A Goal-Setting Tweak That Could Be the Difference Between an OK Performance and a Great Performance?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether you read the book or watched the movie, you might recall a scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, where Harry discovers a magical mirror, called the Mirror of Erised, tucked away in a dusty room. Given that “Erised” is “desire” spelled backwards, you may also remember that the mirror doesn’t show us as we are, but instead, shows the “deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.”  As Harry’s parents were killed by an evil…


Margo Drakos: On Creating a Safety Net and Taking a Chance on Yourself

Margo Drakos: On Creating a Safety Net and Taking a Chance on Yourself

Have you ever begged and pleaded for something when you were a kid, and when you finally got it, discovered it wasn’t quite what you expected? Like the time you finally got a pair of Zubaz. Or like in that Friends episode where Monica got new boots . Of course, once you’ve fought so hard for that thing, there can be a lot of pressure to stick with it. Even if it’s not a good fit. And it’s tempting to think you just need a different color.…


How to Keep Your Cool Backstage Before Auditions and Performances

How to Keep Your Cool Backstage Before Auditions and Performances

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Football is a very physical sport of course, but there is certainly a mental aspect to the game as well. Likely, you’ve seen coaches use a strategy known as “icing the kicker." This is where a coach will call a timeout, right as the kicker is about to attempt a field goal. In principle, the idea is to give them a chance to start overthinking things, and choke. Kind of devious, and it makes sense - even though the data suggests that it probably…


8 Strategies for Breaking Out of a Performance Slump

8 Strategies for Breaking Out of a Performance Slump

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether you’re watching basketball, baseball, or, say, cricket, broadcasters will often say that an underperforming athlete is in a "slump." I don’t know that I've ever thought of this phenomenon in a musical context, so my ears perked up a bit when I recently heard a few musicians use this term. Not like, “Oh, I’ve had a few subpar studio classes in a row; I think I’m in a slump.” But more in the context of orchestral auditions, where you…


The

"Post-Event Reflection": A Tool to Bounce Back Better and Faster from Sub-Par Performances

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether it’s an audition, recital, or performance, it’s pretty natural to engage in some sort of post-performance reflection or “post-mortem.” For me, the reflection process usually consisted of a) re-living the worst moments, b) trying to decide how bad things really were, c) spiraling to the bad place and questioning all of my life choices, and d) resolving to practice more next time. Which, technically, I guess you could call a…