Protected: What Mental Skills Do Performers Need?

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Daring Greatly—The Vulnerable Performer

Vulnerable Singer

I recently watched Brené Brown’s 2012 TEDTalk called Listening to Shame.  I am one of 2,785,867 people who have viewed this video since.  I don’t know how many of those nearly three million viewers were performers so here I am passing this message on to you. Brown is a research professor who has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.  She … [Read more...]

Do You Worry or Care Too Much What Others Think?

Worry

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...]

What’s Your Destiny? You Decide!

You Decide

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...]

Release Yourself from Perfection’s Grip

barbrareleaseme

Did you see the recent Associated Press article about Barbra Streisand's new album, Release Me?   It seems that during the heyday of her recording career, if she made a mistake or found a single problem while recording a song, she'd toss the whole thing.  Because of this perfectionism, she ended up with a whole case full of unreleased material.   "If I didn't like that one word, I wouldn't … [Read more...]

Don’t Believe Everything You Think!

violinist2

Most performers have had a big audition, that important performance, or the competition that they've worked six months to prepare for, raise their anxiety level.   This anxiety level can be manifest in one of several ways:  in your body (somatically), in your mind (cognitively), and ultimately, in your performances. Somatic or bodily symptoms of music performance anxiety are a result of the … [Read more...]

The Costs of Perfectionism

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Perhaps the saddest statement to read in any biography is that the person fell short or didn’t really accomplish what he or she might have. Well, that’s exactly what I read recently in a brief account of the life of late 19th century French composer, Henri Duparc, “An examination of the life of Henri Duparc often leads one not to explore what he actually accomplished, but to speculate on … [Read more...]

Which Mindset Do YOU Have?

mindset

I have recently read a book that has rocked my world and I want to turn you onto it as well because I think it has HUGE implications for musicians.   I am talking about Dr. Carol S. Dweck's book, Mindset.   Run— don't walk—to the nearest bookstore and purchase it or log onto Amazon and order it today! What if it wasn't our abilities or talent that bring us success, but whether we approach … [Read more...]

Have You Hugged Your Performance Anxiety Today?

Fear

It was the night before.  I just lay there in bed. I couldn't sleep. I was breathing funny, my heart was pounding, and my thoughts were...well, noisy.  Some of the thoughts that went racing through my head were "I need to sleep.  I need to just calm down and get to sleep.  Tomorrow will be here soon enough." I bet you thought I was describing the night before an important performance, … [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...]