I have to admit that I’m not really a New Years resolutions sort of person, but I do like aiming to try new things , and developing habits and processes (which are often more effective than goals).
The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to make some changes, so if you’re still shopping around for something new to try, here are 10 to choose from (otherwise known as 2014’s most read posts).
#1 – Practice better (by stealing adopting effective practicers’ top practice strategies)
We all have the same 24 hours and a finite amount of energy at our disposal, so it behooves us to utilize the most effective practice strategies we can.
The amount of time we spend, and the number of repetitions we get in aren’t the key factors. Here are eight things that do seem to matter:
#7 – Don’t worry about finishing; just get started instead
It’s not easy to be totally enthused about practicing all the time. But on those days when you’re really dragging your feet, a curious phenomenon observed in restaurants almost 100 years ago could help you get yourself more in the mood.
#8 – Practice teaching practicing (or just practice practicing)
In much the same way that effective study skills can make a significant difference in the performance of two otherwise evenly matched individuals, good practice skills can help us make the most of our time, and minimize those soul-sucking practice plateaus where it feels like nothing is happening.
To that end, two Australian researchers did a 3-year study tracking the practice habits of young musicians, and found that while many had the desire to practice, they lacked the skills required to do so effectively.
Performance psychologist and Juilliard alumnus & faculty member Noa Kageyama teaches musicians how to beat performance anxiety and play their best under pressure through live classes, coachings, and an online home-study course. Based in NYC, he is married to a terrific pianist, has two hilarious kids, and is a wee bit obsessed with technology and all things Apple.
After Countless Hours of Practice, Why Are Performances Still so Hit or Miss?
It’s not a talent issue. And that rush of adrenaline and emotional roller coaster you experience before performances is totally normal too.
Performing at the upper ranges of your ability under pressure is a unique skill – one that requires specific mental skills and a few tweaks in your approach to practicing. Elite athletes have been learning these techniques for decades; if nerves and self-doubt have been recurring obstacles in your performances, I’d like to help you do the same.
Click below to discover the 7 skills that are characteristic of top performers. Learn how you can develop these into strengths of your own. And begin to see tangible improvements in your playing that transfer to the stage.