Performance Coaching

Is coaching right for you?​

Ack!

Have you ever had the experience of walking into a performance and discovering that you had no control over your body? Where you played nowhere near your true abilities?

I certainly had my share of those days. The worst part was that there seemed to be no answers. “Just relax” people would say. “Enjoy yourself and remember that everyone is there to enjoy the performance too” others would offer. “Practice more” would be the standard response. And sure, it probably wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if I had been a little more diligent in the practice room…but even when I was, it didn’t seem to change things as much as I hoped it might.

And then I learned that there were a whole set of skills I’d never learned. Like the ability to manage one’s nerves, the ability to quiet that voice in your head and actually focus on the task at hand, or the ability to recover immediately from mistakes instead of seeing your performance spiral to the bad place.

And that there were a whole series of answers, solutions, and research-based tactics that made consistent high-level performances possible. Which came from a field of research known as sport or performance psychology, and addressed the mental side of performing.

So if you’ve been frustrated with performance anxiety or sub-par performances – and don’t know how to change things – I’d like to help.

Who do I work with?

I work with musicians who have an upcoming performance or audition that feels too important to leave to chance. We’ll usually start by taking a look at your existing practice and performance preparation plans. And then we’ll see what mental skills might need some work, experiment a bit with some drills and exercises aimed at strengthening those areas, and integrate all of this into your daily practice routine.

Clients have ranged from established members of major international orchestras, to early-career professionals, and young performers preparing for national/international competitions.

Here are a couple comments from musicians I’ve worked with…

Dr. Kageyama completely turned me around. As he had predicted, I was able to turn something daunting and intimidating into something fun and enjoyable. He gave me exercises which were very specifically tailor-made to my needs. What's more, I believe the tools he gave me are applicable to coping with life's challenges in general. I am deeply grateful to him for his expert and sensitive guidance.
Violinist
Metropolitan Opera orchestra
I've been doing fantastically well this year on the latest tour (Wizard of Oz) and will forever be thankful to you for your help and coaching. I have learned so much from our sessions together and from your ever relevant blog. It is not hyperbole when I say that you have saved my life. Your help and guidance in applying practical and effective techniques to develop the ability to retrain my mental focus have been the most valuable set of experiences and tools I have ever received in my musical education - again no exaggeration. Not only have I benefited on the performance stage, but my life offstage has been made better as well. If you ever have a moment of doubt regarding your choices in life, reread this email and KNOW that you have helped a fellow human being in the most valuable ways one can.
Percussionist
Freelance

And a partial list of orchestras where clients and students have won jobs or advanced to the finals…

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Charlotte Symphony

Chicago Symphony

Chicago Lyric Opera

Cincinnati Symphony

Colorado Symphony

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Dallas Symphony

Kansas City Symphony

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Minnesota Orchestra

Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Portland Symphony Orchestra

San Diego Symphony

San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Symphony

St. Louis Symphony

Toronto Symphony

Utah Symphony

Washington National Opera

Details

If you have questions about how coaching works, most of them will be answered in my welcome packet. But the short of it is this: coachings are 50-minutes in length, my rate is $200, and typically we will meet via Zoom.

Request an initial appointment

I do my best to respond to emails promptly, so if you don’t hear from me within 24-48 hours, please send me another email (it may be that my spam filter ate your first one).