Beyond Stage Fright - Inspired Performance
Week 1 - Day 1
Welcome to the Inspired Performance online course. I’m Charlotte Tomlinson and I’m a musician and performance coach based in the UK. I specialise in helping musicians move through debilitating performance nerves and the armour of physical tensions into a free, joyful and inspired performing life.
I’m really delighted you’ve joined us on the course and I’m really looking forward to sharing with you all sorts of techniques that I have found invaluable and which will start you on the journey towards a happy and enjoyable performing life.
This is what I want for you with this course: I would love you to be able to transform the performance anxiety that can be so terrifying and paralysing, into excitement and exhilaration. I would love you to be able to open up fearlessly and courageously in front of an audience, just because you want to share your love and passion for the music you are about to perform. I would love you to feel the ease and flow that comes when you let go of all your sabotaging mechanisms allowing yourself just to enjoy the whole experience.
All this is possible and I believe it is possible for everybody at whatever level. It is of course possible to go straight there and play or sing with that wonderful ease, but the way I see it, is that for most musicians it can help to have an understanding and awareness of what is getting in the way of that first. Once you see what your own personal triggers and sabotaging mechanisms are, you then need some clear strategies to shift them all out of the way. That is where this course comes in.
I see it rather like an inner landscape of emotions. There are fears and anxieties, stuff that gets in the way and blocks us. This course is designed to support you in moving through all that to the place where you can experience the flow, ease and exhilaration that is Inspired Performance.
The journey is unique for each person
There is a journey to get to Inspired Performance and everyone is different. You may find that some topics are more relevant to you than others, but I would recommend going through each and every stage anyway. Even if you are going through information you know, going through it again could bring in new insights. Sometimes just giving your time and attention to a topic is enough to build in important performing principles. There is an enormous amount of information in this course that will really benefit you in your life as a musician, so do please make the commitment to find the time to do it all the way through.
General outline of the course
- The first week is an overview of performance anxiety, how we experience nerves and how we feel about them.
- The second week delves into practising and preparation to flag up where our weaknesses are with tips for how to practise even more efficiently.
- The third week dives into the murky waters of the Inner Critic, a part of ourselves that can play havoc with our nerves and how to begin to transform it.
- In the fourth week we will be taking the lid off the topics of memory and focus, both of which cause problems for so many performers.
- And finally, the fifth week, in which we will be looking at the performance itself. How can you integrate all these building blocks we’ve looked at so that you’re thriving as a performer and not just surviving? How can you best support yourself when the spotlight is on you?
The first two weeks of this course are available within the Online Academy and the remaining three are available separately via the author’s website. A special offer for the full course, including the remaining three weeks, is available for our subscribers (please see further details below).
Different styles of learning
The course is designed to last five weeks. The topic for each week is broken up into five short lessons and each lesson consists of some written information, a short video, an audio, (taken from the video). The written information and the video/audio contains almost the same information, although from time to time there will be more information put down in the text. The idea is to give different formats for different styles of learning. The videos have the added advantage of being illustrated by a wonderful cartoonist, so that the topics and the characters are brought to life.
How the course works and the bite-sized chunk approach
The course is intended to be taken in ‘bite sized chunks’ rather than all at once. Each week is divided into five short lessons and although you can do the lessons in any way you like, it is highly recommended that you do five lessons per week. You can also come back to any lesson whenever you like so don’t worry if you can’t do a lesson every day but do try to build in the activities on a regular basis. It has been designed to suit busy life styles as much as is possible.
Your commitmentThe way the course is designed is so you get daily or at least regular practice, with each session demanding around 15-20 minutes of your time to watch a video/listen to the audio/read the text and disseminate the main learnings for the day. The time to do the activity will vary depending on what it is. It’s well known that the best way to do something is to do a little bit each day rather than do a whole lot in one go. I would really advise you to aim towards this even if you can’t manage it every single day.
Embedding the information through the activities
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
I also want to stress at this stage how important it is to do the activities. This is what will make the difference. Just reading, watching or listening to the information is only part of the picture. The information will only go in so far, but if you do the activities, you will start unlearning habits that aren’t working for you and you’ll start building new ones. This will give you the change to make real changes. It’s why you take part in a course compared to reading a book.
What you’ll need
I strongly recommend that you get a notebook so that you can record your progress each day. That can be a physical journal or it could be a notepad on your computer. You can even video or audio record yourself - whatever works best for you. You want to record your experience of what you’ve learned, what you’ve observed and how you felt. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it’s helpful when you come back in a few week’s time to see where you were. Don’t rely on your memory – write it down! I will be assuming that you’ll be doing that. It’s a really good way of making sure the learning goes in.
Resources and further reading