Jonathan Clarke

Performance Development 

Welcome to the problem solving section.  This sections shares ideas on ways to perform ones best under pressure and dealing with performance related anxiety.
This is drawn on my own and many colleagues experiences to generate some simple ideas and approaches for us to achieve the best we can whilst performing. 

As you develope personally through adulthood its necessary to modify your approach and understand the demands which you put upon yourself.  
In the past as a young player, I whole heartedly believed that technique and practice solves all problems.
"A solid foundation will provide self belief and eradicate all nerves" was my rule. 
Whilst I still advocate a player needing a strong basic technique, the other essential incredient is to have composure with energy.
My additional approach is to use imagination with relaxation and take myself to a place where I feel composed. 
This can be anything from the memory of a location, an event, or a personal experience.  
I have found since beginning to do this, I am able to achieve a performance "zone" automatically, its like a switch and there is a new positive association with performance. 
Below is a short calming method I've written to help initiate this process.  I hope it helps, and please get intouch if you would like to discuss this further.

Calming Method

Allow these words to take you through a thought process, which becomes one of a child.

The extra spacing is intentional

Child asks a question

Child:  "Is that music?"

Adult:    yes, indeed it is

Child: Oh, thats nice, I like that

Adult: Great, yes me too, its very good

Child: "it sounds nice,   so why does music happen?"

Adult: Its happened for a very long time, its so people can show what they feel and make people happy.

Child: "Oh, I see, so they can show if they are happy or sad?"

Adult: Yes thats right

Child:  "Oh, okay, thats good, so, do you like music?"

Adult: Oh Yes, Iove it

Child:  "Yeah, I do too" :)

This is a simple example of the rational thought of a child, a child sees things clearly. 

It is that simple

Its a process used by many performers.

We all know music is an incredible artform. 

However, some forget this early on as we try to slot into pigeon holes we’ve created.

Its normal, we are seeking things, stability, structure.

Keep it simple

take yourself to a happy place.

Thanks for reading

Please email and share your thoughts.

"With a bit of imagination we can cover the essence of daily drills in a 
pleasurable way"

Marcus Pope

"return to your childlike enthusiasm for music"

Paul Archibald




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