Prepare Your Mind to Let Go…I mean, Perform

trapeze_artists

Preparing your mind to perform is another important reason for having a great pre-performance routine.   As you prepare to begin your performance, you will want to engage in thinking and activities that enhance your trust in yourself, your preparation, and your readiness to perform.  Also, you will want to recognize the fearful, anxious, and doubtful thoughts and actions—performance … [Read more...]

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. 2

visualization

Mental rehearsal, or vividly visualizing yourself practicing or performing difficult passages, preparing yourself to be confident, or reviewing a memorized section or a past performance are all effective supplements to the physical practice you or your students engage in prior to performance.   Some may also call this type of practice imagery.  Whatever you call it, vividly seeing, hearing, and … [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...]

Take Control of Your Confidence

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You may think that the title of this post sounds a little strange.  "How do I take control of my own confidence?"  Many musicians wait for the performance to begin, to see how they start to perform before they decide whether they feel good or whether they feel confident today.  Yes, you read that right—I said "decide."   You, and you alone, decide on and are alone responsible for your own … [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...]

5 Steps to Enjoyable, Successful Auditions

Flute Audition

It may begin with the letter or email notifying you of your long-awaited audition date and time.  Your heart starts to pound, your throat gets tight, and suddenly your mouth feels like the Sahara Desert!   It may not hit you that fast.  It may wait to start on the night before the audition when you’re lying in bed.  You have a hard time sleeping.  Your mind begins to race and to play … [Read more...]

Practicing for Peak Performance

Music Department Practice Rooms 2

In How to Face Your Fear and Perform! we talked about getting in touch with the reasons why you perform, the importance of preparing well and learning to trust your preparation, and the importance of learning the other mental skills it takes to perform without fear. I don't know about you, but I find that when the word "practice" is brought up many people have adverse reactions.  These … [Read more...]

How to Face Your Fear and PERFORM!

hornist

Musicians often live (and perform) in constant awareness of how they are being perceived by peers, teachers, audiences, and judging panels.  Let's face it, our whole society is built on getting ahead, striving to succeed, and BEING THE BEST!  There is nothing wrong with the striving thing.  It is a good thing to want to be your very best.  Where this kind of focus derails your performing is … [Read more...]