Mental training in opera

University essay from Stockholms konstnärliga högskola/Operahögskolan

Author: Anna Pauliina Sairanen; [2019]

Keywords: Mental; training; opera;

Abstract: I started thinking about mental training in singing quite late in my studies. I had many problems with my nerves when I was at the beginningof my professional studies. I remember having a course for three months that was called ”Performancetraining”. When I look back the only thing I remember from that course is what not to do and getting even more nervous when walking on the stage. I remember thinking that I cannotdo this, I will never be a good singer. I have luckily had good singing teachers who have had a lot of time, understanding, commitment and compassion towards me. I have managed to control my nerves and learned to love to perform.What happens if a singingteacher cannotsolve these problems? I myself have studied to be a singing teacher and during my studies I have never faced the challenge to solve these kinds of difficulties. It requires a good understanding in the human psyche to train people to reach their very best and to overcome traumas that prevents us to perform on our best. It takes a whole village to raise a child, as the saying goes. So why should the training of the voice, becoming a great individual performer and artist, rely on the shoulder of the singing teacher? When I think about the singing lessons, shouldn ́t most of the time be spend on training the voice, exercising the muscles that help us to sing? Have you ever heard a football player going to the practise and spending 50% of that timein solving problems they have faced? Probablynot. I’m notsaying that football players don’t have problems they feel are holding them back in playing football and performing at their best. They just have another time and place to fix these problems. Thiswork happens with the mental trainer.

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