Hi! My name is Noa Kageyama – I’m a performance psychologist, and am on the faculty of The Juilliard School. But once upon a time, I was that sleepy-looking 2-year old learning how to hold a violin.
Like learning any other skill, everything was pretty much rainbows and unicorns at the very outset, but it wasn’t long before I began experiencing stretches of frustrating practice days, where it felt like I was stuck – or getting worse. And on stage, I struggled with nerves, worries about memory slips, cold, clammy, shaky hands, a racing heartbeat, doubts, fears, and all the rest.
No matter how much I practiced, or how many bananas I ate, I never could figure out how to beat anxiety and perform my best when it really mattered.
Until I went to Juilliard, and took a class simply titled “Performance Enhancement,” taught by sport psychologist Don Greene. I had never heard of this branch of psychology, but what I learned changed everything.