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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 dont remember what I was
thinking. I was immersed in the character and music and I dont
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 Im not
paying attention
Cracking

Exercise: Noticing the Effects of Interference


-Mental and physical effects of doubt and anxiety:
Losing my breath
Sweating
Throat closing up
Thinking Im doing badly
Crying
Breathing too much
Basically forgetting everything
Self 1 and Self 2 (interference and potential)
If it interferes with your potential, its Self 1
If it expresses your potential, its Self 2
Exercise: Getting acquainted with Self 1
Reading while speaking thoughts out loud:
Made me realize its very difficult to pay attention and actually
give full life and attention to my passing thoughts.
o Work is less satisfactory when you are listening to the
talker inside your head.
when the interference is gone, our performance matches our
potential.
We dont have to talk back to Self 1!!!
Bypass the critical interference of Self 1 and unleash the
natural power and grace of Self 2.

The Inner Game Skills


P.E.L. Triangle

Performance

Experience

(achievement)

Learning

To reap the benefits of anything were doing, 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, AND TRUST!
Awareness: being aware without judgment.
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.
Trying Fails, Awareness Cures
The harder we try, the more confused things become.. the
remedy for trying too hard is awareness.
When we doubt ourselves in a situation, we generally try
harder. We often tense up and play less well.
Keep Self 1 occupied!!! Its tendency to doubt will not bother
us if we do so.
Exercise: Trying versus Awareness

The difference between trying and awareness:


Trying: When I was trying to tap evenly and perfectly, I was
trying too hard. My arms were tense, and my right was faster
and louder than my left. I was worrying and doubting myself,
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 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, stop trying and focus your awareness on a single
element of the performance.
Permission to Fail leads to Success
A challenge in music is to always imagine that we have a
second chance and thus, permission to fail.
This causes us to release the need to try and to allow
ourselves to be present in the moment and live in the music.
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. The first
time felt pretty good, but I had to repeat it quite a few times
before deliberately making myself fail. It was definitely harder
to fail deliberately than to do it the way I always have.
You have released yourself from the fear of failure when you
stop trying.
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.
Paying attention to only the pattern the notes were making
and having the first note made reading the selection a lot
easier!

When singing a passage, ask yourself what can be simplified


or unified. Trust Self 2 to automatically do what you are not
focusing on directly.

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.
There are 2 types of distractions: external and internal.
Choosing a Focus for our Awareness
Accept distractions and choose to focus attention elsewhere.
This lessens the distractions and puts more focus on the
music.
We should be able to place our attention where it belongs by
doing this. This is something Id like to try, 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.
Being Present by Paying Attention to Sight
Focus on the instruments! Im not sure how this can really
apply to singing, but it seems that you could possibly focus on
the instrument by listening to your own tone.
Watch the notes on the score. 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 Im in the car and cannot
sing at the moment, but I listened to music and imagined the
singer singing. I noticed that I was paying much more
attention to the music than to my surroundings and was able

to focus entirely on the art. 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.
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.
Exercise: Focusing on Sound
Reading while focusing on the sounds around me:
I listened to the sound of cars passing by. When I focused on
this sound, the sounds in the rest of my environment began to
fade away.
This brings your attention into the present, 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.
Exercise: Focusing on Feelings
Listening to music and focusing on the feelings that the music
expresses:
Das Verlassene Magdlein- the song mostly expresses sadness
and hopelessness. I feel the high vibrations and low vibrations
in my chest and head.
Singing the same song, I feel the sadness of the character in
my heart. The high notes register in my head as I am singing,
and I feel the low notes register in my head as well.
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
Im singing. Just as you focus on your objective while doing a
play you know very well, focusing on your feelings while
singing something you wont forget seems like a good way to
bring focus back to what you are doing.
Being Present By Paying Attention to What You Know

We have knowledge buried inside of us from all of our past


listening, seeing, and feeling experiences, as well as many
others. When we are singing or listening and we get an inkling
that something isnt quite right, its often that knowledge
making the call.
Exercise: Focusing on What We Know
researching a piece before listening to or singing it:
I did this with Das Verlassene, and knowing the background
of the song did help in some ways. Knowing the composers
original intent and context helps in any case with something
you perform, because it gives you a new lens to look at the
piece through.
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 it will be solved.
o Awareness can give us room to tolerate things the way
they are, and then choose to put our focus on something
else.
o Awareness can allow us to notice subtle changes, and
give us new ways to solve problems.
o Awareness can often let us see past the immediate
problem in the foreground, and see the problem behind
that problem.
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 had
the shape of the song because I know it.
I played it again and it was fine on pitch. One of the notes
seemed to be out of tune.
The A on be was flat because I was jumping from the D on
twill
Singing it again, I was more aware of the jump and was able
to sing it more accurately.
Singing it again after directing my awareness to the flat note
was more helpful for me. I was not aware of the flat note until
after, and was able to be aware of it while singing it again

Simple Awareness May Be Enough


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

Singing Simple Gifts at extremes and then taking it back to what


you want it to be:
When I adjusted the volume, I felt best at the volume between
loud and soft. After going to the two extremes, I was able to
know exactly what I wanted. The case was the same with
tempo!
When trying the different expression types, I realized that I
enjoyed the sound of the romantic quality the most. I realized
this because I tried so many other ones.

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, our focus on
the music is even less.
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

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

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

b. I suffer from performance anxiety when I am singing


classically.
c. I am often worried about my ability to perform under
pressure when I am singing classically.
Music is a Performing Art
Give yourself the character and emotions of the music. You
are the character and not yourself.
We must express the qualities of the music and not our own.
When we accept that we are interpreters of the music and of
the art, 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, it stays
in control and we cannot respond as sensitively to the feelings
the music evokes.