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INNER GAME OF MUSIC

PAGE 5-bass player, deliberately raising tension to then lower it,
lowering it to actually be lower than its original level!
P=p-i
Performance=potential-interference
 Reduce interference at the same time that potential is
being trained.
Remember the Worst Moment
-Sophomore year voice recital in high school. Sang vaga luna and
had gotten allergy tested that day. I was incredibly nervous and
they had just taken the rest of my class into the hallway to start
getting ready for our group performance. I was sweating and
actually wiped my face during the song.
Remember the Best
-YoungArts! Really the only time I don’t remember what I was
thinking. I was immersed in the character and music and I don’t
remember it!
Exercise: Identifying Self-Interference
-Things that worry me:
 Forgetting words
 Running out of air
 Skipping something
 Having to pee
 Losing my voice
 Coming in at the wrong time
 My nerves getting the best of me (sophomore voice recital)
 Zoning out and doing something that shows that I’m not
paying attention
 Cracking

it’s Self 1  If it expresses your potential. . it’s Self 2 Exercise: Getting acquainted with Self 1 Reading while speaking thoughts out loud:  Made me realize it’s very difficult to pay attention and actually give full life and attention to my passing thoughts. our performance matches our potential.Exercise: Noticing the Effects of Interference -Mental and physical effects of doubt and anxiety:  Losing my breath  Sweating  Throat closing up  Thinking I’m doing badly  Crying  Breathing too much  Basically forgetting everything Self 1 and Self 2 (interference and potential)  If it interferes with your potential.  “when the interference is gone.”  We don’t have to talk back to Self 1!!!  Bypass the critical interference of Self 1 and unleash the natural power and grace of Self 2. o Work is less satisfactory when you are listening to the talker inside your head.

we must be aware of:  The quality of our experience while we are doing it  What we are learning as we are doing it  How close we are coming to achieving our goals AWARENESS. WILL.. Trying Fails. we generally “try harder”. AND TRUST! Awareness: being aware without judgment.E. Exercise: Trying versus Awareness . the more confused things become. Will: the direction and the intensity of our intention Trust: It takes trust to have those 2 skills and to tap into our inner resources to perform best. When we doubt ourselves in a situation. the remedy for “trying too hard” is awareness. Triangle Performance Experience (achievement) Learning To reap the benefits of anything we’re doing. We often tense up and play less well.L. Awareness Cures The harder we try.The Inner Game Skills P. Keep Self 1 occupied!!! Its tendency to doubt will not bother us if we do so.

I was trying too hard.  Paying attention to only the pattern the notes were making and having the first note made reading the selection a lot easier! .The difference between trying and awareness:  Trying: When I was trying to tap evenly and perfectly. but I had to repeat it quite a few times before deliberately making myself fail. My arms were tense. The first time felt pretty good. stop trying and focus your awareness on a single element of the performance. I was able to actually be aware of the volume of both hands and adjust them naturally without forcing anything! o When you are singing and notice you are in a trying state. and my right was faster and louder than my left. It was definitely harder to fail deliberately than to do it the way I always have. This causes us to release the need to try and to allow ourselves to be present in the moment and live in the music. thinking too much about my hands being equal and even!  Awareness: When I was simply being aware while tapping and going at a comfortable speed. I was worrying and doubting myself. Exercise: Trust-Easy and Familiar Paying attention to the pattern of a fast and difficult selection rather than to the individual notes:  Paying attention to the individual notes at first made me go slower and feel like what I was doing was more difficult. permission to fail. Exercise: Permission to Fail Performing a difficult task and giving yourself permission to fail:  I tried singing the end of Must the Winter Come So Soon. something I had difficulty with throughout the year. Permission to Fail leads to Success A challenge in music is to always imagine that we have a second chance and thus.  You have released yourself from the fear of failure when you stop trying.

 There are 2 types of distractions: external and internal. Choosing a Focus for our Awareness  Accept distractions and choose to focus attention elsewhere. When singing a passage. The Power of Awareness  Awareness can illuminate things that we were “in the dark about” and can show us things we already knew more clearly. Trust Self 2 to automatically do what you are not focusing on directly. Being Present by Paying Attention to Sight Focus on the instruments! I’m not sure how this can really apply to singing. Try to see each note and the complete phrase at the same time to heighten observation of the dynamic notations and create more expressive playing Exercise: Focusing on Sight Listening to/playing music and using sight:  I decided to listen to music because I’m in the car and cannot sing at the moment. I noticed that I was paying much more attention to the music than to my surroundings and was able . This lessens the distractions and puts more focus on the music. but it almost seems like I would be so focused on not focusing on the distractions that I would lose focus on the task at hand. This is something I’d like to try. but I listened to music and imagined the singer singing.  We should be able to place our attention where it belongs by doing this. but it seems that you could possibly focus on the instrument by listening to your own tone. Watch the notes on the score. ask yourself what can be simplified or unified.

and I feel the low notes register in my head as well. The high notes register in my head as I am singing. and reduces your Self 1 talk! Being Present By Paying Attention to Feelings  Our feelings can easily draw us away from Self 1 distractions! Focusing on your feelings while playing or listening can bring you awareness into the present moment. focusing on your feelings while singing something you won’t forget seems like a good way to bring focus back to what you are doing. Being Present By Paying Attention to What You Know .  Singing the same song. I feel the high vibrations and low vibrations in my chest and head.  This is another way to divert Self 1 traffic! I think this could be really helpful for me to get rid of the noise in my head while I’m singing. Just as you focus on your objective while doing a play you know very well. I think that I often listen to music and allow it to fade into the background if I am not paying attention to something specific in the music. When I focused on this sound. Being Present by Paying Attention to Sound  Listening to music with full awareness can silence the critical voice inside of you and draw your attention fully to the music.to focus entirely on the art. Exercise: Focusing on Feelings Listening to music and focusing on the feelings that the music expresses:  Das Verlassene Mägdlein. I feel the sadness of the character in my heart.the song mostly expresses sadness and hopelessness. the sounds in the rest of my environment began to fade away. Exercise: Focusing on Sound Reading while focusing on the sounds around me:  I listened to the sound of cars passing by.  This brings your attention into the present.

 The A on “be” was flat because I was jumping from the D on “twill”  Singing it again. Exercise: Using Nonjudgmental Awareness When Playing Out of Tune Singing “Simple Gifts” without judging yourself and simply noticing pitch or intonation:  My pitch was bad because I started on the wrong note. I was more aware of the jump and was able to sing it more accurately. it’s often that knowledge making the call. and give us new ways to solve problems.  Singing it again after directing my awareness to the flat note was more helpful for me. and see the problem behind that problem. and feeling experiences. Exercise: Focusing on What We Know researching a piece before listening to or singing it:  I did this with Das Verlassene…. On Awareness  There are 4 ways in which awareness can bring positive change: o Sometimes all that is needed is to bring awareness to an issue. and was able to be aware of it while singing it again . as well as many others.  I played it again and it was fine on pitch. I had the shape of the song because I know it. o Awareness can allow us to notice subtle changes. because it gives you a new lens to look at the piece through. and it will be solved. One of the notes seemed to be out of tune. and then choose to put our focus on something else. We have knowledge buried inside of us from all of our past listening. Knowing the composer’s original intent and context helps in any case with something you perform. When we are singing or listening and we get an inkling that something isn’t quite right. o Awareness can often let us see past the immediate problem in the foreground. seeing. I was not aware of the flat note until after. and knowing the background of the song did help in some ways. o Awareness can give us room to tolerate things the way they are.

Rather than trying to use perfect technique. I made a lot of mistakes from unfamiliarity and because I was trying to stay in a strict tempo while sight-reading. Exercise: Focusing on the Middle Path . and I got an upset stomach every time. I can be aware of when my technique is not where I want it to be in a song. this causes the problem to go away or clear up.Simple Awareness May Be Enough  When we are in a state of nonjudgmental awareness. This is similar to the case in which Randy tensed up his arm to a 10 and then relaxed it. and went on to do the show. Focusing in both directions. we listen more closely and are able to adjust things at a level beneath our conscious awareness. and give it permission to exist.  Simply being aware of which notes were inaccurate worked much better for me and brought me to a sense of ease. then simply being aware of the mistakes you make while playing it again:  While trying to play the passage perfectly. Exercise: Awareness as an Antidote to Trying Trying to play a selection perfectly. It was a feeling I had felt before. spoke about it out loud to people who said it was okay. but this time I simply acknowledged that it was there. and be aware of when I am not singing in tune or on pitch. I made fewer mistakes!  This could be really helpful. Exercise: Accepting the Problem Becoming aware of a physical attribute of anxiety and nervousness  I got nervous before my first show of Charlotte’s Web. making it feel more relaxed than before. get to know it. Accepting the Problem the Way it Is You can use awareness to accept a problem. I stopped thinking about my stomach and just did the show! Focusing on the Middle Path  Push some aspect of your performance to an extreme so that you can find the middle ground of what you truly desire. In many cases.

I realized this because I tried so many other ones. I realized that I enjoyed the sound of the romantic quality the most. I was able to know exactly what I wanted. our focus on the music is even less. The Power of Will Degrees of Distraction 100% concentration  100% music Our attention may be cut in half when we are worried about various things to do with an audition situation/performance that causes anxiety: 100% concentration  50% music/50% audition anxiety When we are shifting focus to several different things. I felt best at the volume between loud and soft. 100% concentration  35% boredom/15% looking assured/25% music/15% past successes/10% dinner after the concert Why Do We Choose Music? Exercise: Reasons for Choosing Music? List the ways in which music affects you:     Brings me joy Makes me sad Can change my mood Good way to unwind .Singing “Simple Gifts” at extremes and then taking it back to what you want it to be:  When I adjusted the volume. After going to the two extremes. The case was the same with tempo!  When trying the different expression types.

and worry about the exact notes because I knew them and had looked at every note before. A full reading of the text and familiarity with it is the first step in allowing your musicianship to come through. the singing became freer and easier. we must know the goal of the composer. Gives me ideas  Gives me a way to express myself  I enjoy sharing my music with others through singing and performing. Performance Goal 2: Using Physical Cues: It may be useful to set physical or kinesthetic goals while performing to provide you with provide yourself with performance clues. Exercise: Freeing the Eye from Watching the Notes Watching while looking at every note. Exercise: Kinesthetic Preparation Imagining yourself singing the piece before actually singing it:  I imagined myself singing “Simple Gifts” and went through the song kinesthetically. Performance Goal 3: The Authentic Sound To play music accurately and effectively. but this seems like something that may be more helpful for playing an instrument. tension.  When I came to the same leap that I was having issues with before. then sang it out loud. I enjoy singing in auditions. and any chance I can take. from looking at every note to not looking at the page and imagining I was Bach. Using the kinesthetic memory of your body prepares you for accurate performance.  Music gives me opportunities to perform and show people what I can do! Performance Goal 1: Using Visual Cues  Few people make full use of the skeletal structure of the music on the page. I practiced it kinesthetically and it helped somewhat. then moving to not looking at the page at all:  Over time. There was less pressure. Performance Goal 4: The Music In Your Head . concerts. I could be just doing it wrong.

Performance Goal 5: The Meaning of the Music Try to express the meaning and emotion of the music. I can often play creatively. c. b.  This is kind of a confusing concept to me! I tried singing the song and hearing it in my head. I often doubt my control over the situation and over my voice. a. My interpretation is not often my biggest worry in a performance. I tend to have problems with my self-image a. 2. c. but I am worried that I will fail in that moment and people will believe that that is my best. and then while. hearing it in your head as you are singing. The Power of Trust Exercise: The Barriers to Trust Which barriers most often come between you and your ability to trust? 1. Performance Goal 6: The Drama in the Music Try to visualize the story as you play or sing so that you can express the dramatic elements of it. b. I am very concerned with the respect my peers feel for me! This came up a lot this summer for me. . a. playing it often becomes easier. this is something that I always try to do. Exercise: Hearing the Music You Play Singing “Camptown Races” without. I’m sure it’s more difficult when playing music rather than singing it. I’m not necessarily worried I will be a failure. I am not as uncomfortable taking risks as I once was! 3. I am concerned about what the audience will think of my playing. but I feel like that’s something that I always do. I am often worried that I “don’t have it” musically. As an actor.When you are able to hold the sound and pitch of the music in your head. I doubt my abilities often.

it stays in control and we cannot respond as sensitively to the feelings the music evokes. . c.  When we accept that we are interpreters of the music and of the art.b. I am often worried about my ability to perform under pressure when I am singing classically.  We must express the qualities of the music and not our own. I suffer from performance anxiety when I am singing classically. You are the character and not yourself. Music is a Performing Art  Give yourself the character and emotions of the music. we worry less about how an audience will see us. The Feeling of Being Out of Control  When we are in our heads and only listening to Self 1.