FOCUS on PERFORMANCE
by Shirlee Emmons and Alma Thomas
based on their book for Oxford University Press:
Power Performance for Singers:
Transcending the Barriers
Do you want to be a successful singer? You can be. It is in your grasp, and it is certainly within your control. Count on it!
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. Successful 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. Therefore they perform consistently well at their own level.
How do you learn to expect success? Here is an easy four-step program and some simple exercises to see you on your way.
1. Your first step is to achieve self-awareness.
yourself, the more likely you are to begin your journey to success. But, do you have adequate
self-knowledge? Do you understand how you think or why you respond and behave in a certain
way under particular circumstances? To reach your full potential you need to become more aware
of your own physical, technical, and mental strengths.
Try the following self-awareness exercises:
a. Write down your strengths and qualities as a person and as a singer, grouping them under physical, technical and mental. Do not give up too soon; you have many more positive qualities than you think. Once the lists are completed, keep reading them and saying them aloud,
“Yes, I am ..........................................” “Yes, I can .........................................”
b. Sit quietly and imagine yourself feeling wonderfully confident as a singer,
at ease with yourself and your surroundings. Watch how you stand,
“Yes, I am ...............”
“Yes, I can................”
exercise 8-10 times a day for at least a week so that your subconscious
Through self-awareness you will gain more mastery and control over yourself and your thinking.
2. Your heightened awareness and determination to change will help reach step two,
which is to acquire self-control.
Go back over an audition at which
not successful and ponder the details of the
a. The event
Was the audition not in your control?
b. Your perceptions
How did you perceive your lack of success?
Others luckier than you?
Not appreciated as a singer?
Audition not within your control?
c. Your self-talk
What were you saying and/or thinking about yourself?
Not as good a singer as others?
Not as deserving as others?
Audition not within your control?
d. Your feelings
How did you feel?
Rejected? insecure? unhappy? angry? depressed?
Out of your direct control because they were within yoursubconscious?
e. Your behavior
What was your resulting behavior?
Less enthusiastic? less interested? too determined? too anxious?
all resulting in a lower performance?Out of your direct control because it came from
within your subconscious?
Never surrender control to external forces. By changing what you can directly control you will have more success.
3. Once you are self-aware and in control, then you can reach level three,
Many think that
self-confidence comes before self-awareness and
self-confidence, and therefore your success, is built on your positive
consciously (outside) hope to succeed as a singer, then you cannot go
4. The fourth and final step toward
success is self-actualization.
Through your own actions,
You can be successful. It’s a choice. You can climb the four steps simply by making a conscious decision to change your internal image. It’s a wonderful journey. Remember,
you deserve to be successful.
©Shirlee Emmons and Alma Thomas