5. Build your trust and don’t mark too much

Markings are great when they help you remember the most important things, but are limiting if your attention is always focused a myriad of reminders. Great artists rarely play a passage the same way twice. It isn’t the exact way you play the passage that makes you authentic, it’s HOW you trust your intuition on a moment-by-moment basis. Practice tuning in to how you want the phrase to feel, and the expression cannot fail to be convincing. There is no one best way. Be as authentic as you can to your intention, and the notes will find their way to expressing your truth.

 

6. Ask your muse for guidance

When you simply ask, “how is this supposed to go?” you will open yourself up to greater musicality. The more you assert your own dominance over how you think it should go, the less open you will be to inspiration. Even if you play a phrase over and over the same way, if you keep asking, “is this how it is supposed to go?” you will be aligning yourself more and more with inspiration and flow.

 

7. Build a baseline of relaxed performance

Tension kills resonance. Your body resonates with energy, and the more you can fully relax, the more relaxed your listeners will feel and will enter into a deeper experience of your music. Try this: Before you play your next phrase, sit or stand in your best rest position. Take a deep breath in and tense your whole body for 3 seconds. Throw the breath out and completely relax your body, maintaining best rest position posture. Take a mental picture of how this feels. As you sing or play the next phrase, superimpose the relaxed picture into your performance. Bring them as closely together as you can, noticing where you feel different. The more you practice this, the more powerfully relaxed your performance will become. Intensity and passion flow more dynamically through a relaxed body than a tense one.

 

8. What do you want your audience to experience?

You have a greater impact on the audience than you realize. As you reach a comfort zone with a piece, pull away from concentrating on technique and begin to focus on your intention for the experience. Don’t worry about putting it into words, but begin to infuse that intention into every note you play. Before you begin, calm your breath and center your focus. See yourself as a generator for the audience to resonate with, bringing into your body as dynamically as possible that which you want them to experience. The more expansive the intention, the more deeply the audience will resonate with you.

Practice Room Meditations 1–4

Practice Room Meditations 912

Practice Room Meditations 13–16

Practice Room Meditations 17–20

Practice Room Meditations 21–24

Practice Room Meditations 25–28

Practice Room Meditations 29–32