Got a problem with your performance? Common wisdom says:
- Got performance anxiety? Practice more!
Prepare better and perform more often!
- Is your technique inconsistent? Practice more!
Work harder and concentrate more!
- Feeling disconnected from your music? Practice more!
Sing it, feel it, and throw your heart into it!
- Are you stuck and uninspired in your career? Practice more!
Strive to succeed, and push yourself to beat the competition!
Even though practicing is important, the TRUE source of the problems I’ve described above (and every other problem!) is something so obvious that most people never see it, and the solution isn’t simply to practice more.
Here’s what I know to be true.
✓ Practicing IS important, but successful practice is much more about quality than quantity. Most people have no idea what truly makes practicing effective or not, so the results of your practice are often a gamble, based on variable things like your mood, your energy levels, your digestion, or even the ups and downs of your love-life!
✓ What makes practicing work is determined by HOW you practice… and HOW you practice is determined by how you THINK, and how your thoughts affect your body and influence your movements.
✓ The quality of coordination of your mind and your body – the unified flow of your whole self – is what determines the effortless and graceful – or clumsy and uncoordinated – quality of your actions, and therefore of your practice and performance.
✓ The best practicing isn’t about finding things that are wrong that need to be fixed. It’s about getting in touch with the source of an idea and knowing how to translate that into sound with maximum efficiency and minimum interference in the form of unhelpful thoughts and excess muscular tension.
The solution to your performance problems is not simply to practice more!
The solution is to practice BETTER.
Practicing better means knowing:
✓ Efficient practice techniques for rapid progress with less effort
✓ How to relax so you can play pain-free, heal and prevent injury
✓ How to sniff out the root of any problem and how to fix it easily
✓ What you’re doing with your mind and body from moment to moment
✓ How to focus and stop wasting energy with negative, self-critical thinking
✓ How to move with ease for effortless flow and technical precision
When you have all of that in place, you’ll have conscious, constructive control over your WHOLE SELF.
That means YOU determine the quality of every moment of your practicing.
You’ll know exactly what to do to overcome performance anxiety.
You’ll be able to play with consistent technique and heartfelt musical expression.
And you’ll have the unshakable foundation you need to enjoy a fulfilling career that’s truly aligned with your life purpose.
Who doesn’t want that?!?!
Have you examined the quality of your practice lately? Do you know how your thoughts affect your body, your comfort and coordination, and your musical results?
Are you aware of how attention to all of these details determines the quality of your performance, your rate of progress, and your career success?
If these ideas make you wonder about how you can improve without practicing more, let me know in the comments below – or PM me so we can chat.