Can sports psychology help musical performers?

Posted on: September 30, 2011

In Thursday’s (9/29) Wall Street Journal, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim writes, “Noa Kageyama is in the business of bulletproofing, but his work does not involve Kevlar vests or polycarbonate. The performance psychologist runs a consultancy, ProMind Coaching, whose clients include Olympic athletes and CEOs. … But the battlefield Mr. Kageyama is most interested in is the music world. On his blog, The Bulletproof Musician, he takes principles developed to toughen up tennis pros and uses them to help musicians cope with the intense pressure of solo performance. Last month, he joined the faculty of the Juilliard School. Performance psychologists are invited into music departments nation-wide, as educators recognize the need to prepare musicians for the competitive, high-stakes world of classical music. … Mr. Kageyama is himself an accomplished violinist. … ‘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.” At the University of Oklahoma, performance psychologist Bill Moore, who works with the college football team and the music department, “makes a distinction between athletes and musicians. … ‘Music schools are very much practice-based,’ Mr. Moore says. ‘The goal is not to play; the goal is to be correct.’ … Mr. Moore coaxes teachers and musicians to incorporate performancelike play time into each practice session and lesson.”

Posted September 30, 2011