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Moving Beyond Stage Fright

I was working recently on an International Piano Academy in Germany, giving daily master classes to a group of committed and advanced pianists. I was also there in the capacity of Performance Coach. One of the students asked me whether I could talk to her friend, who was due to give a concert performance of […]

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More passion in Classical Music concerts please!

During a recent classical music concert, I was listening  to a song recital and admit to being rather underwhelmed by the lack of passion in the performance.  I know the world of art song very well. For years I coached singers and gave song recitals as a pianist. I know the repertoire back to front […]

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Memorising Music

I have worked as a chamber musician and duo partner for my entire career to date and therefore  I have not needed to play from memory in a concert. Music has been given to me anything from months before the concert to hours before, meaning that the demands I have had lay instead in being […]

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What is listening in music?

Listening in music is a strange one. It is as elusive a concept in normal everyday communication as it is in music. When do we really listen to someone without our minds half present or thinking of how we are going to reply next? How extraordinary and wonderful it is to bump up against people […]

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Teaching children: criticism or praise?

It only takes a period drama on television to remind us of how far society has moved in a relatively short period of time. I watched the first episode of BBC’s The Village last week, and it was shocking to see how a young boy of 12 could be caned on his hand for something as ‘bad’ […]

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Reality talent shows: does the culture of instant fame threaten the performing arts?

I was fascinated to hear the choreographer of decades of best selling West End shows, and former classical ballerina, Gillian Lynne say on Front Row, BBC Radio 4, 25/3/13, that she felt that the reality talent shows were bad for music theatre. Her point was that if someone rises rapidly to the top in a […]

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3: Stage fright: how to manage your emotional response

In my last two blogs on this topic, I wrote about some practical tips for managing stage fright and the deep shame that many performers have as a result of having stage fright. Stage fright is a taboo area and professional performers whether actors, dancers or musicians, rarely admit to it, even to their closest […]

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2: Stage Fright: practical tips for managing it

This is the second in a series of blogs about stage fright. In my last blog, I wrote about how deeply ashamed many performers are about having stage fright, whether they’re professional performers or otherwise and how this, and the taboo that has built up around it, can cause such distress and massively impact the […]

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1: Stage fright: are we too ashamed to talk about it?

Imagine this scenario: one of the world’s finest symphony orchestras is preparing to go on stage, at, let’s say London’s Barbican Centre. Musicians are tuning up, putting resin on their bows and warming up their instruments. It seems totally normal and you would almost think that everyone was so professional and so used to giving […]

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Engaging in the performance of music

What does it mean to engage in the performance of music? It’s a tricky one that I find myself exploring a lot. It is so easy to lose focus and concentration when playing, which is what I talked about in my last blog – ‘A meditative approach to practising’ – but this is something more. […]

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