Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 1

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It is very important for musicians to be proactive in their approach to preparing mentally as well as musically.  A musician’s inner game has everything to do with his or her performing.  We have called this inner game many things, namely confidence, being in the ZONE or FLOW, mental toughness, or mental strength.   Timothy Gallwey describes this inner game with a formula (that I’ve … [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...]

Do You Worry or Care Too Much What Others Think?

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Well?  Do you?  Do you find yourself worrying or caring too much about what others are thinking or saying about you? Worrying or caring too much what others think about you and your performing is one of the biggest challenges that performers report facing.  Anything that distracts you or causes you to doubt yourself, your skills, and your abilities as much as this kind of worry does, must be … [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...]

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...]

“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...]