How To Produce Under Pressure Like A Concert Pianist

Last night I abounding a achievement by the Seattle Symphony of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto. If you’ve anytime apparent the cine Shine, you apperceive how alarming this section is to a concert pianist. It’s a 40-plus minute workout, consisting of 30,000 alone notes, all of which accept to be performed-often at lightning speed-in a accurate order; with nuance, dynamics, and passion; live; from memory; in foreground of a acute admirers of several thousand people, and an even added acute orchestra and conductor.

Can you say “pressure”?

The soloist, Kirill Gerstein, performed brilliantly.

What does it yield to do this? What does it yield to accomplish at your best if it affairs most? If all eyes are on you, and expectations are high?

The key, as it turns out, is to not anticipate about the notes.

By the time he hits the big stage, a artist of Mr. Gerstein’s ability is not thinking, “My aboriginal agenda is a D, which I play with the aboriginal feel of my appropriate hand. Again comes an F, played with the fourth finger… ” He’s already done that work. He’s done it so abounding times that he doesn’t accept to anticipate about the alone notes; instead, he can focus on the music. His fingers already apperceive what to do. And, in fact, if he starts cerebration about the alone notes, he’ll acceptable choke.

I’ll bet you’ve had this experience. Perhaps not as a world-class concert pianist; maybe for you it’s a putt you’ve fabricated bags of times before, or a accent that you’ve accomplished hundreds of times. But if that big moment comes-when the money is on the line-you choke. Why is that?

It’s because you anticipation about the notes.

Without accepting too technical, your academician basically remembers things in two altered ways. There’s the concise stuff-the things you charge to be focused on appropriate now. And again there’s the abiding stuff-the things you apperceive so able-bodied you don’t charge to anticipate about them. So how does this administer to you and your big speech?

Well, if you’ve accomplished it so abounding times that you could about bear it in your sleep, the alone words (and their order) move into the abiding breadth of your brain. This leaves your concise breadth accessible to focus on your presence, your delivery, your affiliation with the audience, and annihilation abroad that ability appear up in the moment.

But if, in a moment of panic, you accompany the abiding things into the concise allotment of your brain-in added words, if you alpha absorption on the notes-you beat the actual allotment of your academician that you charge to accomplish at your best.

The band-aid is to stop cerebration about the notes, and to instead anticipate about the music. Stop cerebration about the alone words, and instead focus on the bulletin you wish to convey.

If you wish to accomplish like a concert pianist, focus on the bigger picture, not the minutiae.

Eight Cool Things About The Mellow Yellow Singer Donovan

At a child’s birthday party last weekend, a relative described a freshly opened garment as mellow yellow. The remark reminded me of the singer Donovan Leitch, who scored a huge hit with a song with that rhyming two word title.

That name evoked recollections of the years I spent listening to all of Donovan’s stuff, ranging from his folk-rock onset to his psychedelic late Sixties material to his more down to earth recordings of the following decade. Nearly as interesting as his great music, however, is the list of details about his relationships with other musicians and his family

Here are eight cool things about the artist who gave us the “Sunshine Superman” and the “Hurdy Gurdy Man.”

1. He sang on the long refrain in the last half of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles, which in 1968 was a number one hit for the band. Paul McCartney returned the favor by providing the classic background vocal on Donovan’s smash single “Mellow Yellow”, allegedly whispering the phrase “quite rightly” between the repetitions of the two rhyming title words.

2. In the early Seventies Donovan provided the backing vocal on the title track of Billion Dollar Baby by Alice Cooper, repeating the refrain beginning “We go dancing nightly in the attic while the moon is rising in the sky.” When the refrain reappears toward the end of the song, Donovan sings the lead while Alice Cooper provides the backing vocal.

3. He appeared in the 1967 Bob Dylan film Don’t Look Back, performing the tune “To Sing For You” before Dylan himself plays “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” from the Bringing It All Back Home album.

4. Future Led Zeppelin members John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page played on all of the Donovan albums produced by Mickie Most, classic LPS such as Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow and Hurdy Gurdy Man.

5. Donovan wrote a satirical version of his Top Ten single “Atlantis” to use on the animated sitcom Futurama in an episode titled “The Deep South.” Instead of the mythical town described in the original hit of the late Sixties, however, the parody mentions the Lost City of Atlanta.

6. His son of the same name and daughter Ione Skye Leitch are both well-known Hollywood stars. Leitch, Jr. gained his first fame as a lead role in the 1989 movie The In Crowd, and Skye scored her first big part in the classic film Say Anything with John Cusack.

7. He is the stepfather of the Julian Jones Leitch, the son of Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Donovan began a romantic relationship with the former girlfriend of Jones, Linda Lawrence, whom he later married in 1970.

8. For the album Wear Your Love Like Heaven, the folk-rock artist composed psychedelic music to the William Shakespeare poem “Under the Greenwood Tree.”

10 Outstanding Lessons From the Book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history – and many more examples to support his thesis.

I, hereby, list down the 10 outstanding lessons that I learned from this awesome book. I know that I need to keep practicing these learning – day in and day out. These lessons are worded and appended in a way that makes it easier for most of us to understand and absorb.

So, here we go with our 10 outstanding lessons from this book that influenced me immensely.

(1) We do a mistake if we cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit. The rules that we choose to write as a society matter a lot.

[My Views]

You can make sincere efforts, and that is it. There are just too many things that must fall in place – in a synchronous manner – for you to be able to achieve the results you wish to. Focus on your efforts. Keep improving. Be satisfied with your improvements. Do not bother about the results. Results are different with people having different perspectives.

(2) Achievement is Talent + Practise / Preparation, the latter being the majority stakeholder.

[My Views]

You can acquire talent. You can do that even if you start from ground zero. Obviously, starting with an inborn talent gives you a head start. But what is difficult to acquire is the consistency required in practising for your success. That comes purely from your love of your craft.

(3) Approx 10,000 Hours of practise is required to be a world class expert in anything. It takes roughly 10 years to put in 10,000 hours of practise.

[My Views]

Think before you take a jump, instead of getting excited with initial success. Also, do not give up too soon if you are already into it. You are definitely going to be tested for your patience and perseverance – to the hilt. Obviously, nothing worthwhile comes easy – and why should it?

(4) Ten thousand hours is an enormous amount of time. You cannot do it all alone. You will need lot of encouragement, support and you cannot be doing a part time job to make your ends meet, because you will just not be be left with enough time everyday to hit 10,000 hours of practise.

[My Views]

You ought to plan for your freedom, and then chase your passion full time. Those who believe that their passion and profession are independent of each other are perhaps making the biggest mistake of their life. Resonance is at work only when your passion is also your profession.

(5) IQ matters but only up to a point. Beyond that, its your attitude. It is just like in a basketball game, height matters but that’s just up to a point.

(6) No one, whether rock stars, professional sportsmen, billionaires, and not even geniuses – make it alone. They need guidance and support at the right age. Good parenting, great environment is key in producing legends.

[My Views]

If you think you have achieved anything alone, then that just dump this misconception. Even the biggest creatures in the world cannot grow without support. And when it comes to leaving a legacy on this planet, there is nothing better than your children – inculcated with the right values.

(7) When you accept a salary cheque, it basically boils down to what you feel is right vs what you can do to receive the next paycheck

(8) The opportunities you are presented with for success are not only dependent on your inner qualities, your parenting but also the time you were born in this world.

[My Views]

The world is not fair for anyone. But this unfairness to all is what makes it a fair game in the end.

(9) Most air accidents are not a result of any major mechanical or technical failures. These are usually small incidents that happen one after another – which either get unnoticed or are not communicated properly in an unambiguous manner. This lack of communication has a lot to do with the culture in which the pilot and the co-pilot are born and brought up in.

(10) No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich

[My Views]

Among so many other reasons, this comes at the top – because if there is something pushing you and making you uncomfortable enough to wake up at 4am everyday – all days of the year – you are obviously unstoppable.

I hope these 10 outstanding lessons will help shape up your thought process to some extent and help you lead a better life.