Calming Your Monkey Chatter!

PP Thoughts

In the last post, 7 Strategies for a Great Pre-Performance Routine, we discussed the key elements to calm and dependable preparation.  Today, I want to expand on the first important strategy:  Calming your inner chatter. Prior to performance or in practice or in lessons many musicians find their minds racing with thoughts like, "Can I do this?" "Why am I doing this?" "What if I don't … [Read more...]

10 Mantras for Fearless Performing

Nervous_on_Stage

In a recent session I conducted with performers on what they wanted out of their performances, I found that many of the performers in the group were big believers in the Perfectionists' Creed: Perfectionists' Creed: "If I try hard enough and I am very careful and I follow all of the rules, everything will go right and everyone  will love me and I will feel good all of the time." In my best Dr. … [Read more...]

Lies of Perfectionism, Part 2

itzhak-perlman-cropped

In Lies of Perfectionism, Part 1 we examined several misconceptions perfectionists have and the stories perfectionists keep telling themselves.  If you feel like what you accomplish is never going to be good enough, or you often procrastinate engaging in important tasks like practicing or preparing for events, or you feel you must impress others or you set standards that are impossible to … [Read more...]

Lies of Perfectionism, Part 1

black-swan-poster

Many of you may have seen the recent psychological thriller, The Black Swan.  In this fictional portrayal of perfectionism, Nina, a promising ballerina, pushes herself beyond the bounds of her mental and physical health to be perfect.  It is very tiring, discouraging, and often destructive to continually attempt to impress others, avoid making mistakes, and perform perfectly all the time.   … [Read more...]

Performance Anxiety and Fear of Failure

Violinist

In the competitive world of music, performers often feel the need to impress friends, family, other performers, colleagues, judges, and audiences.  If you want to be a successful performer, trying hard and caring about pleasing others seems like a good idea.  However, performers who care too much about what others think often struggle with a need to be accepted, respected, or liked by others. … [Read more...]