Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 1

mental_toughness2

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...]

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...]

“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...]

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...]

What Motivates You—Being Good or Getting Better?

Same Old thinking

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...]

What Kind of Goals Do YOU Need?

bassoonist

In a previous post, Performance Anxiety and SUPREME Goals, we looked at how setting good goals—SUPREME Goals (Specific, Uplifting, Paramount, Reachable, Exciting, Measurable, Enjoyable) can help performers maintain strong, stable confidence, lessen the effects of performance anxiety, and keep them focused on what is within their control and motivated to take action.  Sounds like the magic pill … [Read more...]

Performance Anxiety and SUPREME Goals

Goal Setting

Setting good goals and working those goals will help performers feel more confident and assured that what they practice will be accessible on the stage.  Goals give performers direction, help motivate them toward success, and increase confidence.  Setting goals will also help performers keep their attention on what’s important by identifying strengths and challenges.  Good goals can improve … [Read more...]