Practice Makes Perfect?


In the article When Practice Alone Isn’t Enough, Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim looks at performance psychologist Noa Kageyama and his work with musicians who cope with solo performance pressure. I found this article fascinating, since I personally know the pressures of solo performance. I think the article gives good insight into practicing and performing: just because you practice does not always guarantee a flawless performance.

Mr. Kageyama, a violinist himself,

“Knows first-hand how hard musicians work in the practice room—and how that alone does not prepare for the stress of solo performance. “Given the sacrifice we put in, it’s intensely frustrating to get up on stage and not have what you know to be capable of come out,” he says. “And it’s even worse when you don’t know why.” His job, he says, is not so much focused on anxiety as on “taking people who are already great and helping them be great under pressure.”

Performance psychologist at the University of Oklahoma, Bill Moore states,

“Music schools are very much practice-based,” Mr. Moore says. “The goal is not to play; the goal is to be correct. There’s a lot of individual instruction, a lot of solo practice time during which you self-monitor, analyze and correct mistakes. Yes, that’s how you get better. But if you do any of these in a performance, you’re dead.”




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