How can Building Confidence for Instrumental Performance! help you?

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Building Confidence for Iknstrumental Performance
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This compact disc is designed for the 7th grader through adult learner. Many students would like to play an instrument like their friends, but are stopped by fear. Adults may play, or want to play, and find themselves hearing anxious thoughts when they do.  This program does not provide lessons for specific instruments. There are many books and CDs which do that.

Like trying to fall asleep on a bumpy pillow, anxiety about playing an instrument can be more basic.  Anxious thoughts about playing can block our ability to concentrate on whatever movements we need to make or notes we need to reach.  Listening and watching too many excellent musicians can raise our own expectations too high and we get caught emotionally.

This CD offers training with exercise for reducing tension in our muscles and the anxious thoughts which automatically result from muscle tension.

Early in the 20th century, the Russian psychologist, Pavlov, found he could change a dog's behavior by conditioning.  American psychologists later found humans could condition away many of their own anxieties by combining muscle relaxation and mental visualization.

This CD combines these skills for use at home.  The first audio tracks explain how the program works, describe the muscle tensing and relaxing exercise and describe the visualization exercises.  Tracks 3-12 each provide one step from an invitation to perform to and through the performance itself.  It is important to relax and repeat tracks 3-12 five to ten times and visualize each specific step calmly before moving on to the next track or step in the program.

I believe that combining deep relaxation with repeated visualization reroutes thoughts about playing your instrument from the "emotional part" of the central brain to the "thought -and plan processing parts" of the frontal lobes of the brain.  Then you can remember the correct procedures and how to apply them promptly and correctly while playing your instrument.

A pretest of how you feel about playing an instrument follows the comments below.

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Comment on the CD: "I am a retired teacher, learning to play the violin for my own enjoyment.  I have been anxious during my practices and before my lessons.  I had not realized my muscles were tense nor the link between tense muscles and the anxious thoughts in my mind.  After listening to the program several times as recommended, I am more comfortable playing the violin.  I may try even hard musical selections.  I also apply the relaxation exercises to other types of situations which made me tense in the past.  The exercises help me to enjoy the other situations more, too."

 

Building Confidence for Instrumental Performance! Pretest.

Please select how you feel, or would feel, at each time.

1. I am asked to play at a future time.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

2. It is in the days before the performance.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

3. It is the day of the performance.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

4. I am going to the performance.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

5. I am tuning my instrument.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

6. I wait for my number or selection.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

7. I begin to play.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

8. I make a mistake.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

9. I have trouble coordinating with the other musicians.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

10. I have finished and cannot enjoy the compliments.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

Total Score from 50 Possible Points *

* If your total score is 30 or above or if you scored "4" or "5" on two or more individual items, this program may help you.