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#528741 - 04/01/07 10:19 PM Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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rocket88 Offline
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This may sound nuts, but has anyone used hypnosis to improve their performance?

I ask this because I can play rather effortlessly at home, but when playing in public in an ensemble, I always play much more stiffly. I play virtually every weekend, and have done so for many years.

I have tried everything, but after 56 years of playing, am running out of time and ideas.

I distinctly remember being a child, sitting in a recital, and watching a small boy run in terror down the aisle after crashing and burning at the piano in front of everybody.

That image represents much of my memories of recitals and public performance, so perhaps there is some programmed fear response that has so far been unreachable, and may be helped via responsible hypnosis.

Any ideas?


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
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#528742 - 04/01/07 10:42 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Jeanne W Offline
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I've never tried, but the thought has also occured to me. I'm very interested in hearing if anyone has had any experience with this.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
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#528743 - 04/01/07 10:44 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Jeanne W Offline
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Doublepost - I deleted it. My computer was speeding along at a snail's pace when I was posting this, and somehow it ended up as a doubleposted. eek

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
#528744 - 04/01/07 11:16 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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When you say hypnosis what do you mean? Do you mean you have yourself go into a trance? If you mean a trance then you really would have no enjoyment of playing the piano right?
Just saying my thoughts.

Edward


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#528745 - 04/02/07 12:40 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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No. The person is hynotized during the hypnosis session, then, when the session is over, he or she comes out of the "trance".

They then resume their normal lives, but hopefully with an improvement in the problem area for which they went for hypnosis.

They are not in a "trance" outside of the session! Only during the hypnosis session.

Look Hypnosis up in Wikipedia or an encyclopedia for a better understanding.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#528746 - 04/02/07 02:27 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Jeanne W Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by rocket88:
No. The person is hynotized during the hypnosis session, then, when the session is over, he or she comes out of the "trance".

They then resume their normal lives, but hopefully with an improvement in the problem area for which they went for hypnosis.

They are not in a "trance" outside of the session! Only during the hypnosis session.

Look Hypnosis up in Wikipedia or an encyclopedia for a better understanding.
You say people are not in a trance outside of the hypnosis session, but they could be, I think?

It's my understanding that many people misunderstand what hypnosis is, that "hypnosis" is really just a heightened form of concentration. In other words, a person could be "hypnotized" to concentrate better on the music they are playing, instead of being distracted by other things i.e. the audience, etc.

I think hypnosis could be of benefit to pianists in a number of ways. One way certainly, for pianists who find themselves distracted when playing.

The best players most likely are so 'into' the music, that other things - distractions - fade away when they are playing.

I read somewhere about someone who knew Lizt. This person said most people were of the opinion that once Lizt got on stage he played for the audience. But this person believed that was entirely false, that what made Lizt such a great pianist, is no matter where or when he played, he was playing for himself. And completely oblivious of whether of not anyone else was around. Lizt was in a state of supreme concentration of the music.

Something that goes along with this thought...I wonder what might happen if you were "conditioned" to ignore all of those kinds of distractions. I've wondered if there might be a benefit if a teacher gave a student conditioning training - made all kinds of distractions - clapped her hands, talked, yelled, got in your face, criticized you, etc. while you are playing - until this no longer phased you anymore. Would there be a point where you could tune it all out?

???

Jeanne W

P.S. Maybe this would be more helpful for some types of music than others. I.e. if you're a classical pianist, you probably don't get much feedback while you're actually playing and don't need nor want to pay attention to anything else other than your playing. If, however, you're, for instance, a rock musician - they tend to feed off the reaction of their audience, even while they are playing. To ignore audience reaction while playing would probably be something that kind of musician would never want to do. They have to have a 2 track brain - the ability to stay aware of their audience while concentrating on the music - maybe a better way is saying they're on "auto-pilot" with the music?


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
#528747 - 04/02/07 02:37 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Solo Piano:
When you say hypnosis what do you mean? Do you mean you have yourself go into a trance? If you mean a trance then you really would have no enjoyment of playing the piano right?
Just saying my thoughts.

Edward
The way I'm looking at it, hypnosis could enable a person to very much more enjoy playing the piano. Because hypnosis, or a heightened state of awareness or a trance that instructs a person to focus on all things ***or one particular thing - i.e. you're piano playing ***will enable you to filter out all of the things that may normally distract you when playing. Therefore certain things that may cause you distress, i.e. performance anxiety, will be prevented or eliminated.

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
#528748 - 04/02/07 05:44 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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When I was in college I learned self hypnosis because I was going through a period where I was doing a lot of performing, and all the sudden became nervous about it.

The way it worked was some sessions with a therapist to learn the techniques. I practiced the techniques outside the sessions, then applied what I practiced for performance situations.

About 20 minutes before a performance - or 1/2 hour, or 10 minutes - can't remember which - I would do self hypnosis for a few minutes, bring myself out of hypnosis, and then do the performance.

It worked for me.

#528749 - 04/02/07 04:10 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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I think this would be an interesting thing to try. My chemistry teacher said that during college, she had this "addiction" to Haagen-Daz chocolate ice cream bars. Apparently, after her friends tried hypnosis on her in the attempt to get rid of that addiction, she woke up after hypnosis feeling disgusted at the thought of Haagen Daz bars.

#528750 - 04/02/07 11:00 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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"...Something that goes along with this thought...I wonder what might happen if you were "conditioned" to ignore all of those kinds of distractions. I've wondered if there might be a benefit if a teacher gave a student conditioning training - made all kinds of distractions - clapped her hands, talked, yelled, got in your face, criticized you, etc. while you are playing - until this no longer phased you anymore. Would there be a point where you could tune it all out?"

I believe there is a class offered either at the Mannes School or Julliard that does just this. There was a radio program about it on NPR a awhile ago. On the program they interviewed the instructor, and then in the background were the sounds of books dropping on the floor while a young lady was playing the viola. She didn't even flinch when the books dropped because she was conditioned to continue playing no matter what was happening around her.

John


Nothing.
#528751 - 04/02/07 11:19 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Quote
Originally posted by John Citron:
I believe there is a class offered either at the Mannes School or Julliard that does just this. There was a radio program about it on NPR a awhile ago. On the program they interviewed the instructor, and then in the background were the sounds of books dropping on the floor while a young lady was playing the viola. She didn't even flinch when the books dropped because she was conditioned to continue playing no matter what was happening around her.
John [/QB]
This is what Monica was talking about in another thread. It's called systematic desensitization. Starting with baby steps (whispering in the background while the student plays) and moving gradually to bigger things (books dropping on the floor while the student plays), the student (theoretically) becomes desensitized with regards to the anxiety of noises.

#528752 - 04/03/07 03:28 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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I do it.

All the time.

In our performance classes, I try to relax and semi-fall asleep... the state in between being awake and being completely asleep... when you feel like your eyes are open and you can hear everything, but you're actually asleep?

Then when my name is called, I try to stay in that state of mind... I sit on the piano, take a LONG time before starting. My body is completely relaxed but my mind is focused.

And my entire performance, I perform in a trance...

#528753 - 04/03/07 07:36 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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CarlosKleiberist:

In view of what we've been talking about here, all I can say is: "Wow!" but, also: "Are you being truthful? Or having a little fun with us?"

I guess what I'm trying to say is, what you say about performing in a trance certainly sounds plausible, and I bet you're telling us the truth, but, as rockett88 said when he started this thread, performing in a trance does sound "a little nuts."

laugh

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
#528754 - 04/03/07 07:41 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Jeanne W:
"...Something that goes along with this thought...I wonder what might happen if you were "conditioned" to ignore all of those kinds of distractions. I've wondered if there might be a benefit if a teacher gave a student conditioning training - made all kinds of distractions - clapped her hands, talked, yelled, got in your face, criticized you, etc. while you are playing - until this no longer phased you anymore. Would there be a point where you could tune it all out?"

[Quote] Originally posted by John Citron: [qb] I believe there is a class offered either at the Mannes School or Julliard that does just this. There was a radio program about it on NPR a awhile ago. On the program they interviewed the instructor, and then in the background were the sounds of books dropping on the floor while a young lady was playing the viola. She didn't even flinch when the books dropped because she was conditioned to continue playing no matter what was happening around her.

John
Thanks, John, for sharing that info with us. And thanks, also, xyz, for informing us this kind of conditioning begins in "baby steps." I had kinda figured out this would have to start out that way after I posted. I mean, if you just dove right in - started out with this kind of conditioning with loud bomblike blasts and other extreme noise and distractions, all you'd probably do for the pianist is SHELLSHOCK them FOREVER.

laugh

Jeanne W

P.S. And they might NEVER want to play the piano EVER AGAIN.


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000
#528755 - 04/03/07 10:59 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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I am not sure if this conditioning approach is the same as hypnosis.

It seems that conditioning is behavioral modification so one can cope or not be affected by outside influences that are distracting.

Hypnosis, on the other hand, appears to be a method to correct or counter fears, addictions, or non-productive responses that are inner. These stem from past learnings and patterns.

I am referring in this thread to the need to overcome non-productive inner patterns that were learned long ago, not noise or distractions that occur presently.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#528756 - 04/03/07 03:28 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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There are a couple self-hypnosis tapes (cds) specifically for musical performance. I don't know anyone that has tried them. You can do a google search.

#528757 - 04/03/07 09:18 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Thanks Darla for the lead....I checked, and they do exist.

Has anyone here tried them?


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#528758 - 04/04/07 03:10 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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I for one certainly believe in hypnosis and self-hypnosis, but I also believe in cause and effect. There is a specific reason that people get nervous for performance and for me that has been not being confident with either my technical control, memory, or interpretation of a piece (often a combination). It is revealing that I am significantly less nervous if I use the music in a performance. I have had performances where I haven't been nervous really at all, but these were often because I didn't care so much about the above-mentioned things (which I do now and so should everyone).

Hypnosis can help to reveal to a person what is causing the nerves, so that the cause can be addressed. As we all know, daydreaming is a form of hypnosis, as well as any trance-like state; my best performances have been in this mild state of hypnosis (which is also good for alleviating nerves)

#528759 - 04/04/07 03:56 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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After taking lessons for a couple of years from a fine and patient teacher, I inexplicably developed a mega-case of nerves before each lesson - shakes, aches, blank mind, the works. My teacher and I tried all kinds of techniques and approaches, without success. In utter desperation, I contacted a local certified hypnotist. We had a relaxed hour in which she talked about my tension and how I would handle it. I was given a tape of the session to use prior to lessons to enable calming and centering. I was apprehensive about going to a hypnotist, but like I said, desperation. I have to say it worked. Within a few weeks I'd broken the destructive cycle I'd gotten into.

#528760 - 04/04/07 09:29 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Quote
Originally posted by rocket88:
This may sound nuts, but has anyone used hypnosis to improve their performance?

I ask this because I can play rather effortlessly at home, but when playing in public in an ensemble, I always play much more stiffly. I play virtually every weekend, and have done so for many years.

I have tried everything, but after 56 years of playing, am running out of time and ideas.

I distinctly remember being a child, sitting in a recital, and watching a small boy run in terror down the aisle after crashing and burning at the piano in front of everybody.

That image represents much of my memories of recitals and public performance, so perhaps there is some programmed fear response that has so far been unreachable, and may be helped via responsible hypnosis.

Any ideas?
Hi, this could have been me writing. I play so freely and emotionally when I am alone, but become a robot, losing my memory (my worst nightmare), etc. when playing in public. Here are some things I tried: Inderol --a beta blocker and very short acting - don't need to take it until about an hour beforehand. I was told by a physician that many professional performers use it prior to performance. It calmed me down, but I felt fuzzy and out of it--hate to feel that way. One of my teachers also advised that eating 3 bananas prior to a performance works as a beta blocker and really calms you down--I'm sure that would help without causing fuzziness. I spent 2 years on "thought field therapy" which was similar to hypnosis but not quite. Didn't work at all when I had to perform. What does work for me now? Acupuncture - specifically treatment for anxiety. After being terrified to fly on a plane for over 20 years, I had a treatment the night before I flew, got up the next day, feeling very calm, and not only flew without so much as a single hint of nerves, but also was able to take a connecting flight ALONE! I highly recommend acupuncture--the second the door closes after he puts in the needles, I am asleep and I am soooo calm afterwards. It has really changed my life--I only go for 2 treatments a month.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#528761 - 04/04/07 10:30 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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somewhere in the space-time co...
I'll wait to give concerts when virtual reality is around so that once I put my cyberhelmet, the audience immediatly disappears. Only me and the piano are left in a white infinite, silent space...


gggEb!
#528762 - 04/04/07 11:07 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Irenev: Thanks for writing. I have one concern about doing anything like hynosis or accupuncture.

When I do perform in public, the adrenalin response of playing in public does energize me in a positive way. It is the fear that negates.

Do you feel that, by being relaxed, your playing has been compromised energetically? Or do the benefits of reduced fear overshadow that?


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#528763 - 04/04/07 11:24 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Inderal works pretty well in many situation ranging from performing arts, public speaking to many sports.In fact it is one of banned substance in professional sports. I used to take it for a long time as it is also used for migraine prophylaxis. Some of my friends "burrowed" my inderal when takinga a big exam smile However there are possible side effects and contraindication in certain medical conditions so definitely not something to take without consulting your physician first.

I rather like desensitization program. I went through it in school for a phobia that I had and I found it to be very helpful.

Never try any hypnotize myself but I don't think it would hurt. I wonder if I can hypnosis myself into thinking that I am Van Clibburn before a performence and thus perform a million times better than I can generally do smile

#528764 - 04/04/07 11:27 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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opps sorry, click a wrong button!

#528765 - 04/04/07 11:39 AM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Quote
Originally posted by rocket88:
Irenev: Thanks for writing. I have one concern about doing anything like hynosis or accupuncture.

When I do perform in public, the adrenalin response of playing in public does energize me in a positive way. It is the fear that negates.

Do you feel that, by being relaxed, your playing has been compromised energetically? Or do the benefits of reduced fear overshadow that?
I am adamantly against anything that sedates me, but I can tell you that my experience with acupuncture has only been positive! While it relaxes you, it also energizes your mind and body--for example, if I exercise after a treatment, I feel like superwoman--tons of energy and a light feeling--rather than the usual heavy muscles, tired legs, etc. The next day, I jump out of bed feeling so refreshed. So the answer to your question, is that there is no compromise to energy--stress depletes energy--although I experienced the rush of adrenaline prior to a performance, often I felt so drained and depleted--and hence, my performances suffered. I understand what you mean about the "fear" negating the performance. My fear is that I will "forget" my music and sit there unable to pick up my place. When I was young, I functioned on pure automatic memory. That doesn't work now as I am older with a million more items in my brain storage bin, and of course more of the "adult" fears of failure. Interestingly, when I performed as a youngster, I was "nervous" yet I played with great confidence and energy and was thrilled by performing. Now I dread it. Unfortunately, I didn't go for acupuncture treatments when I was performing, but it has definitely helped all other stressful aspects of my life, without depleting energy in the least. I would definitely go for a treatment prior to performing if I were to perform again.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
#528766 - 04/04/07 12:39 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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I have a CD called 'Self Hypnosis for Musicians'. Instructions say to: Use the CD every day for two weeks, then as often as necessary. You can order it from the UK and it's not very expensive - maybe $20.00 including shipping. The website is www.selfhypnosisformusicians.co.uk

Now to confess to all that I only listened to it once or twice and then just got lazy and I guess not motivated to work that hard on my anxiety/concentration problem (I don't play much any more but would like to really get back into piano seriously). So, I am planning on playing it every day for two weeks and I'll report on here how it has helped me (or not).

#528767 - 04/04/07 01:40 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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reading the above-post, i guess self-hypnosis would count.

and yes it is possible, but i have only managed once so far, for my ARCT exam. It was incredible to finally feel relaxed and just play in a pressure situation, but it still didn't help me in the most technically difficult sections.

Still, it helped me pull together a solid performance of a very demanding (for me) program.

I'm going to try again for my jury coming up, and will report back on the results.\

#528768 - 04/04/07 08:03 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
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Jeanne W Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by rocket88:
I am not sure if this conditioning approach is the same as hypnosis.

It seems that conditioning is behavioral modification so one can cope or not be affected by outside influences that are distracting.

Hypnosis, on the other hand, appears to be a method to correct or counter fears, addictions, or non-productive responses that are inner. These stem from past learnings and patterns.

I am referring in this thread to the need to overcome non-productive inner patterns that were learned long ago, not noise or distractions that occur presently.
Hi, rocket88:

I agree with you, I think the conditioning methods we talked about here are quite a bit different than hypnosis. I apologize if I got things a little off track from the main subject.

Back to hypnosis...

A friend of mine used to work (as a receptionist) for a hypnotist. She reminded me of something I had read about, but forgotten. Anyone here who would like to try hypnosis, be aware that some people are highly susceptible to it, go into *very deep states of trance* and there are varying degrees on down to people who basically cannot be hypnotized.

My friend said the hypnotist told her, how trusting a person is, has some bearing on how "hypnotizable" (is that a word???) a person will be.

There are lighter and deeper states of hypnosis. Those who find it difficult to trust others will, when "under", be in a lighter state of hynosis.

This affect how effective the hypnosis will be. Those who are capable of achieving only lighter states of trance will most likely need to reinforce the suggestions they received more often, either by returning to the hypnotist or increasing their own self-hypnosis sessions.

I'm starting to get dizzy typing this...I'm stopping now...must be in some kind of a trance...
who am I? what am I? WHY am I? Do I play piano???? laugh

Jeanne W


Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
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#528769 - 04/05/07 04:10 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 206
Rami Offline
Full Member
Rami  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 206
Israel/USA
I know from students and artists that hypnosis can help a lot with performance anxiety. The same goes for beta blockers.
It is not going to improve your playing/performance beyond your ability, but it is going to enable you to do your best by eliminating the anxiety factor.
Best wishes,
Rami
rrpcrrpc@yahoo.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/barniv

#2133956 - 08/16/13 05:08 PM Re: Anyone used hypnosis to improve performance? [Re: rocket88]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
eurythmylin Offline
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eurythmylin  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
El Cerrito, CA
This is a reply to your old thread. However after having gotten so much benefit from hypnosis as a performer and teacher, I felt fortunate that highly trained, ethical psychologists agreed to thoroughly train me in hypnotherapy as well. My students, myself and many more benefit from it.

I recently made a downloadable audio tape for musicians specifically. It is here if you are interested: http://musiciansandmorehypnosis.fluidpiano.com/

You can write me in advance if you have questions.

linda@fluidpiano.com

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