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We welcome tuba player, educator, and writer Dr. Karen Bulmer to The Band Room for the fourth installment of our Sectionals Series! Karen currently serves as the Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) and is Associate Professor of Low Brass at Memorial University’s School of Music in St. John’s, Newfoundland. We spoke about her musical beginnings, the tuba, her path to MUN, mindfulness and movement for musicians, entrepreneurship, and so much more!

About Karen

Karen Bulmer is a versatile tuba player, educator, and writer. She is active as a tuba soloist and improviser and has performed her original one-woman show, Girl Meets Tuba, which chronicles her on-again off-again relationship with the tuba, in venues across Canada. Her radio piece, Joined at the Lip, which first aired on CBC’s Outfront in 2001, continues to be featured at radio festivals around the world, most recently at the Copenhagen Radio Cinema. Karen has presented at the annual inter-disciplinary ideaCity conference in Toronto and has recorded and performed with some of the finest classical, folk, and pop artists in Newfoundland.


In recent years, Karen’s research and creative interests have expanded to include the exploration of various mind-body practices and their particular relevance to musicians. Her unique Mind/Body Tools for Musicians program combines mindfulness with movement and self-regulation strategies to help musicians access a greater sense of their innate capacity for expression, presence, and resilience. Karen is also the creator and host of the Music, Mind, and Movement Podcast, a show that explores holistic approaches to music training and performance through in-depth conversations with educators, health professionals, somatic practitioners, and more. To listen to the podcast or to find out more about Karen’s work, including tips and tools to implement in your own practice, visit her website:


Karen holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the University of Western Ontario, a Professional Studies Diploma from the HARID Conservatory, and both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University. Karen trained in meditation facilitation under the mentorship of Michael Stone and is a certified yoga instructor with additional training in biomechanics, anatomy, and movement for trauma.



EKR Hammell | Skyline (BRP Theme Music)

University of Toronto Wind Ensemble

Dr. Gillian MacKay - Conductor

Learn more:


Memorial University School of Music


Music, Mind and Movement Podcast


Karen Bulmer – If You Knew Tuba Like I Know Tuba - Ideacity Talk

Girl Meets Tuba Trailer

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