7 Strategies for a Great Pre-Performance Routine

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Do you feel it in the air?  The tension?  The uncertainty?  This is audition season and lots of musicians are beating the pavement laying it all on the line to get into college, graduate school, or win a much coveted spot in a summer music festival or program.    Some are looking for professional positions in chamber groups or orchestras.  There's nothing like an audition.  You've spent … [Read more...]

5 Steps to Enjoyable, Successful Auditions

Flute Audition

It may begin with the letter or email notifying you of your long-awaited audition date and time.  Your heart starts to pound, your throat gets tight, and suddenly your mouth feels like the Sahara Desert!   It may not hit you that fast.  It may wait to start on the night before the audition when you’re lying in bed.  You have a hard time sleeping.  Your mind begins to race and to play … [Read more...]

How to Face Your Fear and PERFORM!

hornist

Musicians often live (and perform) in constant awareness of how they are being perceived by peers, teachers, audiences, and judging panels.  Let's face it, our whole society is built on getting ahead, striving to succeed, and BEING THE BEST!  There is nothing wrong with the striving thing.  It is a good thing to want to be your very best.  Where this kind of focus derails your performing is … [Read more...]

What if anxiety or ‘nerves’ is NOT the problem?

Mind's Eye

Q: How do I not let my nerves get to me? If I feel nervous, I don’t think I can perform well and if I don't feel nervous, then I think my performance would go as I practice, but it doesn’t.  What can I do? A: This is an interesting question that came in as a result of our survey on the use of mental skills.  If you haven't taken the survey and would like to, it will only take a few … [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...]

Trust and Play

playground

As youngsters we are in the habit of being creatively engaged.   This is the experience of play.  Dr. Stuart Brown, the author of Play:  How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, explains that “when we play, we are open to possibility and the sparks of new insight and thought.” This sounds very much like the definition of mindfulness.  Leading expert on … [Read more...]