"everyone wants to be successful...until they see what it actually takes"

Anyone who is an “artist” will identify with this poster: the late night practice sessions, the competition, the isolation, the physical demands, the negative thoughts and self-doubt, and the never-ending (and never-reachable) reach for perfection. All this being said, we understand that mental skills are just as important as technical skills, so we need to train both in tandem if we want to achieve success and longevity in our craft.

This image and quote have always been one of my favourites (partially because of its' beauty and partially because I’ve always secretly dreamed of being a ballerina). As it so happened, this image was one of the first slides that Lisa used in the introduction to the Master Performing workshop, which I took last summer in Boston. Although this week-long workshop was eight months ago now, it has stuck with me throughout the year as I prepared for recitals, concerts, and even non-music events like interviews and new jobs. And guess what? Master Performing is launching a Toronto workshop, details coming soon! So here is some information in case you are curious. 

So, what exactly is the Master Performing workshop all about? 

I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about the workshop -- mainly because going into it I already felt like I had a fair bit of knowledge about mental skills, performance psychology, physiology of breathing, and so on.  I had also attending a few disappointing sessions on similar topics, where I felt like I came away with nothing new. But, I had heard great things about Lisa and I loved her bio (read it you’ll see what I mean), so I thought I’d take the risk, and I am so glad that I did! 

The workshop includes topics such as:
 Physiology of Fight/Flight
Breathing for Peak Performance
Psychology of Optimal Performance
The Artist as an Athlete
and many more.

The workshop includes tons of hands-on performance experience to practice what you learn, as well as 2 one-on-one sessions with Lisa to tailor the program to meet your needs. Lisa’s approach is SUPER clear, organized, and fun. No matter how much you already know about these topics, I can safely say that you will learn something new and be able to put it into practice,  which is the step that most of us miss out on! We read a book on mental skills or performance psychology, or attend an afternoon workshop, and then nothing changes and we go back to the way we were practicing and performing prior.

 Lisa demystifies what is happening physically and mentally when we perform and helps you understand where your mental skills are lacking (using zero “frou frou” terminology). Through the workshop I gained skills and knowledge to help me better understand which parts of my mental skills needed improvements and what needed to be done in order to progress. Part of the program is also about understanding how to set goals and practice efficiently, which pretty much all of us could stand to improve upon.

Stay tuned for Part II of this blog, in which I'll be posting a fun Q & A with Lisa.