work with our performance majors in my class.

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