Performance Issues

Who's Perfect?
Singers tend to think that perfection is the only thing that counts in performing. Even though they all know that perfection is unattainable, singers often refuse to abandon their quest. A very successful baseball player once summed up the issue: "Stop trying for perfection. Jest get on first base."

Expect Success!
Successful people are not born that way. They empower themselves to create their own reality and are aware that the only limitations on their accomplishments are those imposed by themselves. These singers are committed. They remain completely in control of their own destiny. Successful singers believe they can succeed. Their attitudes, being right, result in appropriate behavior. They perform consistently well at their own level.

The Various Faces of Performance Anxiety
To the performance psychologist, anxiety is a complex emotional state. To the general public it is synonymous with worry, fear, and foreboding. To the singer, it is public enemy number one.

Building and Maintaining Self-Confidence
Success breeds self-confidence, as we can see when we observe successful performers. They appear to have supreme confidence in their own ability. Yes, this confidence is based on a solid foundation of hard work, but not only on that. These performers know that they have the relevant skills and talents to achieve their dreams. Performers who doubt their ability to succeed rarely achieve their potential.

Competitions and their Inherent Problems

Adjudication is an issue fraught with problems for everyone. Both the vocalists and the jurists have strong feelings about what ought to be the criteria, the process, and the ethics of judging singers.

Imagery: The Elite Singer's Secret Weapon
Far more than increasing singers' interpretive skills, imagery strongly supports a singer's ability to give an elite performance by promoting correct performance thinking, efficient practice methods that aid retention, and more.

Who Teaches the Teachers?
Ms. Emmons' address to NYSTA on being honored, April 28, 2006. What she has learned (both vocal technique and performance) from her own teachers and fellow performers, including Lauritz Melchior, Robert Shaw, Berton Coffin, Douglas Moore, Jack Beeson.
(This article contains IPA symbols; if you can't see them, select this version:  NYSTA.pdf [requires Adobe Reader].)

Jump Start Your Recital!
How to give your recital VARIETY. This article originally appeared in The Classical Singer magazine in December, 2004.

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