Achieving Your Best

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A photo of Jeff Conner.

As you get ready for your first concert of the season, college audition, jury, or recital, think about how to achieve your best performance. Being free of distractions will give you the state of mind for ultimate success on your instrument.

Convey Your Story

You can mentally and physically prepare for your success by creating an optimal environment. No matter where you are performing, think about what you want to convey about who you are, what your music is about, and how you come across to others.

Overcome Nerves

Every musician experiences stress or nerves before a performance. Those emotions mean that you care about the performance and are excited to share your talent. Stress can give your performance energy.

You will want to be able to react to stress in a way that gives you an advantage. You can manage your stress in the following ways: Exercise every day, get enough sleep, don’t smoke, use a daily planner, and keep your to-do lists short and reasonable.

Don’t isolate yourself from people. Get feedback, suggestions, and encouragement from family and friends.

Be attentive to posture. Slouching in a chair for hours daily will take its toll on your back and shoulders. Remember that tension kills sound.

Think Positively

Invest in yourself and nurture your creativity. Dare I say, try turning off your cell phone for 30 minutes a day and enjoy the beauty of the world. By giving yourself this break, you can really listen to your thoughts to light your fire.

Make sure your attitude toward music stays positive. There’s no such thing as a perfect performance. Preparation in all aspects of your playing will give you your best performance.

Own your successes, give yourself credit, and celebrate the small achievements and daily pleasures.

Jeff takes the time in this article to discuss making music into a career.

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