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Stay Calm and Carry On: With that performance…

Well last week I had the pleasure and privilege to interview Dr. Noa Kageyama, the performance psychology coach at the Juilliard School of Music. I wrote a blog article about him last year and am very excited to have a recorded interview with him as well to go with my podcast “Musicians Auditions” ~ that goes along with my college prep program, Get In!

I typically use my podcast to create small tidbit episodes that enhance my online workshops. This interview goes along beautifully with my program as we at Get In! are all about getting prepared for the final days of auditions and interviews.

My interview with Noa was an eyeopener to be certain. During this interview, I think the biggest take away for me was that (most of us) as musicians, are not at ALL prepared to perform when we get into our teens. It is mind boggling to me that there is so much emphasis on playing our instruments and no thought about how we are going to pull ourselves together mentally to make that practice worthwhile when we are on stage. This unpreparedness is even more troubling when it comes to college, university and conservatory auditions. So much of a student’s life hinges on the outcome of that audition (4 years to start with and then a lifelong effect afterwards - as in a musical career).

Performing without setting and practicing the performance mental game is like putting on our sneakers and not tying our shoes before running a race. When we go for that run, the chances of us tripping are pretty high. Just like the chances of us tripping up on stage are almost guaranteed if we do not put on our mental shoelaces.

But I see so many people perform or at lessons and I notice this one thing: The instrument goes up and they immediately start playing. Setting up mentally before that first note is not even an afterthought.

It does not need to be that way and it shouldn’t. As Leon Fleischer once said, and I am paraphrasing here: Hear the music in your mind before you play so you are playing on purpose and not creating a musical accident. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

And, just like you always see pro runners with their shoes tied or right before the starting “gun” goes off you can watch them mentally rehearse the perfect run in their minds. They always take a moment. If you do not believe me, check out some Olympic races and you will see.

You can catch the entire interview with Noa here:

Also last week, I did a workshop at the Coronado Library. The participants were amazing and we all had a lot of fun! The Coronado Library also has a YouTube channel and you should definitely check it out:

My workshop lasts about 40 minutes and in it I use a slide presentation of my "5 Critical Concepts to College Admission and Funding". You can sign up for a future workshop at my website and get the free download.

The information packet is about 28 pages of pure gold that will get your teen thinking about college before they apply (just like they should think about the music before they play/perform). My class will be put up onto the Coronado Library channel next week but in the meantime they do have some very informative videos and great readings. I would definitely check them out!

And if you get a chance to head down to Coronado I would absolutely visit the library. It is right across the street from a beautiful park and the interior of the library is inviting and the staff knowledgeable and amazing.

Also, if you are interested in working with Noa you can do so next month at one of his online workshops. If you are busy next month (October 2022) he will also be giving a workshop in my Get In! Program. We cover everything from performance anxiety to goal setting to your body language at college interviews.

So, enjoy the interview and I will touch base with everyone next week!

Stay practicing, stay focused and Get In!


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