How to Face Your Fear and PERFORM!


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...]

Perform with Confidence!


Oh, ok!  Did you know that your confidence IS up to you and nobody else.  The number one mistake many musicians make with confidence is that they do not take full responsibility for their confidence on performance, competition, or audition day. Take a moment to think about it. . .  Do you have to wait until you warm up to see if it is going to be a good day?  Do you have to wait until you … [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...]

Lies of Perfectionism, Part 1


Many of you may have seen the recent psychological thriller, The Black Swan.  In this fictional portrayal of perfectionism, Nina, a promising ballerina, pushes herself beyond the bounds of her mental and physical health to be perfect.  It is very tiring, discouraging, and often destructive to continually attempt to impress others, avoid making mistakes, and perform perfectly all the time.   … [Read more...]

Overcoming Music Performance Anxiety

Alfredo & Violetta

It is common for musicians who experience performance anxiety to think that they have to just live with the nerves, the anxiety, and the feelings of fear. Some musicians may view other performers as having been born without the performance anxiety gene. Well, there is no gene that causes or sets the stage for a musician's fear and anxiety. Most performance anxiety in music is a result of very … [Read more...]

Confidence Conquers Music Performance Anxiety


Music performance self-confidence is an important mental skill that musicians must possess to be successful in music and life! On the flip side, self-doubt is the number one mental barrier that blocks musicians from confident, enjoyable performances. A common challenge that musicians face is the ability to perform as well as they do in practice. There is a big difference between practice … [Read more...]

Performing Well Under Pressure for Musicians

Flute Player

Many musicians feel pressure before or during performances. What is pressure?  Pressure is what you feel when you think you have to play or sing well, or that you should win, or when you worry about the consequences of losing or performing poorly. You can feel increased pressure during critical moments in a performance (e.g. a difficult passage). You can also feel pressure from teachers, … [Read more...]

Psych Outs & Music Performance Anxiety


Musicians who strive for successful careers enter an incredibly competitive arena in which a 10-15 minute audition can make a huge difference in their careers. Since conductors, directors, judges, and audition panels make their decisions by comparing you to other performers, it might seem natural for you to do so as well. However, when you focus on other performers and their performances or … [Read more...]