So American Idol has reached Hollywood and the winter Olympics have begun. Now let's say you want to be able to perform at a higher level than you are today and under pressure. Let's say you want to be able to elevate your skills. Which one should you watch to learn the most from?...

In American Idol we have arrived at Hollywood week. For most of the singers this is an absolute dream come true. They are beside themselves at the possibility and the opportunity that has proven to follow success in American Idol. What if they can become the next American Idol?

And in Vancouver, the Olympic athletes have arrived at the moment they have trained towards for the last 4 years.

Now what is the big difference between American Idol contestants and Olympic Athletes?

Well, here's one: Last week we saw tears of desperation from the American Idol contestants who did not make it to the next round. Several people choked in the heat of the moment and forgot lyrics. Simon Cowell had of course added to the pressure when he proclaimed that,if you forget the lyrics, you're out. And others didn't do as well as they could and begged for another chance.

But the interesting part is how poorly they handled defeat. Several contestants were completely heartbroken, apologetic, ashamed or angry: Sorry mom, I blew my one chance, or someone defiantly screamed they could have been the next American Idol.. They were speaking as if their one chance in life to be something worthy had been crushed. They spoke as if their careers were over.

What they don't realize is that this fear of not being good enough is exactly the reason they choked. They had built up this belief that this is the one chance in their life to prove something. Their whole behavior is fear based. Their singing is based on trying to prove themselves rather than communicating a song with love, joy and passion. Frankly, many come across as quite immature.

But American Idol is no Olympics. You want pressure compete in the Olympics. You want to ensure that you don't get another chance compete in the Olympics.

But here's the big difference: Athletes do not operate with fear. Great performers aren't afraid of losing. They may hate to lose but they aren't afraid of losing. Listen to athletes real athletes - when they speak. Listen to them when they fail and listen to them when they succeed.

Tonight is a great opportunity to watch the veteran snowboarder Shaun White in Snowboarding. Now there is someone who will be extremely nervous. The pressure is enormous. He won four years ago and everybody is expecting him to win and to perform a trick no one has done before. That, my friends, is pressure. But listen to him when he talks. I don't know if he will succeed or fail tonight. But listen to his attitude in either situation and you'll understand why he excels so often. Learn about the enormous work and preparation he and other athletes undertake.

For them it is a constant never ending search for improvement. Now, I said Shaun White is a veteran. But did you know that he is only 23? Yes, that's right, he won the previous Olympics when he was 19, after having fallen in the first run, then got up and outdid himself. That is a true performer. At 19 he was younger than most American Idol contestants who can't seem to handle falling down even once.

To everyone who wants to become a singer, I urge you to watch and learn from someone like Shaun who knows what it takes to excel.

About the author 

pbubwer

  • I can't wait to see Shaun White. Great comparison with AI – puts it all in perspective and all in connection. Thank you Per
     

  • When fear enters the equasion, you block your natural intelligence and talent and things become a struggle.   Letting go of fear is lifes great lesson, regardless of circumstances.    

  • Awesome article Per. Its aout time people start making this comparison. My opinon is that its more than an analogy. Sport is performance nothing more or less, and is an outgrowth of dance. Since singing is also an outgrowth of dance, many more people should be making the analogy that you have made here. Would love to hear more from you Per, see my email.

  • How true.  I remember equating the adjudication of my performance with my personal worth and acceptance.  I got over that after a while and went on to value the adjudication as a means for improvement of my craft/art.  That is what the athletes have to do.  They look at how they can improve, not at the placement in the race.

  • I dont watch American Idol. There is something sketch about it. A weird desperation. To me , to go on that show is a career curse. And I dont like Simon. It all has high cringe factor. Its TV. Id rather be singing to my girlfriend on a Saturday night.

  • A performance is a performance; it doesn't matter in what aspect.  If you fail to prepare, you are prepared for failure.  Success will not fall on us overnight. It takes DISCIPLINE.

  • Great post, Per.  It's the difference between professionals and amateurs….
    "The professional self-validates.  She is tough-minded.  In the face of indifference or adulation, she assesses her stuff coldly and objectively.  Where it fell short, she'll improve it.  Where it triumphed, she'll make it better still.  She'll work harder.  She'll be back tomorrow."
    -The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.  It's a must-read for any aspiring artist.

  • The difference between American Idol and The Olympics? About 10 000 hrs practice.
    This is the generally accepted timespan that it takes to master any activity, be it a musical instrument, artistic technique or sport. It is obvious to me that certain American Idol contestants  have never spent even one hour listening to a playback of their voices, and then systematicly correcting their faults. My singing career started when I first heard a recording of my voice. It was the most sobering moment of my life.  Practice makes you focused, Disciplined, Humble, less likely to crack under pressure. Watch Rodger Federer for inspiration, not an American Idol star.

  • What Nelson said,
    10,000 hours was a well conducted investigation by Malcom Gladwell (& co.) which is best explained in his book, Outliers. Such extrodinary people devoted, on average, 10,000 hours to their specific work – be it snowboarding, tennis, and quite interestingly, computer programming (Bill Gates). I've the belief that after reading deep into Per's posts and insight's that this 10,000 hours can be cut down to less if one is more conscious about their actions and what they're trying to achieve. Especially when 'pure' (your best singing voice) singing is when your using a singular muscle near your throat. If you work that baby out, but are very aware/more aware when using it, you can speed up your learning process significantly. Eh Per? 😉

  • Excellent Per, 
    What I got from your blog was the artist and the athlete are a lot a like.                    
    They both must focus on what they want and not on what they don't want.
    I believe that an artist & an athlete must to something everyday towards their goal to win. It's a way of life.

  • Per, you are so right.  The Olympic athletes are so tough. I just watched Lindsay win the downhill.  And Julia, who got the silver today, drew a picture of herself when she was just a child of herself winning a downhill Olympic medal.  These people have truly put in the time and effort, and they never give up, after injuries and setbacks. They plan their journey and do all that it takes to make it happen. On to Shaun White!

  • The fear that one adds to himself  is much more terrible than the fear itself.
    Fear surely reduces the chances and opportinities to at least perform naturaly.
    Anyway,great point of view.

  • The thing we should not overlook is that those athletes who never get a medal, who enter in the full knowledge that they will never reach the top ten, have also practiced for 10,000 hours or more.  They may not be winners – but they most cerainly NOT LOSERS!!! 
    To devote 10, 000 hours, or – better still – to devote a lifetime to being the best that you can be, regardless of how others might evaluate your performance, is surely the most laudable of goals!
    I think we sometimes get misled by terminology.  Remember, the word 'amateur' comes from the Latin verb – amare – meaning 'to love.'  Thus, it is not really the opposite of 'professional,' which simply means that you receive a financial reward for your efforts.  And I cannot imagine that there are many athletes, or singers, who get paid for their efforsts who do not love what they do.
    I am now 80.  As a child I was led to believe that my singing was dreadful – and it may very well have been.  But that led to me never even trying to sing until I was in my 40's.  Even then, I sang with 'judgement' rather than 'freedom' – and for many years was truly bad.  But I persevered, and gradually got to the point when I was appearing as a 'lead' in local amateur productions.  It took me far too long – because I didn't discover the Per Bristow approach until a few months ago.  In some ways I regret all those wasted years – but on the other hand, perhaps it makes me truly value what I have achieved. 
    I will never be famous:  I will never be well known.  And I have practiced for many more than 10,000 hours.  But my reward is, to me, just as great as a gold medal would be to a champion athlete.  There are people out there, now, who like to listen to me singing – and what better reward is there than that? 
    Brian.

  • You said things that I knew before, but didn't realise that it will be so nice and important to hear it from someone else. Like a kind of a support I guess. We all need it from time to time. Thanks, you made my day!

  • I Can't agree more with the concept that fear of failure is the greatest obstacle to excellence and success. I have been involved with so many people who are in this predicament, not least my own daughter who is right now grapling with this very thing. 'I am not good enough' and 'fear of falling' are the greatest obstacles to success or even being able to perform your own best, let alone improve. So yes Per, you are making a most excellent point. We need to be able to embrace potential 'failure' and move forward to do what we have to do with joy, love and committment. The true anointing to any performer is that he or she would be singing for the love of it and for the pleasure of it without the constant fear of failure that so destroys the real gift. Thanks Per.

  • Hear Hear!   Sometimes I wonder if all the drama is for the benefit of the ratings.  Dummy spits seem to rate as entertainment these days.  I am also a fan of So You Think You Can Dance.  The same applies.  These dancers, & I have been one, so I understand the demanding regimen undertaken by dancers, are the same as the athletes.  Humility, dedication & passion.  These are the qualities required by anyone wanting to achieve something worthwhile.  Greatness is earned by the application of these qualities.  Drama is simply evidence of the small self which will ultimately reveal its motives.  I have taught singing for 22 years & have been a singer all my life.  I am constantly reminding my students:  this is not about you.  This is a about communicating, with 100% commitment, the song.  You are in service to your audience.  If your commitment is genuine you may be fortunate enough to experience the love flowing both ways ;-D
    Thanks for your wisdom and support
    Kelesi

  • I would judge by the level on American Idol & it's British version that these performers do not put in anywhere near the energy into learning their skill in comparison to Athletes. Some have talent, no doubt, but talent is not enough, singing & performance are learnt skills. I believe these people want a quick fix or short cut to fame & fortune rather than put the effort in to become a great performer worthy of listening to. It's a throw away consumer society, I find it shocking that there are enough people wiling to buy this under achieving drivel to make Simon Cowel so rich. I suspect Simon secretly agrees

  • Hello Per,
    Thank you for your persistent. I was touched by your nice words and honesty. I've read the article and leart much from it. I'll insist on singing with your assistance. Happy new year to you.

  • Per, you, as usual nailed it.  There is a resilience and calm that makes all the difference between someone who is serious and professional in whatever their undertaking, and someone who is caught up in the emotion and drama of the moment.  Thank you for your great reminder of this.  It reminds me to be relaxed and centered as I go into the next show.
    Marti.

  • Dear Per,
    This is an excellent post. And again comes that old familiar word, FEAR, that your entire philosophy is based upon as I understand it. Being a subscriber to your website, and owning the DVD set  and being a student of your"Sing With Freedom" course, I believe i understand your philosophy. It has helped more than anything I have done to date to be a better singer.
    When my DVDs of Sing With Freedom arrived last year, with in literally minutes of the first lesson, I knew exactly what you were talking about and exactly what I was doing wrong. My singing was based in fear. My vocal chords and muscles were tight and consticted, my mouth was tense and closed, my mind was based in fear of sounding "bad" , I was not breathing, forget breathing correctly, I was not breathing i was not "exhaling with sound", I was not exhaling at all. I was afraid to go play on stage on open mic nights although I wanted to more than anything, but I was scared. Scared to fail, scared to sound bad, scared people would not like my voice or my choice of songs, scared to get on stage in front of people.
    I am 53 years old. I bought my first guitar at age 49, and at the same time I bought a song book of 53 Johnny Cash songs. I had never picked up a guitar in my life, not seriously in any way, shape, or form. But all my life I wanted to play a guitar and sing.  At 49 I decided it was time. I am self taught and trained, for better or for worse, that is the way it is.  At first I played along with Johnny Cash records trying to keep a rythym and a beat and learned chords and soon some songs. I did this for the first two years couped up in my house.  I was afraid to tell anyone what i was doing. But, soon came a digital home recording studio machine which i bought so i could hear my mistakes and my voice and what i was doing wrong or right. And to see if how my guitar playing sounded. 
    Then last year I ordered Per Bristow's "Sing with Freedom"c set of DVDs. My world opened up afer the first 45 minute DVD. The lights went on 5 minutes in to the 1st lesson, the songs started coming out. Now at 53, I have been singing and playing an open mic night here in town every Thursday night ,and i am getting ready to branch out to the Providence, RI Open Mic scene. People tell my voice is "unique, distinct, smooth, very good, and etc." This is difficult for me because I never made the cut for any glee club I ever tried out for and i could not sing in key ever. I did nopt take up guitar earlier in my life because i was convinced i could not sing, and i thought "what's the point if I can't sing"?  I am now convinced that my guitar actually tuned my voice. 
    I gave a benefit concert last November 8th, at our local Seaman's Church Institute, which incidently raised more money and food than any other of the 2009 Seaman's Music Series. I sang and played 100 minutes of songs in two hours with a 20 minute break.  I was quite proud of this fact as all the other musicians for the 2009 series were all professional and experienced singers and musicians. What Per says is true, I watch American Idol and I can identify the fear in many of the contestants. I would be scared and nervous too. But the way one handles it is the key to success.  And one's self talk is very important to their success or failure.  "Oh I blew my one chance at success or fame or what ever they are seeking" . If you don't think an Olympic figure skater wants to bury their face and run to the locker room after they fall in an olympic performance, you are wrong. But they don't run. They get up and pick up exactly where they were supposed to be if they had not fallen.   Per taught me to relax and to breathe and to "exhale with sound"  to lose the fear based singing.  And yes I occaisionally forget lyrics in songs on stage now, and one's initial reaction is to run off the stage. But now i struggle through it, I joke with my audience while i am struggling,  so the tension i am feeling is not transcended to them, where they too are feeling awkward with me and for me.  If I can make em laugh a little then i I have em in my pocket so to speak.  Granted I could not do that on American Idol. But I am out stage and it isn't American Idol, where Simon tells me to go home as soon as he realizes i forgot my next lyric. It's worse than that, it's real life, and I'm there in front of a bar room full of people in the midddle of a song and you better get a handle on it quick  or things can get mighty quiet and emebarrassing mighty quickly.  And if you go running off the stage you go home feeling pretty bad about yourself.     
    So pay heed to Bob Dylan and ," Know your song well before you will sing it".   and oh yeah, and breathe!     
    I do it because I love it. I want to be a better singer, I want to sing as well as I am able for me.  Of course I have my own dreams and aspirations for my music but i try to keep it all in perspective. If it goes somewhere or I make a record or tour around someday, that's all fine.  But that is not really my goal, my goal is to be a as good a guitarist and singer I can be for me. And if you like it too, well that's an added bonus.  Recognition comes  when you do something well. But if you don't stay positive and stay on track constantly trying to improve and be a better singer and musician, and if you let your hopes be dashed over one minor set back or because some told you you're out because you forgot a lyric, and you let that ruin you, then you never gave yourself a chance.  In turn being unfair to only yourself. Lok at Jennifer Hudson, Simon insulted her as i recall and said "no way".  She didn't give up and say oh Simon Cowell told me I'm no good. Simon Cowell isn't God, he is just Simon Cowell another human being, he isn't the end all and be all of the music industry.
    Also one small point, my Zen Guitar book kind of frowns upon competition in music. Unfortunately American Idol is strictly a competition. Making music is not a competitive sport, but many musicians are competitive, as is the industry in itself.  Personally, I am in it for my own peace of mind and finding music in my life has been the greatest joy I have found yet.  And I love getting up on stage and doing a good job for my audience.    
    However, I'm keeping my day job for a while yet, cause I'm keeping it all in perspective and trying to continually hone my craft and get better.  Sorry to be so long winded.
    Sincerely,
    Peter L. Warburton, Newport RI.          

  • And to second what Pete Sharp said above. Put in the time. I play and sing 8 to 10 hours a day at home all in my spare time. But it isn't a forced excersize for me. I just can't put down my guitar or stop working on a song or stop writing a song or stop singing a song. I just can't stop. I have to make myself do my chores before picking up my guitar. Usually i am unsuccessful at that part. Thanks for the patience.
    Again, Peter L. Warburton

  • Per, that is an eye opener observation.  I've learned a lot from you in a very short period of time.  I have a dream that someday I could sing to the whole world and share my love with the ultimate goal of making this world as one.  We are one in this planet earth and we should make the most of it while we are here.  People have the power to choose death and doom or life and prosperity.  Whatever the choice, people should be ready to the consequences of their choice.  With your help, I will be able to write the song(s) and hopefully  sing to the whole world.  I will practice more often as per your suggestion.  Carlos

  • Wow, this is such a nice piece to read. It only reminds me of my days as a sprinter in my high school. Before i start a race,i would see the finish line and imagine myself reaching it first. most of the time, my desire would come to pass but i must say that it came from the confidence i had built up within myself which of course was supported by the countless amount of time i would spend on the race track and in the gym, working out. i even hated the fact that as a lady, my muscles were bulging out but all for the cause of the goal, i overlooked it, The joy expressed thru the faces of those cheering me on was even greater. Now as a singer, i understand very well that not only thru confidence would my fear be washed away but also thru countless amount of time training my vocal cords and surrounding muscles. Its been great being part of this program, thank you Per.
    Funke Ojo. Author of Face2Face poetry book.
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Face-2-Face/Funke-Ojo/e/9781434324894/?itm=1&usri=funke+ojo

  • Very good article Per. Like Nelson, I've been recently very inspired by the steady, focussed and balanced attitude of Roger Federer. It's been amazing to see him cope with the pressure of equaling and surpassing Mr Sampras (as well as the young 'buck' Nadal). I hope I can apply the same qualities of dedication and balance to singing practice. I would also add to Per's article by observing that American Idol is based upon the personality ethic while I imagine that olympic athletes are developing the character ethic.

  • Great article!  Have been watching some of American Idol, but finding myself turning it when there was too much drama and desperation.  Have been watching some of the olympics also and been so amazed at their abilities, effort they and time they put into preparing.

  • Hi per,i think, taking ur mind away from de judges and doing it wit love will make de diffrence.Knowninggggggggggggggg de fact dat graetness is prepared 4 can not be over emphasz.

  • Very good article of which I can relate. Our band was in a contest in which we didn't win and another member reacted much differently than I. When we didn't win (we placed 3rd out of Nine in the Final round) this other member got super angry dissing the other contestants and throwing a tantrum like it was the end of the world. I on the other hand, accepted the loss and congratulated the winners offering more incouragement, realizing that there will be other oppurtunities. We can't qiut just because we got rejected, but should strive to work harder the next time. Each failure actually makes us stronger and better if we don't let it conquer us. We need to learn from these experinces and do better the next time. It's not how bad or how hard we fall that matters, it's how we get back up that does. 

  • It's a great article. I totally agree. The secret between success and failure has so much to do with how much one is driven by fear vs faith and love. Fear causes you to be self-conscious whereas if you focus on your audience and you want to share a message via your song, in a way this focus on others and wanting to bring them something good gives you power to deliver, if I am making sense. To me it seems that fear really is a killer to inspiration whereas love is creative.
    I really feel for the participants of the olympics and all the pressure they endure. I always admire the ones that don't make it and take well, because to be a good looser shows that they have character, especially with so much at stake.
    Thanks for writing the article, Per.
     

  • Besides your article I really like a lot of the comments people wrote here above.
    One more thought:
    Bringing the subject a little closer to home, in my case regarding singing, I lack sufficient knowledge of know how to use my "instrument", and that causes me to feel somewhat insecure. I am always amazed when people commend me for "having a great voice", because I sure am not a professional. My goal is to bring  encouragement, a little bit of sunshine, love… through the songs I sing, and may be I do; I hope. I would like to do it better though. Thanks again for all the input so far.

  • Hi Per,
    I am a middle school choir and orchestra teacher. I was so impressed with the article that I read it to all 160 of my students yesterday. Each class applauded at the conclusion of my reading of the article. Even middle school students understand the message of hard work, good sportsmanship, "process" over "product" and operating out of love, joy and passion as opposed to fear. Thanks for sharing this valuable perspective.

  • Very nice article, Per, thanks.
    To continue Ruth's thought, I think knowing how to use your voice makes you secure. It is about making contact with your audience and telling them something importnat. To my opinion, if you do not feel the urge to share a song with people, you do not need to sing. Programs like Idols kill this part of singing and make it all a show-off, indeed, based on fear.
    Per, I am glad you mentioned Federer in your blog, because he is is an example of someone who never pushes himself unreasonably hard, he knows how to move so fluently that it looks like no effort at all, and I think that's why he does not have as many injuries as other tennis players. He never forgets that tomorrow is another great day to live, after he's given today everything he can.

  • Per,
        Thanks so much for that insight about immaturity and American Idol being based on fear a lot.  I love the way you think.  When doing an acting scene I try to not look at it as a test, but an opportunity to show my natural talent and light up the room, much like singing.  Confidence is still my biggest problem in singing, but I am working on that.

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    Per, I want to thank you for your timely essay; and its importance to me by acknowledging the difference between genuine commitment (as shown by the Olympic Athletes) and 'quick fix' American Idol attitudes.
    Just this morning I watched Olympic Skater Stacey Lycasek (gold medal) on the Today Show, and everything he said reminded me of the points you mentioned in your article.
    You have made a huge difference in my more relaxed approach to singing – helping me deal with many of the fears such as: acceptance when performing, reaching out to audience, judging my voice quality.  But not only is it philosophy you offer, but real result-enhancing workouts as I have experienced in months 8 and 9.  Thanks for tying it all together with each new lesson.
    Best,  Jim

  • The origin of the word competition from the Latin means "to strive together" or "come together."  Some have even expressed it as "to rise together." 
    You do not get better or excel in your chosen field of endeavor without competition, even if it is just saying to yourself "I'm going to perform better than I did last time." Competition takes hard work, practice, equanimity when things do not go your way, and belief in yourself, win or lose, no matter what happens on the stage or the ski slope.

  • What comments I read are as good as your very fine mini-essay.
    You put it so well.
    I forget lyrics all the time.
    At one senior home, a lady came up afterwards and  consoled me with  "You're in good company.  We forget all the time."
    But when you nail it on the head, you know and it is nice.
    At 59, I still hate to audition because of a bad experience earlier in life. But I keep singing. Some shows find me the star and others well not so glittery but I some times still get paid.
    Back to your essay. It was very well put. I commend your performance.
    Jay Beacham

  • This article is RIGHT ON! The one good thing I learned from voice lessons was to make it natural (sort of the same ideas that you teach about not contorting and not being un natural). . . My voice teacher made all his students read "The Inner Game of Tennis" which had nothing to do with singing, but it was amazing how it helped us be more fluent and natural.
    Also, even though it is very very old, there is a great speach on practicing and spending the time to "exercize your voice" and to make it all part of you. . . it's called "A Fighting Heart" by Bob Richards. He gave this talk many many times. He was an olympic champion many years ago but this talk is one of the best ever. It is about believing in yourself and paying the price to become great no matter what it is that you do. I believe this falls right in line with what you are trying to get across. Great work!!!

  • Just a clarification, the fighting heart talk isn't about singing. . . I used that simply as a metaphor . . . but it can appy to singing. If you can find the speach it is well worth listening to.

  • All of Life's a Stage,   The podium, a personal aspiration unique to the athlete in all of us,  When all is said and done, and beautifully put I might add after reading all of the above, The joy of life is the journey, so dream your dream and "Go with Freedom"  Thanks Per, I'm having an awesome time making funny faces, laughing and singing with you in my computer.  

  • Per–Thanks for keeping us informed.   I am working to becoming a professional
    performer (entertainer).   I have read your articles–and I try to keep informed.  It is
    NOT easy, as you know.   Too many technological changes–too fast. 
    Great blog.  
    I sing (I have three instructors (including you))(they do NOT conflict!)), I act,
    I am a stand-up comedian, and I model, AND, AND, I am working on a
    Digital Piano (records everything and has an orchestry build in).   
    I THINK WHAT YOUR DOING IS FANTASTIC!!   Please keep up the good work.
    Oh yes,  Happy Belated Valentine's Day.  (HAH!)     Seriously, you're a real friend. 
    Signed Dr. Hanna
     
     
                                                                                           

  • Fantastic article Per. Have already learned a lot from it. Singing and performing is a joy and a great experience. Without music and singing, the life would not have been so fulfilling as it has become. I admire your way of spreading this fact.
    Best wishes
    Anita

  • Good post Per.  I agree.  If you are thinking this is your last chance to succeed that is the attitude of a loser.  I actually learn a lot from each failure.  It is always great when I succeed and it is a great feeling.  However, some of my greatest moments were because I learned from past failures.  I heard that Thomas Edison tried 5,000 times before he finally invented the light bulb.  Someone told him you mean you failed 5,000 times before you invented the light bulb.  He responded by saying no, I learned 5,000 ways not how to make a light bulb.  I am not sure this is the exact point, but you get the picture.  The point is in order to eliminate failure, learn something from it every time.  What a great concept.

  • Shaun White was amazing! I watched TV only because of Per´s mail and realised tahat  our Peetu Piiroinen from FINLAND was "the second best" ;-))!
    Thank`s a lot Per :-)) !

  • Hey i love watching americans idol. My mom tells me im going to try out one day. Im sorta shy though. i love singing thats mostly what i do all day. I loved this page the more i read the more it inspired me to sing.

  • Thanks Per,
    I like the comparison between singing and athletic performance.  One source of fear is the notion of scarcity: if I don't do well now I won't get another chance.  This is obvious in situations like Idol and the Olympics, but I think that in both art and sports there are always going to be more opportunities to perform and show your best.  Alleviating that sense of scarcity may be as simple as finding or creating opportunities for yourself (and others).  You can pound the pavement to do auditions or organize something yourself and invite all your friends.  Chalk it all up to that 10,00 hours!

  • Dear Per,
    two elements / without doping please…/
    the most important is awareness and control
    always try to use these two elements when you are in art field..Singing or create whatever…
    Best
    lucky v 

  • Hello Per, What very wise words, excellant!  I don't know if you remember me, I was learning how to sing so I could at my husban's memorial in October. Well I did that & I shocked quite a few family & friends. I felt as though I achieved the impossible, something I always wanted to do. Pressure – NONE! Anticipation – PLENTY. My teacher, (besides you), had her students cut a recording in August (3 songs each), for us to be able to compare then to now. BOY! What a difference. Whilst I did what I set out to do, something every bit as big, every bit as overwhelming happened. I took my recording to my 88 year old father who burst into tears after hearing it & said to his wife, look what I bred. He told my brother, (63yrs) "She sings better than the ones that sang the songs in the first place". My father used to sing as well and he used to yodel, which I am trying to teach myself and going OK too. No Olympic Gold, No Australian Idol, But a lot of self satisfaction, and some stunned people. Thank you Per.

  • Hello, I concur with the post and many comments. May I bring a strange comparison, but the olympics make me think of honourable pacifist activities in ancient greek time, mens trying to better themselves and the human race, but American Idol make me think of Roman Gladiators where the most vulgar emotions are there to satisfy another strange human attraction. It's the reason why I don't watch these so called musical programs but prefer to watch live shows from proper establishe artists, whom we have so much to learn from.
    Regards.
    PS: In fact I can recommend a website which is amazing, it's called "what about me?" (from 1 giant leap) that is a truly magical musical experiment. Let me know what you think.

  • I would pick Amarican Idol because peoples dream can come true and i always wanted to become a singer. So i would pick that show..=]

  • Hi Per! Thank you for all your comments.I belong to a choir of older Ladies 60-80 years young.I have always enjoyed singing & did some solos as well.But sometimes the high notes getting harder to reach.In my younger years I wanted to be a proffessional singer, but the funds where not there for my parents.Looking forward to a fabulous singing year.Thanks for the lessons & the opportunity of voicing my story.
     Margret Ottawa/Canada

  • Hi Per,
    Firstly i want to say a lot thanks.your creative article is awesome .This is very helping me. i am learning Hindustani classical before 6 monts  but I am not able to get technic how to sing but when I saw your video i am very happy. now i have got Technic and no problem to sing.
    Thanks

  • T:I have done quite a bit of singing both in choirs and solos.  I find that the more I sing, the better I get, but also I find that before each performance I have to relax and talk to myself so that I won,t panic,and when I feel comfortable and relaxed I don't worry about making a mistake . I just go for it! It also helps to say a prayer before getting to the mike.  I also listen to comments made to other performers by directors and teachers, and adopt some their techniques, such as muscle relaxation, etc. comment here…

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