What Is Your Greatest Fear?

Thing under Bed

If you are like most performers, you have experienced some kind of anxiety or fear when preparing for or waiting for a performance to begin.  Many of you find that this fear does not subside once the performance begins.  You may have even put a name to your fear—fear of embarrassment, fear of rejection, or fear of failure.  Once you discover the source of your fear, you can get busy working … [Read more...]

Knowing when you’ve practiced enough!

decide

Practicing is a way of life for musicians.  Not only are we expected to perform at consistently high levels, we are constantly learning new music, improving our skills, and reaching for new heights.  Let's face it, we want to play or sing well.  We want to make great music and we certainly want to avoid embarrassment, disappointing ourselves and others, and, of course, we want to avoid mistakes … [Read more...]

Face Your Performance Anxiety or Run?

Fear1

In our recent discussions of performance anxiety we have talked about how to identify your fears in Performance Fear—Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire and how to understand our fears in The Key To Understanding Your Performance Anxiety.   The final step in dealing with your anxiety or fear is to take action and neutralize its ill effects.  It’s interesting how when many performers are confronted … [Read more...]

Performance Fear—Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Performance Fear

Several years ago, Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks starred in a movie called Defending Your Life.  Both Streep and Brooks die in the first minutes of the film.  The rest of the movie is set in heaven as they attempt to defend the way they lived as a heavenly tribunal reviews footage of scenes from their lives.  The novel thesis of the movie is that the purpose of the ‘trial’ is not 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...]

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...]

Your Chatter Matters!

selfTalk_illustration

Words can be wonderful things.  Think of Shakespeare, Goethe, Whitman, the Beatles, Tori Amos, Lady Gaga, and YOU.  Words help us express ourselves and communicate with each other.  The words we use influence the way we think about ourselves and tell others a lot about us .   The words we use most often and the mental pictures we create can also be damaging to us and negatively impact our … [Read more...]