Powerful Questions to Ask about Your Performing

images-3

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!

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...]

Practice, Prepare, Perform—Then What?

Pavarotti5

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?

target

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...]

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...]

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

illusion

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...]

Freedom From Performance Anxiety

Black Door

When was the last time you felt anxious about an upcoming concert or audition? When was the last time you backed down from a challenge? Most performers have experienced these butterflies or anxiety prior to performance. This is not always a bad thing, but sometimes these feelings cause performers to pull back and can point to a common fear for performers—the fear of the unknown. The nature of … [Read more...]

Focus On What YOU Can Control

Archer

If you are a performer who struggles with performance anxiety or you can't seem to perform as well as you practice, you may want to take a look at to what and where you are paying attention.  Most performers who are anxious or fearful are paying attention to things outside of their control.  The ability to concentrate in the present and to focus on the specific task at hand is extremely … [Read more...]

Knowing when you’ve practiced enough!

decide

Practicing is a way of life for musicians.  Not only are we expected to perform at consistently high levels, we are constantly learning new music, improving our skills, and reaching for new heights.  Let's face it, we want to play or sing well.  We want to make great music and we certainly want to avoid embarrassment, disappointing ourselves and others, and, of course, we want to avoid mistakes … [Read more...]