The intuitive mind 
is a sacred gift and 
the rational mind 
is a faithful servant. 
We have created a 
society that honours 
the servant and has 
forgotten the gift.

Albert Einstein

Light Reflections 

Stand still and gaze....


Hypnotherapy to improve performance - The Musician.

Posted on 29 December, 2015 at 18:00

Hypnotherapy can be a very useful tool in helping improve performance, whether it is in as a musician, a sports-person or actor, or for things like driving, public-speaking, studying for exams, and many other things. Hypnotherapy enhances focussing on the task, optimising skills, reducing anxiety and distractions and increasing pleasure.

The musician who wishes to excel in their art, to leave performance nerves behind, and to engage and move their audience, can find a great resource in hypnotherapy. Here hypnotherapy can also be combined with various helpful psychological techniques. A key aspect is training in the placing of attention, for example, on the sound itself and on the emotional effect of the music, on the movement of the fingers, etc., rather than uncomfortable sensations and thoughts, thus moving away from awkard self-consciousness and fears. Focussing on the music and being absorbed in it is itself hypnotic. Symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating fingers, trembling, can be simply accepted as being something that may come but will also pass. In addition, hynotherapy can be used to help minimise these and enable relaxation.

An example of a helpful autosuggestion to repeat to oneself is, ‘The performer is nothing, the music is everything.’ Also helpful is the recognition that adrenaline is the musician’s friend, giving edge to the performance and the experience: it simply needs to be concentrated in the right way by focussing on what really matters. A goal of inspiring and uplifting others through the music, and being transformed by it oneself, puts things in a truer perspective.

It can be useful to have a task to deliberately pause without moving for a planned period of time (e.g., while counting slowly to ten to yourself) before beginning to play for your audience. One might think that this would increase anxiety, but once it is tried it is likely that you will find that although there may initially be an increase in anxiety, this intentional act can bring a great sense of increased control and inner power: the slightly delayed action of playing increases focus and concentration in both the player and the audience.

Learn simply to notice any feelings, sensations, thoughts, without judging whether they are good or bad, and focus on the present moment, rather than worry about a mistake that has just been made or what might go wrong a few bars ahead. Also, visualising can be very useful. For example you can visualise yourself dancing while playing, which can not only bring the music to life and the rhythm into the body, but also helps direct the attention away from any anxiety about making mistakes. If the music and the mind of the performer are dancing, then even mistakes are submerged in the whole, and become unimportant to the listener. The music is everything. 

"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe." - Lao Zi

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