This time last year I tested positive for Covid for the first time. I was on a several weeks long orchestral tour through Europe and the cases just kept creeping up. We were leaving people behind quarantining in different hotels until we got to the last concert after which quite a number of us fell ill.
When I was growing up, flute and music were my constant companions. I spent nearly every afternoon at the music school. It was a place where I fit in doing things I enjoyed and was good at. So it wasn’t a surprise that at age 15, I decided to study music at a Conservatoire.
Do you have an exercise routine that’s been working for you? We all know movement is good for us but, hand on heart, we don’t always do as much as we’d like. And I’m including myself in this category. But what if I told you exercise could actually have a direct impact on the quality of your performance?
At this point in my life, I’ve been through enough situations that triggered my self-doubt that I’ve become able to recognise it quite early on. Whether that’s an event I’m planning, doing a session for an important client, a challenging piece of music… Whatever the trigger, the response is usually similar.
Here’s something about me that can be a bit of a double-edged sword. I like to think I’m very consistent in what I do which I see as a positive trait. But sometimes I can end up putting a lot of pressure on myself that way. And in doing so actually end up assuming that I can’t let things slide, ever.
If you’ve been in my circle for a while, you will have noticed I went a bit quiet in the first half of this year. I’ve had the privilege of being commissioned by the Musicians’ Union to create an online course for musicians just like yourself. And because that project was so massive, I made the decision to suspend all my social media and newsletter activity and go into creative mode.
Do you sometimes feel like this? So many things to do and so little time… This year I made several New Year’s resolutions and none of them were related to work. Rather, I set to spend more time with friends, bring more joy into my cooking (so that it doesn’t always feel like a chore), go on an actual holiday, etc., etc. Put simply, I want to bring more pleasure and joy into my life. But how do I do that while accomplishing all the things I want to accomplish?
You may not know this about me but I am a freaking ninja at worrying. :) I’ve been honing that skill for years without even knowing it and it wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to understand and learn to work with my mind in order for it not to get constantly hijacked by negative thoughts and worries.
When I was about 20 years old, I remember starting to feel really nervous when playing concerts. I was in my second year of college and just landed quite a prestigious trial in an orchestra in Prague. Around that time I distinctly remember my teacher coming to me before my college recital and announcing that the husband of the first oboe player from said orchestra, also an oboist themselves, was in the audience and really interested to hear me. I don’t even know how I finished the performance, I was so freaked out.