When I am preparing music, now-a-days at least, I am quite clear on what I need to achieve in my practice session. Gone are the vague days of “get better” or “play the best I can.”
That has been replaced with setting clear, measurable goals.
Maybe its because I have smaller humans to take care of now, so my time on the flute is a precious commodity. Or maybe its because I’m older an wiser.
I just know I want my practice time to count for something.
Practice Mindset Every Day
Every time we pick up our instruments is an opportunity to create connections in our brains to support our desire to be confident, free, joyful performers as well!
Just as we pay careful attention to the fluidity of our technique or the tone color we are producing, it is beneficial to notice the voice in our heads (you know the one!) and train it to become our most ardent ally rather than our fiercest enemy.
While it takes daily attention and effort, I would argue that mindset training is VITAL to becoming a performer who is unlocked from the grips of stage fright.
It is one thing to know what you should think to have a healthy mindset. It is an entirely different thing to have practiced a correct mindset so that it has become as ingrained in your cells as your BbM scale.
When we practice our positive mindset every day we rewire our brains and (eventually, with consistent effort) when our instruments his our lips, or shoulders we feel JOY.
That rewiring happens by intentionally creating space for what is good and positive alongside what needs to be improved. We need BOTH.
You will feel empowered. Capable. Ready to conquer that passage, that excerpt, that concert.
And when you find yourself in a high pressure situation, one in which your body typically reacts in fear, this daily habitual training will flow through your mind more naturally.
You will be able to access control and confidence when you most need it.
Just as when we practice breathing our nervous system relaxes automatically, when we practice positive psychology our minds will remember - I’ve been here before and I know I can do this.
Suggested Mindset Intentions
Here are some ideas of intentions you can set today when your practice:
I will notice when I am speaking unkindly to myself and read an affirmation out loud.
I will listen for the beautiful in my playing and celebrate it before I dig into the challenges.
I will take time to pull back and give myself a view of the forest - I will see the big picture areas where I have improved and congratulate myself for that.
I will value that I showed up today, for myself and my music.
When I feel frustrated I will walk away and breathe some fresh air, look at the trees or the pigeons and remember that I am enough.
I will set aside time for play where I simply enjoy myself on my instrument free from the work of improving.
I will create a list of improvements I want to make in my playing, I will fix them, and I will allow myself to trust the work I’ve done.
I want to encourage you that mindset work is a PROCESS. It takes consistent practice, just like Firebird! But if every time you’re on your instrument working on technique you are simultaneously working on changing your inner dialogue, you will find success.
Next Steps and Additional Resources
Here at The Musician's Mindset we have some incredible resources for developing and implementing mindset practices that will transform how you perform on stage.
First, check out our Personalized Mindset Tools Quiz to discover the mindset strategies perfect for YOU!
Join the waiting list for my FREE mini-course, How to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Calm the Heck Down.
Katie is dedicated to helping musicians overcome stage fright and believe in their own unique artistic voice. She believes live classical music is a powerful antidote for the division, pain, and loneliness pervasive in the culture and strives to support all artists to confidently share their work with the world. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, three kiddos, a dog, a snake, and a goldfish named Orca.