The Beauty of Performing—Commit To It!

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People will be impressed if you play or sing well, but something far more important can happen when a performer combines impressive technique with emotional truth:  both the performer and the listener can be changed.  This is the beauty of performing. When did performing become about playing perfectly, playing to avoid mistakes, or about something we now fear rather than enjoy?  Musical … [Read more...]

Focus & The Road to Success

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We were on the road driving to our favorite vacation spot and it got me to thinking.  The two-lane roads were extremely curvy, winding, and steep.  It took my complete focus to drive safely.  When we were comfortably in our cabin I thought of our drive.  My thoughts drifted to my driver’s education instructor who taught me, an inexperienced driver, where to focus in order to stay within the … [Read more...]

Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 2

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In Are You a Mentally Tough Performer?  Pt. 1 we discussed how important it is for performers to be mentally tough and that mental toughness is simply having effective mental skills that allow for fearless, exciting performing.  The Level I Skills include Attitude, Motivation, Goal Setting, and Commitment—basic life habits and skills that are developed early in life. Mental Skills Needed … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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?

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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...]