Protected: What Mental Skills Do Performers Need?

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The Beauty of Performing—Commit To It!

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People will be impressed if you play or sing well, but something far more important can happen when a performer combines impressive technique with emotional truth:  both the performer and the listener can be changed.  This is the beauty of performing. When did performing become about playing perfectly, playing to avoid mistakes, or about something we now fear rather than enjoy?  Musical … [Read more...]

Focus & The Road to Success

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We were on the road driving to our favorite vacation spot and it got me to thinking.  The two-lane roads were extremely curvy, winding, and steep.  It took my complete focus to drive safely.  When we were comfortably in our cabin I thought of our drive.  My thoughts drifted to my driver’s education instructor who taught me, an inexperienced driver, where to focus in order to stay within the … [Read more...]

Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 2

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In Are You a Mentally Tough Performer?  Pt. 1 we discussed how important it is for performers to be mentally tough and that mental toughness is simply having effective mental skills that allow for fearless, exciting performing.  The Level I Skills include Attitude, Motivation, Goal Setting, and Commitment—basic life habits and skills that are developed early in life. Mental Skills Needed … [Read more...]

Ready? Set? Audition!

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With an important audition coming up, the following questions are often uppermost in a performer's mind—"Am I going to be ready?" and "What do I need to do to be set or prepared 'enough' for this audition?"  In order to sing or play a successful audition, performers have to spend considerable time on the HOW and WHAT of their music and performing.  In other words, musicians spend a great deal … [Read more...]

Self-Assess Your Performing Skills

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Performers don't hesitate to assess their musical skills as they continue to train and practice to be an excellent player or singer.   It's just as important to periodically assess your mental skills in order to determine how prepared you are to move forward, to grow, and continue to evolve as an excellent and mentally strong performer.  These mental performing skills include commitment, … [Read more...]

Performers, Today is a Gift!

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Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery, and today's a GIFT—that's why we call it the PRESENT! You, no doubt, have heard this saying.  With the holiday approaching, I thought that this quote was particularly appropriate.   It certainly does not have to be a holiday for this saying to have significance for performers. How many times have you caught yourself worrying about performing … [Read more...]

What’s Your Destiny? You Decide!

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Have you ever felt stuck after a less than successful performance?  Why did this happen?  Again!  What about that audition that didn't go the way you expected?  We often focus on the fact that the performance didn't go well instead of focusing on what we can change to make a difference next time.  On the flip side, have you ever found it difficult to get up and going after a successful … [Read more...]

Practice, Prepare, Perform—Then What?

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After a big performance or competition, performers can feel a little let down because what they have been striving for is completed.   Rather than move right on to the next goal, why not stop and assess?  After a major recital, competition, or audition is an excellent time for performers to check in with how they are doing.  If you're thinking, I thought that's what the performance or … [Read more...]

Do Your Performances Hit or Miss?

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I ran across a quote by Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, that really spoke to me.   Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who spent three years in a concentration camp.  When released, he chronicled his ordeal in his book, Man's Search for Meaning (1959).   In this best-selling book, he concluded that even in the most absurd, painful, and dehumanized situation, life has … [Read more...]