Self Hypnosis for Musicians


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Perhaps you are interested in using hypnosis to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself, or perhaps you are just curious and interested to learn more. If you are thinking of trying some of the many hypnosis … Continue reading

Performance Anxiety Children – 7 Ways You Can Identify This Anxiety Disorder in Your Child!

Dear bloggers & Face Book users: please help us grow our little music school by sharing and reblogging this post – thank you – S


Presenting itself through a number of signs and symptoms, performance anxiety is a social anxiety disorder that affects people who perform in public for example; singers, actors, musicians, and public speakers or master of ceremonies. Your child may also experience this condition if s/he is made a part of the debate team or a part of the school play or such similar part. The most common root cause of this ailment is feelings of inadequacy on the part of your child. This article will reveal 7 of the most common triggers that you can learn to recognize and know if your child is suffering from performance anxiety (PA)…

1. Stage Fright…
This is one of the most common indicators of this performance anxiety according to author Martin Richfield. It mostly occurs in the form of a paralyzing fear and immobility. Your child becomes unable to move or speak; this scenario is mostly brought on due to your child’s irrational fear of humiliation or rejection by his or her classmates or playmates.

2. Lack Of Concentration…
Another common sign of PA in your child is his or her inability of to concentrate. Becoming confused of losing focus are results that can be directly traced back to feelings of fear or apprehensive thoughts which may have overtaking your child’s mind and affected his or her ability to complete the present task at hand.

3. Perspiration…
Excessive swearing from various orifices in your child’s body, particularly your hands, feet and face, is another sign that s/he might be experiencing a bout of performance anxiety. What occurs is that the brain sends signals to the body which causes “hot flashes” and results in a large volume of perspiration due to emotional stress. When this occurs, your child begins to feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

4. Quivering…
Shaking or quaking uncontrollable is a common occurrence while experiencing PA. This shacking generally occurs around your child’s hands and knees. Adrenaline is sent through your child’s body as a defense mechanism which results in uncontrollable quivering. This is also referred to as “fight or flight” mode.

5. Dyspnea…
More commonly referred to as shortness of breath, is a very common occurrence while experiencing a bout of PA. Hyperventilation, gasping for air, an increased heart rate etc are all linked to dyspnea and occurs when your child is afraid of performing.

6. Lightheadedness…
While performing your child may become woozy or faint headed, this dizziness is a typical sign of performance anxiety and can cause your child to lose his or her balance. This is due to the brain not getting the required amount of oxygen and blood needed to function properly. Your child may begin to see a spinning hall or room and can potentially faint if the anxiety is intense.

7. Adrenaline Rush…
You will know this through your child’s increased heart rate. While experiencing PA, adrenaline will be released into your child’s body as a survival response, which is what causes the increased heart rate; in fact, the more afraid your child becomes, the faster his or her heart will beat.


Ty Lamai is an avid researcher and writer with in-depth knowledge spanning a wide variety of topics. He has hundreds of articles published online and has a blog dedicated to info about performance anxiety in children [] which you should visit today.


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Tips for Dealing With Music Performance Nerves Part 1

Dear bloggers & Face Book users: please help us grow our little music school by sharing and reblogging this post – thank you – S


It is important for performers to seek methods to deal with the feelings accompanying fear and nerves. The following are several simple methods to alleviate mild nervousness.

1. Before performing, you must first remember that you have practiced to the best of your ability and remind yourself of this. You have used your practicing skills in the most effective way you know. Of course, there will always be things you look to improve in your playing, but given all the circumstances that have led to this moment, you have worked hard as you can. Now the practicing is over. What you will do now, is to use your “hook point”, (what?) something you would have encountered during practice sessions. The hook point (hp) is at work, for example, when you learn the fingering for a piece. When you repeat and reinforce the new patterns, the hp is the moment where your brain starts to recognise the pattern and become familiar with what your fingers are doing, usually after many repetitions. The information from this process is retained, so that when you go on to practice other areas like articulation/dynamics, you don’t have to think too hard about the fingering. The most comforting aspect of the hp is that when it is time for you to perform, what you do is recall what/where was the hp, or areas you played easily during practice. Usually, once your ear recognises a passage you’ve practiced many times over, your brain will trigger the familiarity that the fingers developed in practice.

2. Do not draw conclusions about what just happened or what might/might not happen. Self-criticism while performing is pointless because it takes you out of the here and now and destroys your focus and physical actions.

Whatever the criticism, it introduces a verbal aspect into an activity that is most successful when it is non-verbal. Reserve judgment for after the performance, preferably after you have listened to other people’s reactions. Rather than judge your playing, simply observe it without saying anything, and play from the heart. For example, when you are about to make a crescendo, go for it and then feel it as you are doing it. There is nothing verbal about this process. You are, rather, putting intention into action – that is, motivating.

3. Do not second-guess the audiences reaction to your playing. When performing we become mind readers and believe we know exactly what the responses to our playing are. More often than not, these thoughts prove to be completely, wildly inaccurate and only serve to further distract us from our aim. An example: I was once playing a recital, with only twenty people in the audience. As soon as I came out to perform, I noticed a guy who looked familiar, but whom I could not quite place where I had seen him before. For most of the first piece, I was only partially thinking about the music, the other part, wondering who he was and (even worse) what he thought about the playing (crazy I know).

Finally I remembered that he was a respected piano teacher and accompanist I once met at a music shop near where I live. He was undoubtedly going to listen to the music on the program with a keen attention to detail and pick holes at the whole performance. Throughout the entire time, I was preoccupied with these thoughts and not surprisingly, the whole experience became gradually uncomfortable for me. Afterward, when he came to speak to me, I discovered that this piano teacher was, in fact, a jazz and pop specialist rather than a connoisseur of classical music and was very complimentary of my performance. Later I thought, “what an incredible waste of mental energy!” How remarkable it is that the vast resources of ones imagination can be used for such futile, self-destructive mind-games! You probably have had similar experiences.

Trying to imagine what the audience thinks of your playing is useless and distracting. You must please yourself first.


Ugo Onwutalu is a musician and piano teacher, also playing the guitar and organ. He is the founder of Grade Music Tutors, a UK music tuition production and entertainment organisation based in London. Visit for information on everything music-related, from learning an instrument and preparing for your exams, to getting a job in the music industry.


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5 Practical Ways to Overcoming Stage Fright

Dear bloggers & Face Book users: please help us grow our little music school by sharing and reblogging this post – thank you – S


Overcoming stage fright takes time and some creative effort. But in my experience as a singer and singing teacher for over 25 years, I have observed that with the right approach, most of us can successfully control and/or dramatically reduce the negative feelings associated with stage fright.

In short, YOU can overcome stage fright!

A clinical psychologist at the Yeshiva University in New York. Shara Sand, (who is also a trombone player) says: “What primitively is going on is that there is a kind of exposure and vulnerability.”

She explains that even though we know that there is no great danger to us, still we experience the physical signs of imminent danger: our mouths get dry, our hearts pound furiously, our hands get sweaty and may even shake, our breathing patterns change, and of course, there is the constant desire to go to the bathroom.

1. Are You Really Ready?

Have you prepared yourself as well as you can?

Sometimes your feelings of stage fright are your body’s way of telling you that you are not yet ready to perform in public. Be sure that you have chosen something to sing that is within your present vocal abilities and that you have learned the piece(s) well. Poor preparation and too difficult a song will, with good reason, put you in a very vulnerable position.

2. Have You Tested the Shallower Waters?

Time, patience and practice help in overcoming stage fright.

So let us assume that you have prepared yourself well and you are singing music that is right for you. You had a chance to perform, and you were crushed by stage fright. You found yourself saying, “Never again!”

What now?

If you do not have the funds for or access to a course on overcoming stage fright and you are in a do-it-yourself mode, here is a fun next step:

First – find a very non-threatening situation in which to sing.

When I lived in the country (first, the mountains of Vermont and later, a lake-house in the Adirondack forest in New York state), I used to sing my newest or most difficult songs to animals.

I am not kidding!

I regularly sang to a large family of raccoons in Vermont, and to the resident woodchuck, porcupine and blackbirds in the Adirondacks.

This kind of prep-performance effort gives you a sense of humor about your performing self. You also see where your mistakes will happen in a very non-threatening, but critical situation. (“Critical” – because animals are a tough audience – they get bored – they yawn openly at your feebler attempts, and they walk away.)

In my case, the raccoons were the yawners. The blackbirds gathered in the trees and trilled harshly when my high notes were not very good. And so I learned to laugh at myself and do better.

(Warning! – Do not sing loudly to babies or dogs. It can hurt their ears. Babies will cry. Dogs will whimper.)

Next…move on to humans in your quest towards overcoming stage fright. Invite one or two people to your home stage who will not criticize you. They may be very young or very old. But their presence is needed only to allow you to practice dealing with your nervous energy.

Take the performance seriously.

For example – walk into the living room from the hallway as though you were walking onstage. Feel the nervous energy climb as you stand in front of your “audience.” Sing your songs with all your heart and with all your technical ability.

Afterward, do not ask for feedback. You are not singing in order to have others tell you how to be a better singer. This exercise is to get your body used to feeling and dealing with the high energy that is required to sing well.

When you have done this exercise several times, start to get more serious about why you are singing.

3. Do You Have Purpose for Your Performance?

What do I mean by purpose? Here is my purpose in singing: I choose to sing and/or write songs that have something to say that I strongly believe in and that I think could be of value to others. When I walk onstage, I need to know that what I am singing has this underlying purpose. Whatever nerves I feel, and after 30 years of performing, I do still feel a lot of nervous energy, I say to myself, “this ‘performance’ is more important than ‘me,’ so I will relax a little bit and give my audience my best.”

You also need to find your purpose for singing. It may be to share your personal world with others. It may be to bring joy to your audience. It may be to raise money for an event or to support a social/political cause.

Whatever you choose as your purpose, I promise you that having that in mind as you walk onstage (or into an audition) is going to take a lot of the sting out of your stage fright. You will have something besides yourself to think about as you prepare to perform.

4. Always Singing Better (Technical Development)

This one is very simple. As your vocal technique improves (for example, you can repeatedly sing the high notes during your practices and you can hold the long phrases when you rehearse), you will be increasingly less fearful about going onstage.

Find a good singing teacher to learn the finer points of singing if you feel that your voice is not improving on your own or with a taped guide. And practice consistently and well.

This is key to overcoming stage fright.

5. A Few Secrets

Finally, here are a few specific things you can do to have a less fearful performance:

o Make sure that on the day of your performance you can have long stretches of quiet time.
o Do some breathing exercises back stage. Look here for a good breathing exercise
o If you find yourself feeling frozen or paralysed backstage – do some jumping jacks (e.g. jump gently up and down on the spot) to help free some of the imploded energy.
o When possible, go to the place you will be performing the day before you must perform and stand on the stage. If you cannot go there, try to find a picture of the room, hall or stage online and visualize yourself in that place.
In a final piece of nutty but useful advice, repeat to yourself what Bill Murray’s crazy character said in the movie “Meatballs,” “It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter…” (One performance is a small thing in a big life.)

I wish you great singing!


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I have been a singer, songwriter and vocal coach for over 25 years. I have produced and/or co-produced several of my own original-music CDs as well as two television-quality music videos which play regularly on Bravo TV and Classical Arts Showcase. I currently manage a teaching web site called, “”


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