A practical masterclass demonstrating how an understanding of the two brain hemispheres can help us deal with performance anxiety, and help us identify and deal with obstacles to our natural musicianship when learning and practising a new piece.

Show Notes

  • [3:05] Learning hands separately or together?
  • [7:40] Psychological strategies for dealing with performance anxiety, and finding an optimal state of mind before we start to practice or perform
  • [30:15] Strategies for coming out of narrow focus when practising/ learning
  • [44:30] The important habit of always imagining a visual grid of where the beats are when reading sheet music
  • [50:10] The importance of not looking at keys at the precise moment when we play those notes
  • [55:10] More strategies for coming out of narrow focus
  • [1:05:30] ‘Blocking’ notes as a strategy for getting notes under the fingers quickly. Importance of feeling/interoception when doing this

Further Notes:

Many thanks to the C. Bechstein Centre in Manchester for letting us use one of their teaching/practice rooms to record this podcast episode: https://www.bechstein.co.uk

The intro/outro music is my jazz arrangement of the Rachmaninov Adagio from Symphony #2, you can watch the whole thing here if you like: https://youtu.be/hMqREAngb4s