Pick Your Music Carefully: Your Performance Depends On It

Over the last 6 months of daily training I’ve changed a lot of little daily habits. This month I made one new change that surpasses all of my other experiments. The new addition? Music.

Play Music that Triggers a Performance Mindset  (Photo: Fe Llya)

Simple things like arriving to my ballet class 15 minutes early to mentally prepare have made a huge difference in my ability to perform at a high level. Now that I have seen the impact of small changes, I’ve begun looking elsewhere for practices that will expedite efficiency in other aspects of my life. Here are a few that I’ve experimented with:

Earlier this month, by happenstance, I played one song on repeat for my 10 minutes drive to the dance studio, and as I walk from my car. The result was immediate. By hearing the same, energizing song over and over I arrived at ballet ready to perform. I had one of my best ballet classes ever. After this singular experience, I questioned what made it so impactful. Here’s the song that I originally used to trigger my performance:

Throughout my experimentations, I have been giving a lot of thought to mindset: the most useful mindset for parents with kids with special needs, an athlete about the start performing, or the CEO of a company in the midst of a heated meeting. Today I’ll be detailing how I’ve begun using music to effectively trigger a performance-ready mindset.

Your Mindset Matters

A few words about mindset: it matters! When I am entering ballet or my office, if I’m in any way distracted or distraught it can take me minutes to acclimatize to the new environment. In professional dance those minutes can mean the difference between being warm and lose, and getting injured. In business that can mean the difference between closing a sale, and going bankrupt. I have discussed the mindset necessary to perform well but I’ll spend a moment specifically on the idea of presence.