How To Recover From A Bad Performance

How To Recover From A Bad Performance

Have you ever experienced an extreme low after performing? Well, I certainly have. Check out these thoughts about what you're feeling and how to bounce back. You can take your worst performance or audition experience and transform your whole life. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at

Be well.

-Coach Cory

How To Perform Your Best in Auditions and Concerts

How To Perform Your Best in Auditions and Concerts

Having trouble believing in yourself? Learn about entitlement and how it can help you succeed on stage! If you're going to win an audition or perform your best, developing the good type of entitlement is an absolute necessity. The stage is a place to succeed. You deserve to be yourself. 

Leave a comment below about your level of entitlement or opinions and contact me with any questions!

-Coach Cory

How To Mentally Prepare for Recording Sessions

How To Mentally Prepare for Recording Sessions

Do you get nervous while recording? Here are a few tips to improve your next recording session! Discover the similarities between a performance and recording. Take these crucial tips to the recording session so you can learn how to produce your albums. If you want the true value out of recordings, you need to know about the other side of the microphone. 

Leave a comment below about your recording experiences or opinions and contact me with any questions!

-Coach Cory

3 Things I Learned From My First Professional Performance

3 Things I Learned From My First Professional Performance

It was a cold day in New York City and I headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for my first performance as a professional. This was my life now. No school, no safety nets, just real, real consequences. How did I feel? 

Photo Credit: Mark Kingsley

Photo Credit: Mark Kingsley

I felt pressure from every angle. I had to learn new repertoire in a short amount of time, perform with musicians who I had never performed with before, and deal with a new identity.

Let's break down repertoire. We all know the feeling of being underprepared. It isn't peaceful. It's like your brain goes into intense survival mode...Ok...just trying to come in right, play the right notes, and if possible, follow the composers directions to at least appear musical.

This was no good for my confidence.

Then the whole chemistry thing...I just met my colleagues under a week ago and now I have to understand their body language, playing style, and energy. Oh, and they already knew the repertoire so they would know when I messed up.

This was no good for my confidence.

And last but not least, I viewed myself as a student. How does that make me feel among seasoned professionals and critics? Totally inferior. It's time to play pianissimo.

I began unpacking in the green room with mixed emotions. On one hand, I was actually really excited. This has been what I was working for my whole life and the moment was finally here! However, excitement always quickly evaporates in the face of anxiety. Yep, the guy who has been coaching musicians for the past 4 years is getting nervous. Hypocritical? Possibly, but it wasn't my first performance experience so I knew exactly what to do. Here was my breakdown of how I survived and launched into my professional career with success. 

1) Identify emotions immediately

My heart was pumping and I started to retreat into my shell. I quickly told myself that I'm nervous. Now I do this for a couple reasons. The first is the fact that if I lied to myself, I would not allow myself to move on from that emotion. The second is the fact that it's part of my pre-performance routine which involves identifying how I'm truly feeling and proceeding to a mental state of optimal performance level. 

2) I acknowledged I was nervous and then...

I literally started shouting reaffirming statements to myself. For example, I reminded myself that this was NOT my first performance, this was NOT the first time I've had to perform underprepared, they HIRED ME for a reason, and I WILL SURVIVE. Now this may seem ridiculous, but honestly getting nervous is ridiculous. A lot of times to change your state of mind you have to do crazy things that are outside the box. This is why passive techniques aren't always the solution. 


This particular performance was all about survival. I always advocate that you should enjoy the stage but you earn that right through hard work, patience, and experience. Here I was with no previous professional experience, new repertoire, and new colleagues. It wasn't a setup that would allow for complete freedom on stage like at a recital where you have plenty of time to prepare. So I knew in order to walk away satisfied from this performance, I crammed my intonation, rhythm, and musical practice right up until the performance.


From what I wrote, it wasn't my best performance experience. I was not completely free on stage because I was so tied to managing the performance. However, I view this performance as a key point in my career. This was my first professional performance and I played decently. It gave me the confidence to take on the next performance with just a tad more confidence. I was on my way to becoming a master performer and actually identifying myself as a professional musician.

Good luck in your upcoming performance!

-Coach Cory


Top 10 Facts about Stage Fright

Top 10 Facts about Stage Fright

After going through all the articles about performance anxiety on the internet, I have created the top ten most common facts to give you an overview and save you massive amounts of time. Enjoy!

1) Expectation with no plan

Many musicians think stage fright will go away over time. For some, it does. For many, it does not. There are countless personal stories about how musicians have tried to wait it out. However, once they return to the stage, their anxiety is still there. Address the mental side of performing just as seriously as technique!

2) No one really wants to hear about your anxiety

There's a certain stigma about having performance anxiety. It can make people around you nervous if you talk about it and decrease your perceived value as a musician. However, we must talk about it and support each other. We need to value our mental health just as much as our performance success even if it means admitting to others that you get nervous. 

3) Physical and cognitive effects

Musicians report that they experience shakiness, sweatiness, lack of focus, negative thoughts, dissociation, trembling, dry mouth, etc. These are common examples of the symptoms of performance anxiety. Which ones do you experience?

4) You're not actually alone after all

Countless articles refer to our cultural icons as those with performance anxiety. Crazy right? The ones that we look up to still experience the physical and cognitive effects. Examples include Glenn Gould, Renée Fleming, Pablo Casals, Adele, Barbara Streisand, and many others. Performance anxiety gets the best of the best from all different performing arts worlds. 

5) Give yourself a break

When I lecture around the country, one of my main messages is to let everyone know that concerts and auditions are not normal environments. They are considered hyperactive environments which means even the most confident people can get nervous. So what's the lesson? Don't think there's something wrong with you if you keep getting nervous. 

6) Beta blocker debate

The pill that reduces physical manifestations of anxiety is here to stay. Whether you should use them is up to you. To find out more, click here to view my video about it.

7) Using imagery

Imagery is a great strategy to incorporate not just for stage fright, but for your everyday practice. Click here to view my video on how to use it.

8) It's about your perspective

Whether you're nervous or excited, your body is triggering the fight or flight response. Try to translate it as excitement the next time you see yourself shaking.

9) Yo-Yo Ma says you have to accept life as it is

That's right. Accept your mistakes during live performances and auditions. No one has ever given a perfect performance- even the professionals. Also if you make a mistake, move on. Spend zero time in the past!

10) The desire to be great

Overcoming performance anxiety is not easy. You face lots of obstacles and are constantly tested. This is why you need to have a strong internal motivation of wanting to become your best self. It doesn't make sense to embark on the journey to establishing powerful self-esteem and confidence if you don't truly want to experience greatness. 

So there you have it! Leave a comment below about what you think of these and contact me with any questions!

P.S. If you want to find out more about performance anxiety, sign up for my free e-course!

-Coach Cory