First, I want you to think back to your most profound experiences of music: when you felt a unity with the audience, the performer, or something greater than yourself; when your mind was very calm and your heart open. Chances are, you know that these profound experiences of music coincide with deep states of consciousness. You can have these experiences more often by developing a practice of calming the mind and opening the heart.

Second, just as sympathetic strings can start vibrating on their own accord, think about all those times that you have felt resonance in your body and have used such phrases as:

“That struck a chord in me,”
“That really resonates with me,”
“That was an incredibly moving performance,”
“I’m in tune with that,”
“I was deeply touched.”

We use these words in our language to describe what is going on within us, whether it’s a reverberation, a movement, a flow of energy or emotion. We feel these things and are told that it’s specific brain activity. But of course it’s not just the brain—it’s our heart and soul. There is a resonance and flow of energy within ourselves that we’re talking about but not even acknowledging.

Thirdly, we automatically feel anxious for a nervous performer, finding it impossible to fully relax even as we cheer them on. However, when a confident, inspired performer comes on stage with a presence of mastery, we completely relax into their presence. The audience simply resonates with the consciousness of the performer, for better or worse. 

Put it all together to discover this very important truth: the overall musical experience is defined by your consciousness.

Wouldn’t you like to experience profound performances more frequently? Wouldn’t you like to touch your audience, to move them on deeper levels? Wouldn’t you like to have them resonating with you, rather than against you, the moment you walk on stage?

This is your inherent right and most honorable duty: develop your consciousness to give yourself and your listeners the highest experience possible.

But how do we go about improving our consciousness to make our performances better?

The greatest mistake we can make is to think that we are stuck with the consciousness that keeps us mired in petty thoughts and worries, recycling the same inner dialogue over and over. Why do we let ourselves get stuck? It’s what we’re used to.

The first thing you need to do is realize that it is possible to change your consciousness. The idea of transformation is not only possible, but highly desirable in everything that you undertake. Just as you strive to transform patterns of incorrect finger or vocal technique into greater accuracy and efficiency, it is possible to transform your patterns of thought from self-doubt to confidence, from fear to trust, and from petty criticism to acceptance and wholeness.

You have learned how to work with your arms, fingers, or voice as you strive for perfection. At the Four Accords Retreat I will teach you how to work just as carefully and patiently with your inner self to transform your performance and reclaim your practice room.

There is Truth in your music. Hide it no more.

The Truth About Music and Performance, Hiding in Plain Sight

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