E.E. Cummings once said “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
For many years, I didn’t understand what that meant. But it’s starting to make more sense.
After all, it’s easy to follow a well-worn path, to do the safe thing, or to take others’ advice when it comes to figuring out what we should do with our lives.
But artists seem to find their own way. Artists learn to listen to that inner voice, and have the courage to follow – even if they have no idea where it will take them.
And whether we fall in love with their art or not, we respect the artist within them. Because we see their courage, and that resonates with the artist within us – which wants only to do the same. To follow our own path.
Say hello to Menahem Pressler
Pianist Menahem Pressler has had a remarkable career spanning nearly seven decades. As founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, he has recorded pretty much the entire piano chamber music repertoire over the trio’s 50+ years. In his 60 years of teaching at Indiana University, he has guided students to prestigious teaching positions around the world and prizes in all of the major international piano competitions.
And now, at age 89, he maintains a performance and teaching schedule that makes me tired just thinking of it.
In this interview, you’ll hear the wisdom and insight he has gained from a lifetime of performing and teaching – and what it takes (and means) to truly be an artist.
In addition, he shares his insights on…
The keys to preparing oneself for great performances
And what it really means to be prepared (it’s not just about your fingers)
What he thinks about while performing (on good days, and on bad days)
How to deal with critics
How to deal with the ups and downs from one performance to the next
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.