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Re: Self Chat [Re: wr] #2320507
08/27/14 07:28 AM
08/27/14 07:28 AM
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Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by wr
A long time ago, the way I heard it described was as inner or interior monologue (or dialogue, if it was with an imagined other person). I've also heard it called "the inner critic", at least in its more negative role. And then there's "monkey mind", too. "Self chat" is a new one on me.

Whatever it is called, it makes a huge difference, I think, both in general ways and in very specific ways.

A specific example: if I am playing something, and my self chat pops up with "Here comes that spot that I always mess up", then the chances of messing that spot up are increased by some astronomical amount. But if my self chat says something like "Here comes that spot I've worked on and I just might get through it unscathed this time", it opens up the possibility that I could do that. Better yet, I love it when self chat says "Here comes that spot I used to mess up; it's amazing how I can sail through it now without any trouble".

Naturally, positive self chat needs to have a healthy connection to reality. If it's a total lie, it won't work. Well, not usually, anyway. smile

The point, for me, is to avoid self chat that can undermine what I do, and try to promote self chat that helps me along. In my experience, it can make a difference, and exercising some control over it is worth the effort it takes. Learning how to find the source of it and how to turn it off at will seems like an even better idea, but doing that is pretty difficult for me (maybe I should tell myself it is easy!).



For me, any of these thoughts during a performance would be a distraction, even the seemingly positive ones. I do best when I'm not thinking about myself at all. I guess that's 'turning it off,' and yes, it's easier said than done. But practices like deep breathing/ meditation really do help (and there are physiological reasons why they help--so there's not necessarily a real opposition between 'woo-woo' and science).


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Re: Self Chat [Re: jdw] #2320530
08/27/14 08:26 AM
08/27/14 08:26 AM
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Beethoven was known to talk (admonish) to himself at times.

He exclaimed: "O Beethoven, what an ass you are!" on being told that the 32 Variations in C minor (WoO 80) were, indeed, by his own hand.

That's why he was such a great composer........ wink


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Self Chat [Re: jdw] #2320536
08/27/14 08:34 AM
08/27/14 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jdw
Originally Posted by wr
A long time ago, the way I heard it described was as inner or interior monologue (or dialogue, if it was with an imagined other person). I've also heard it called "the inner critic", at least in its more negative role. And then there's "monkey mind", too. "Self chat" is a new one on me.

Whatever it is called, it makes a huge difference, I think, both in general ways and in very specific ways.

A specific example: if I am playing something, and my self chat pops up with "Here comes that spot that I always mess up", then the chances of messing that spot up are increased by some astronomical amount. But if my self chat says something like "Here comes that spot I've worked on and I just might get through it unscathed this time", it opens up the possibility that I could do that. Better yet, I love it when self chat says "Here comes that spot I used to mess up; it's amazing how I can sail through it now without any trouble".

Naturally, positive self chat needs to have a healthy connection to reality. If it's a total lie, it won't work. Well, not usually, anyway. smile

The point, for me, is to avoid self chat that can undermine what I do, and try to promote self chat that helps me along. In my experience, it can make a difference, and exercising some control over it is worth the effort it takes. Learning how to find the source of it and how to turn it off at will seems like an even better idea, but doing that is pretty difficult for me (maybe I should tell myself it is easy!).



For me, any of these thoughts during a performance would be a distraction, even the seemingly positive ones. I do best when I'm not thinking about myself at all. I guess that's 'turning it off,' and yes, it's easier said than done. But practices like deep breathing/ meditation really do help (and there are physiological reasons why they help--so there's not necessarily a real opposition between 'woo-woo' and science).


You make a good point - I was thinking of having these kinds of thoughts during practice, rather than during performance, and should have said so.


Re: Self Chat [Re: phantomFive] #2320570
08/27/14 09:46 AM
08/27/14 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
"inner game books"? "tool making"? "self chat"? What are we talking about here, and how does it relate to piano performance?

I'm with Bruce.

(Boy, are we out of it....) ha


I'm with wr. I am definitely not with Atrys. He is *really* out of it! crazy

No need to single people out with insults if you disagree with them. We're here to have a good conversation, not insult each other. For a reference that is older than the inner game books, what did Thumper's mother say?


My self-talk this morning: "Oh, Andy, what an ass you are!"


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: Self Chat [Re: Cinnamonbear] #2320576
08/27/14 09:52 AM
08/27/14 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
"inner game books"? "tool making"? "self chat"? What are we talking about here, and how does it relate to piano performance?

I'm with Bruce.

(Boy, are we out of it....) ha


I'm with wr. I am definitely not with Atrys. He is *really* out of it! crazy

No need to single people out with insults if you disagree with them. We're here to have a good conversation, not insult each other. For a reference that is older than the inner game books, what did Thumper's mother say?


My self-talk this morning: "Oh, Andy, what an ass you are!"


Yes, yes. Very similar to the famous meditation technique of clearing the mind, sitting still and repeating "Owa..Tagu..Siam."

Re: Self Chat [Re: Atrys] #2320633
08/27/14 12:04 PM
08/27/14 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Atrys


...understanding the science of why this is happening and how to best correct it is much more effective than inventing fictional dichotomies of the mind.

You know something is wrong with the education system when former students are more attracted to spiritual woo-woo as a means of corrective facility instead of looking toward the science.


Your estimation is not very fair. It skips over an entire body of science. And you also call other people names which is just plain rude.

First off, the "inner dialogue" people are discussing here has been documented in the psychotherapeutic literature for 150+ years. Freud and Jung based a good deal of their analytic approach on the psychotherapeutic effect by attempting to address it, one way or another. Jung's published work on neuroses documents this clearly, and so has every other clinical researcher to come after them.

The phenomenon of critical self-talk is largely affective/emotive. The cognitive aspect is only a minor part of it and more or less driven by the affect operating at the time. It's much more about feelings than thinking, to put it simply. Watson, Freud and Jung all noted this in their case studies, and their conclusions have been supported by recent brain imaging studies.

As you know, discrete structures of the brain perform specific functions and tasks. For example, cognition largely takes place in the frontal lobes, and to a lesser extent in the frontal and other adjacent areas of the neocortex. Most of the affective/emotive actions, in contrast, take place in the lower brainstem in structures in the basal ganglia, principally the hypothalamus and the amygdala. The basal ganglia have powerful tools to control the metabolic action of the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes don't, so the basal ganglia with its primitive emotions rules the roost for the most part. Given a strong enough conditioned environmental stimulus as Pavlov describes, the amygdala, for example, can completely suppress the metabolic action of the frontal cortex, stopping it in its tracks. In other words, your brain stem can shut down your ability to think completely under the right conditions.

Changing the cognitive action can be helpful to a degree. Clinicians work with patients to do this all the time. This is what people are talking about here so far, changing the "self-talk". However, the essential work to changing self-criticism like this centers on dealing with the affective/emotive part of it, the feelings. If you don't resolve the emotional dissonance, you'll be fighting the cognitive one, in this case the negative self-talk, forever. Cognitive retraining is a good tool, but it is often just a band-aid in this case, and not a very effective one.

Medication will not help most people with this problem. It is true that some people will benefit who are prone to obsessive/compulsive disorder. But SSRUIs don't work for the vast majority of people whose brains work well enough to not need them, yet still face the problem of critical self-talk. Which is almost everybody including yourself. Suggesting people try drugs ad hoc just shows an incredible ignorance about the problem.

And don't call anyone or anything here "woo woo" or "fictional" again.

Last edited by laguna_greg; 08/27/14 12:19 PM. Reason: better parenting requires more scolding, not less

Laguna Greg

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Re: Self Chat [Re: laguna_greg] #2320642
08/27/14 12:23 PM
08/27/14 12:23 PM
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Oh OK. ha

So, what this is all about is a combination of just plain thinking (with emphasis on "positive" thought) and long-time concepts that come from various fields as widely dispersed as behavioral therapy, meditation, sports psychology, and countless self-help approaches. (I wouldn't particularly say Freud, Jung, or psychoanalysis, but I suppose that broadly speaking you could argue those too.)

Re: Self Chat [Re: laguna_greg] #2320643
08/27/14 12:27 PM
08/27/14 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg

First off, the "inner dialogue" people are discussing here has been documented in the psychotherapeutic literature for 150+ years. Freud and Jung based a good deal of their analytic approach on the psychotherapeutic effect by attempting to address it, one way or another. Jung's published work on neuroses documents this clearly, and so has every other clinical researcher to come after them.

The phenomenon of critical self-talk is largely affective/emotive. The cognitive aspect is only a minor part of it and more or less driven by the affect operating at the time. It's much more about feelings than thinking, to put it simply. Watson, Freud and Jung all noted this in their case studies, and their conclusions have been supported by recent brain imaging studies.

That's fine, and it does not contradict anything I've said. Try again.

Originally Posted by laguna_greg

As you know, discrete structures of the brain perform specific functions and tasks. For example, cognition largely takes place in the frontal lobes, and to a lesser extent in the frontal and other adjacent areas of the neocortex. Most of the affective/emotive actions, in contrast, take place in the lower brainstem in structures in the basal ganglia, principally the hypothalamus and the amygdala. The basal ganglia have powerful tools to control the metabolic action of the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes don't, so the basal ganglia with its primitive emotions rules the roost for the most part. Given a strong enough conditioned environmental stimulus as Pavlov describes, the amygdala, for example, can completely suppress the metabolic action of the frontal cortex, stopping it in its tracks. In other words, your brain stem can shut down your ability to think completely under the right conditions.

Yes, I too have taken high school level psych courses.

Originally Posted by laguna_greg

Medication will not help most people with this problem. It is true that some people will benefit who are prone to obsessive/compulsive disorder. But SSRUIs don't work for the vast majority of people whose brains work well enough to not need them, yet still face the problem of critical self-talk. Which is almost everybody including yourself. Suggesting people try drugs ad hoc just shows an incredible ignorance about the problem.

You lost me here; you're getting woo-woo about things again. Also, it's "SSRI". The only person being "ignorant" about anything in this entire thread is you, per the usual. You can ignore the material science all you want, but you're not helping anyone by promoting false information. Also, I did not suggest people "try drugs ad hoc" here.

Originally Posted by laguna_greg

And don't call anyone or anything here "woo woo" or "fictional" again.

A lot of the ranty and (mostly) nonsensical things you post qualify as woo-woo and you're often lost in your own fictitious evaluations of things that are extremely detached from the reality of whatever it is you're actually trying to address. Keep trying. You like to brag about your "credentials", but they hardly pass as such.

Methinks you're past your prime old man.


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: Self Chat [Re: Mark_C] #2320646
08/27/14 12:30 PM
08/27/14 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Oh OK. ha

So, what this is all about is a combination of just plain thinking (with emphasis on "positive" thought) and long-time concepts that come from various fields as widely dispersed as behavioral therapy, meditation, sports psychology, and countless self-help approaches. (I wouldn't particularly say Freud, Jung, or psychoanalysis, but I suppose that broadly speaking you could argue those too.)


Mark, they were the first people to identify this, after all.


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Self Chat [Re: laguna_greg] #2320649
08/27/14 12:33 PM
08/27/14 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg

Mark, they were the first people to identify this, after all.

This does not imply they are responsible for its evolution. Also, you are more than likely wrong about this; probability is not on your side (nor is the science).

Any more ignorance and false information you'd like to share with us old man?

Last edited by Atrys; 08/27/14 12:33 PM.

"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: Self Chat [Re: laguna_greg] #2320651
08/27/14 12:38 PM
08/27/14 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Originally Posted by Mark_C
(I wouldn't particularly say Freud, Jung, or psychoanalysis, but I suppose that broadly speaking you could argue those too.)

Mark, they were the first people to identify this, after all.

Depends what you mean by "this." As I see what's being said here, it's not something they particularly "identified" at all, and I don't see how it's at all close to anything they emphasized in their theories or methods.

Re: Self Chat [Re: Cinnamonbear] #2320653
08/27/14 12:44 PM
08/27/14 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
"inner game books"? "tool making"? "self chat"? What are we talking about here, and how does it relate to piano performance?

I'm with Bruce.

(Boy, are we out of it....) ha


I'm with wr. I am definitely not with Atrys. He is *really* out of it! crazy

No need to single people out with insults if you disagree with them. We're here to have a good conversation, not insult each other. For a reference that is older than the inner game books, what did Thumper's mother say?


My self-talk this morning: "Oh, Andy, what an ass you are!"

Nah, you are a brilliant being!


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Self Chat [Re: Atrys] #2320747
08/27/14 05:05 PM
08/27/14 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Atrys
[quote=laguna_greg]

Methinks you're past your prime old man.



Oh My! Should I be nervous?....nah....

And, you're the first person to ever call me an old man...I am secretly charmed...


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Self Chat [Re: Mark_C] #2320750
08/27/14 05:09 PM
08/27/14 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Originally Posted by Mark_C
(I wouldn't particularly say Freud, Jung, or psychoanalysis, but I suppose that broadly speaking you could argue those too.)

Mark, they were the first people to identify this, after all.

Depends what you mean by "this." As I see what's being said here, it's not something they particularly "identified" at all, and I don't see how it's at all close to anything they emphasized in their theories or methods.


Now Mark, which is it? First you said it could be argued, now you're saying it can't be?


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Self Chat [Re: laguna_greg] #2320790
08/27/14 06:52 PM
08/27/14 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Oh OK. ha

So, what this is all about is a combination of just plain thinking (with emphasis on "positive" thought) and long-time concepts that come from various fields as widely dispersed as behavioral therapy, meditation, sports psychology, and countless self-help approaches. (I wouldn't particularly say Freud, Jung, or psychoanalysis, but I suppose that broadly speaking you could argue those too.)


Mark, they were the first people to identify this, after all.


They weren't the first to identify it - they were merely among the the first to attempt some kind of placement of it within a Western scientific tradition. It was identified for many centuries before that, in various meditation and/or religious cultures.


Last edited by wr; 08/27/14 06:55 PM.
Re: Self Chat [Re: chopin_r_us] #2320844
08/27/14 09:08 PM
08/27/14 09:08 PM
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I've always had a very vivid 'mental life', and I find it indispensable to everything, including music. It can work for you or against you. I find that I rehearse and work on music away from the piano, just as I would do planning my day or what I have to say to someone, etc. I find it to be very helpful to 'chat with myself' about what I'm doing to keep focused during practice, set the next goal and follow it, and so on.

In terms of the kind of self-chat where you predict your own failure and then react because of it, I feel that this is something that will simply take time and life experience to go away. Negative thinking like this happens for a reason. It comes from focusing on the wrong thing. I used to have this kind of thinking all of the time and would make mistakes because of it, but over time music has given me wonderful relationships, wonderful experiences, and has helped me become more confident and happy as a person and so a more relaxed and capable performer. Better appreciating the spirit of music, which is sharing music and making a connection, instead of being a perfectionist, is what will help the most with negative self-doubt.

I still get a bit of stage anxiety of course, but otherwise I love performing now. You get to share your music and make that audience happy! I find that accepting your limits, loving and forgiving yourself, and not caring at all about mistakes is the road to making less of them and being more at peace when you perform for others. You need to not judge yourself so harshly. The self-critic is coming down hard for little flubs and mistakes, but instead it should be coming down hard on you for focusing on the wrong thing. Flubs and mistakes are irrelevant, what you should criticize yourself or is not caring for your audience and only caring about your mistakes. Concentrate on making some wonderful music for your audience, and then mistakes won't matter because their expectations are far lower than yours and they just want they and you to enjoy some great music.


Danzas Argentinas, Alberto Ginastera
Piano Sonata Hob. XVI: 34 in E Minor, Franz Joseph Haydn
Nocturne, Op. 15 No. 1 in F Major, Frédéric Chopin
Prelude, Op. 11 No. 4 in E Minor, Alexander Scriabin
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. 2, Johann Sebastian Bach
Re: Self Chat [Re: Atrys] #2320852
08/27/14 09:42 PM
08/27/14 09:42 PM
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Can we get back to the topic, please?

The topic is:

The role of self-talk as described in the performance psychology literature.

Thanks!


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Self Chat [Re: Roland The Beagle] #2320859
08/27/14 09:56 PM
08/27/14 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
In terms of the kind of self-chat where you predict your own failure and then react because of it, I feel that this is something that will simply take time and life experience to go away. Negative thinking like this happens for a reason. It comes from focusing on the wrong thing. I used to have this kind of thinking all of the time and would make mistakes because of it, but over time music has given me wonderful relationships, wonderful experiences, and has helped me become more confident and happy as a person and so a more relaxed and capable performer. Better appreciating the spirit of music, which is sharing music and making a connection, instead of being a perfectionist, is what will help the most with negative self-doubt.


Excellent post Roland, it jives with my experience. I think in my learning I pushed and was pushed too hard to play music that was too difficult for me to control which created an overarching feeling of playing as a tightrope walk on a windy day, with kids throwing rocks from all sides. I think smaller challenges that can be successfully met would be a better approach for developing confidence along the way.

I believe our mental states can have a large effect on the outcome of a performance, but also that having a long string of successful performances is a great foundation of confidence.

Re: Self Chat [Re: laguna_greg] #2320882
08/27/14 11:18 PM
08/27/14 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Now Mark, which is it? First you said it could be argued, now you're saying it can't be?

I said "broadly speaking" you could "argue" it.
That's two qualifiers on it.

I was trying to be kind by saying that broadly speaking you could argue it. grin
My basic thought is that this has essentially no relation to Freud, Jung, or psychoanalysis.

Re: Self Chat [Re: chopin_r_us] #2321070
08/28/14 11:09 AM
08/28/14 11:09 AM
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Thanks for your contribution Greg - that really helped focus things (something I'm not too good at).

Roland, that was interesting. I think re: Greg, you need to be careful not to just apply a cognitive 'bandaid' - a real change in attitude, as you seem to imply, presumably comes from the amygdala? or at any rate an affective/emotive region? I believe the gut has been found to have a role there.

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A Scale Per Day or Per Week or Per...
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1998 C1 vs. 2016 CG1
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