#004 I was inspired by an article by Strings magazine I read to talk about Mental Toughness. I don’t believe there is a one solution fits all, but I DO think we need to talk about it. Building mental toughness is something that we ALL have to go through. You don’t have to do it alone. But you DO want to take steps to address it and try to build on it. This is meant to be an open conversation and I encourage you to reach out and let me know how you are handling mental stress when playing music.
This does go parallel with performance practice and routines, but sometimes there are things that you have to address outside of only just playing your instrument. In that case I suggest seek help, advice, a mentor, therapist, psychologist. People are out there that can help you through tough times. You do not need to do this alone.
I am definitely not a mental health expert, but I do want to point to the fact that I see many people, students, and colleagues who struggle with building mental toughness, or another way to put it, mental health. This is not something to brush off or take lightly. It is also not something to just “ignore” or not address. If you are not in a good mental health state it does become much more complicated to achieve your goals, musically and beyond.
Above all we have to take little steps. This is not something that is built overnight. Perhaps not even in a year, or many years. This is why music is about the journey. To be able to connect with your whole self and not just the technical side. Just like athletes, you have to be in the right frame of mind AND body to achieve your optimal goals.
Take some time today to assess your mental health. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.