Protected: What Mental Skills Do Performers Need?

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Five Silly Beliefs Performers Have

Path of Life

Performers are no different than other people.  We believe silly, even irrational things sometime.  When we do, we are most likely thinking one or more of the following: “Things should (ought, must, have to) be different than they are!” “It’s awful (horrible, terrible, catastrophic) that     they aren’t!” “I can’t stand it (it’s too long, too much, too big, too … [Read more...]

Powerful Questions to Ask about Your Performing

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Have you had a problem performing well when you are under pressure at competitions or at auditions? Have you been so anxious before or even during a performance that it adversely affected your performing? Has your critical voice ever overpowered you with doubts and anxious thoughts?  Have you ever been so concerned with what others think about your performing that you felt unable to perform … [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...]

“Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

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Anyone who has seen the 50's American hit television show, I Love Lucy, has heard Ricky Ricardo say to his wife, "LUCY, you've got some splainin' to do!"  Oh, how we've laughed at Lucy's wild and funny explanations. As performers, the explanations we have for our successes and setbacks may not be so wild or funny, but we have them all the same and they can and do really affect the way we … [Read more...]

What Is Your Performance Anxiety Trying to Tell You?

Different Mindsets

Does your heart race or do your hands shake prior to an important performance?  Do you get into your head and wonder what the audience or judging panel is going to think of your performance?  Do you feel so nervous that your head is full of chatter that distracts you from focusing on or enjoying your performance?  Do you feel confident and perform well in rehearsal and recital, but auditions … [Read more...]

What About Your Inner Game? (corrected)

musician's brain

As a musician you have spent, and may continue to spend, a great deal of time improving your technique and preparing to perform.  There are countless nuances in your technique that you count on to reliably work well for you when you perform.  We might (actually Barry Green with Timothy Gallwey of The Inner Game of Music fame might) call this your outer game.   This outer game is what we … [Read more...]

The Audition Illusion

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What are illusions?  Illusions are tricks our eyes and minds play on us.  They trick us into perceiving something different from what actually exists.  What we see often does not correspond with reality.   The funny thing about optical illusions is that what we perceive seems very real until we view it in another light! Look at the black and white picture to the right.  What do you see?  … [Read more...]

What Motivates You—Being Good or Getting Better?

Same Old thinking

Has anyone ever told you to "lighten up" or "go easier on yourself"?  Have you every asked yourself why it seems so difficult to stick to your goals, especially when the going gets tough?  When people tell you "it's about the journey, not the destination" and "enjoy the process," do you wonder, "how in the world am I supposed to do this?"? The way you answer the question, "What motivates … [Read more...]