Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Practice Isn't Enough

From an article by Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim, published in the Wall Street Journal 9/29/11:
Performance psychologists are invited into music departments nation-wide, as educators recognize the need to prepare musicians for the competitive, high-stakes world of classical music. In the past, performance anxiety was rarely discussed; if anything, it was seen as a Darwinian way of separating those fit for a solo career from those doomed to teach. Today, performance psychologists advertise their services as coaches, not shrinks, providing musicians the same concrete tools and drills offered athletes and CEOs.


Fear is not the problem: If you want to do well, you will probably experience fear. [The newer approach] is to build up the mental skills needed in a performance, like courage, trust and a focus on higher-order qualities: artistry and expression for musicians, strategy for athletes. Much of this involves [mental training] ... In addition, [performance psychologists coax] teachers and musicians to incorporate performance-like play time into each practice session and lesson.

Read the full article here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 2011 Teaching Schedule

-- My teaching schedule during the month of October will be complicated. I have been hired to take over the pianist chair for actress Rita Moreno's one-woman play "Life w/o Makeup" at the Berkeley Rep Theatre. My first performance will be the evening of Tuesday, October 11.

The play runs through the entire month of October and then through the first week in November. There are shows Tuesday through Sunday every week. I will be calling and emailing parents and students in the next few days to discuss lessons that will need to be re-scheduled.

-- I have scheduled the next student recital. It will be held on Saturday, December 10 between noon - 4pm at CSUEB. More details are forthcoming.

-- The 2011-12 Certificate of Merit cycle has begun. Fees for participating students will be collected with November lesson payments. Here are the CM dates for this spring:
* Performance evaluations will be held on the weekends of March 3 & 4 and March 10 & 11
** Theory testing will be conducted on the weekend of March 3 & 4.

-- I have decided to pay for a yearly subscription to Theta Music Trainer. This allows all of my students full access to the music drills and games at that site, with everyone having their own username and password in order to track progress. I am encouraging every student to complete one session of the site's "Basic Ear Training" course each week. 

Personal note: I have quietly ascended to the 6th ranking among top Theta Music users. See for yourself.

-- The Song of the Month for October is "For No One" by The Beatles.
Revolver - The Beatles

I hope you are well, and not as busy as me this month.