Focus On The Process

Keep-Calm-And-Focus-On

One of the most important of the 7 Strategies for a Great Pre-Performance Routine is focus.  We're not talking just any focus, but a focus on: What is most important to your performance (and I'm not talking about the outcome!) What is within your control THE PROCESS This very moment We are examining the components of a great pre-performance routine to help you respond effectively to … [Read more...]

Mental Rehearsal Can Work For You, Pt. 1

Mental Reh

When preparing for an upcoming performance performers work diligently by practicing and rehearsing.  As we've talked about before, musicians spend the majority of their time in the practice room or in rehearsal rather than on the stage and can be more readily characterized as practicers rather than performers. You would think that would make us experts at practicing.  However, many musicians … [Read more...]

Boost Confidence By Replacing Expectations

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Today, we continue our discussion of how to prepare for performances in a calm and dependable way.  If you recall from the article, 7 Strategies for a Great Pre-Performance Routine, the first step is Calming your Monkey Chatter.  Next, our focus is on expectations and their relationship to music performance anxiety.  Having expectations of success or a good outcome sounds like a good idea, … [Read more...]

Calming Your Monkey Chatter!

PP Thoughts

In the last post, 7 Strategies for a Great Pre-Performance Routine, we discussed the key elements to calm and dependable preparation.  Today, I want to expand on the first important strategy:  Calming your inner chatter. Prior to performance or in practice or in lessons many musicians find their minds racing with thoughts like, "Can I do this?" "Why am I doing this?" "What if I don't … [Read more...]

7 Strategies for a Great Pre-Performance Routine

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Do you feel it in the air?  The tension?  The uncertainty?  This is audition season and lots of musicians are beating the pavement laying it all on the line to get into college, graduate school, or win a much coveted spot in a summer music festival or program.    Some are looking for professional positions in chamber groups or orchestras.  There's nothing like an audition.  You've spent … [Read more...]

What if anxiety or ‘nerves’ is NOT the problem?

Mind's Eye

Q: How do I not let my nerves get to me? If I feel nervous, I don’t think I can perform well and if I don't feel nervous, then I think my performance would go as I practice, but it doesn’t.  What can I do? A: This is an interesting question that came in as a result of our survey on the use of mental skills.  If you haven't taken the survey and would like to, it will only take a few … [Read more...]

Trust and Play

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As youngsters we are in the habit of being creatively engaged.   This is the experience of play.  Dr. Stuart Brown, the author of Play:  How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, explains that “when we play, we are open to possibility and the sparks of new insight and thought.” This sounds very much like the definition of mindfulness.  Leading expert on … [Read more...]