What is performance coaching?
Updated: Aug 4, 2019
When I go out to listen to live music, I'm not really looking for a performance which replicates one of the many recordings freely available to browse at home on the web. I want to feel a connection between the musicians and their audience and hear music which has something new to say to me at that moment. So performance coaching is very different from musical instruction. It involves questions, discussion, experimentation, exploring expressive options and a process of discovering a performance from the ideas and skills which performers already have at hand.
In coaching sessions, we spend time exploring chosen works in the context of an overall programme, we discuss the impact which the soloist aims to have on their audience over the course of a recital; and we structure our rehearsals to match those objectives. I aim to ensure that there is a shared musical understanding between soloist and accompanist: an excellent performance depends on that.
My coaching draws on many years' experience of working with other professional musicians as well as public speaking. I draw on students' personal experience of performance as we work on managing natural anxiety and building confidence.