10 Ways to feel more supported in your musical development

So you are learning to play your musical instrument – congratulations – and now you are feeling a lack of support for it?
The most important decision here is to be your own support.
Waiting for your music teacher ( or anyone else)  to say what you need to hear doesn’t empower you.
Keep a notebook, and write your concerns as a question and ask your teacher about it at your next lesson.

Here are 10 tips to help you move towards the wonderful musical life you are dreaming of.

Have a wall behind you when you play. In this image, it looks like he has a wall behind him and is supported, whereas it looks like her back is open to whoever might walk up behind her.  If this is correct, I would suggest the piano is moved around so she has the wall behind her and can look out, without turning around.

Good lighting.  Natural light from the windows or a daylight bulb in a lamp, so you can see clearly.



Enough fresh air, from windows or indoor plants eg Peace Lily








Sound in.  No sound disturbance from your household or neighbours noise

Sound out. No sound disturbance made towards your household or your neighbours. Stay within the local authority boundaries.


Distraction.  Ideally, your piano would be in it’s own room, away from the remainder of the household or other occupants. TV and or computer devices, siblings, tasks undone – many things can be a mental distraction, so it’s better to have them in a different room. It’s a good idea to keep a notebook and pen beside your instrument, so you can make a note of anything that comes into your mind while you are practising. Then you can return to practise, knowing that the reminder is there when you finish. Sometimes we can sabotage ourselves with the idea that things are more important, when most of the time they really aren’t.



Be your own support. That is, what you tell yourself about your playing becomes the truth over time.  Choose what you want to feel and who you want to be about this.  Build yourself up.  Be your own best friend. If you can find other people who support you too.  Make a choice to be each other’s support buddies.




Place a gorgeous photo of yourself playing, and looking joyful and confident, beside where you practise.  It’s amazing how looking at this is a powerful reminder of the truth of you!


Time in nature is a wonderful balance to being indoors doing the mental work of practise.  This is a way to support yourself

Woman playing flute in flower field

Knowing yourself well matters

Always have a clear goal you want to achieve for your next practise or playing session.  The goal can be simply to enjoy playing the music you love, or, it can be something more challenging. It’s up to you each day.

Pamela Jordan is an experienced musician teacher mentor in Sydney, Australia.
She is available for inspiring music sessions via Zoom on Australian Eastern time.

The Path of Confidence

The Path of Confidence

Dear Anna,

Your email this morning was a great and inspiring read.
Massive congratulations for your achievement.
I understand that the work towards this performance is ongoing.
It’s a performance on a world wide stage!
So my best advice for you, from my own experience, is to be very very well prepared so much that when you are on that stage, what you are going to say and play is a part of you, and so much that you have enough mental emotional spiritual and physical space to navigate the feelings and environment of being on that stage.
Also, it can make a huge difference to actually stand on that stage – well prior to the event – and experience it’s physical space.  Then, when you are rehearsing your performance, imagine you are there, experiencing the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd, in a way that is exciting and celebratory!
Plan ahead how you will travel to the event space and practise that as well.
Support in the form of other people driving you there and handling the logistics of parking is important. Allow yourself to be fully supported and for it to be a smooth flow in the lead up. This is not being a diva, it is being sensible, and realistic about what it takes.
Carefully curate what you will wear. These will be your clothes of confidence.  Practise in the clothes you will wear, well ahead – at least three times.  Make all the elements of the performance as familiar as possible.
Every step of the process before the performance is as important as giving it.
It is the path of confidence, and takes the pressure off the performance itself.
Remember, I am backing you to have a profound and wonderful experience of giving from your heart to the world through this performance.
Pamela JordanPamela Jordan is a long experienced musician, speaker and performer.
She is available for Performance Coaching.
To date, her proudest performing moment was transforming from being a wallflower at age 16 to winning the Entertainer’s Quest at Sundale in front of over 1,000 people.  Many decades later she still remembers the feelings, and has kept the Silver Medallion.
#performance #confidence #performance-coaching #music-performance #music #musician #sydney #Australia

What is a Wholistic Piano Teacher?

Playing piano

What is a Wholistic Piano Teacher?

A wholistic piano teacher is someone who considers your whole wellbeing and life situation, and shows you how to integrate playing the piano into your life, as part of a healthy lifestyle.

* They are familiar with what a healthy lifestyle is.
* They will be aware of the importance of the mindset you bring to the lesson, and will assist you to empower yourself.
* They won’t be only focussed on results
* They will also be interested in whether you are playing at home for your own enjoyment.
* How you feel about the playing will matter.
* You will be guided in ways to maintain motivation and to develop a nourishing practise habit.

Is the piano teaching itself, any different?
Yes it is.
A wholistic piano teacher will also show you how to improvise at the piano, if you would love that. In other words, how to play your feelings. This begins at the first lesson, even though the teacher might not express it in exactly those words at that time.
Improvising can also be ambient playing where you play from the heart instead of reading music. It can also be where you play a known song, then creatively ‘play’ with it, as jazz musicians do.
They will also teach you to play celebratory songs like ‘Happy Birthday’ in several keys, so you are equipped for when you are asked to play for singers at a party. 

Will I be taught how to read music?
Yes of course.  The wholistic piano teacher will teach you the traditional skills of playing including quality technique, alongside incorporating self-expression. 

Would I have to learn music theory?
A wholistic piano teacher will include a certain amount of theory within each lesson – as in what you need to understand in order to play the music.  It is quite possible that you may become interested in the music theory or how music is made because of the way the teacher explains the music to you. It’s an incredibly rich treasure trove of adventure that is available to you. 

Is the music I would learn any different?
Maybe or maybe not.  This depends on what you want to learn.
Any piano teacher can ask what it is you would love to learn to play – it is possible that a wholistic piano teacher will be a lot more flexible in this. There are many ways to approach learning to play the piano, as well as many different ways or styles of playing.
An individual program of learning is central to an wholistic approach which adapts to your needs.

Is a wholistic piano teacher less qualified than a traditional teacher?
Not necessarily. It can be that the teacher has a lot of experience and tertiary qualifications in music, as well as being knowledgeable about and interested in a wholistic healthy lifestyle, and inherently brings those viewpoints together.

What is the difference between having face to face lessons with an wholistic piano teacher, and learning from an online app?
With face to face lessons you develop a relationship with a human who has your wellbeing at heart, and you can ask questions, and receive warm encouragement and validation for your progress.  The quality individual attention and constructive feedback each week is powerful.  It’s the difference between engaging in a healthy individual relationship with a compassionate fully alive human, and being on your own with a machine or stepping through a generic course with no support or support you have to work hard to receive.

What is the difference between a Wholistic Piano Teacher and a Music Therapist?
A Music Therapist has completed years of tertiary level study specifically around achieving a therapeutic outcome for their client through listening to or making music.  They are skilled in academic research, and collaborate with medical professionals on your behalf. They may offer some wholistic piano methods such as improvising and song writing as part of their therapeutic program.  A Music Therapist is trained to work with people who have clinical depression and other medically diagnosed conditions.
A Wholistic Piano Teacher guides you in playing the piano for your wellbeing.  Mindset is a core part of the program.  The ‘dividing’ line seems to be that a Music Therapist is a medically trained professional, who works with their client for a therapeutic result.  A Wholistic Piano Teacher is a teacher mentor and guide only in how to play the piano in a way that nourishes your wellbeing, for people who are essentially well.  Whilst playing the piano can be therapeutic, a wholistic piano teacher is not a therapist.

Do you have more questions?

Pamela Jordan is a Wholistic Piano Teacher Mentor in Seaforth, Sydney in Australia.
She offers face to face piano lessons in her dedicated music studio as well as zoom piano lessons.
The time zone in Sydney, Australia is Australian Eastern.

Book a free 15mins call with Pamela

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Old age can be approached with a sense of excitement

I am sharing an extract from Oliver Condy’s wonderful book

Old age can be approached either with a sense of excitement for the new dawn ahead, or with resignation, benign or otherwise.

For musicians, however, it pays to look on the bright side.  There is a simple reason why so many old classical musicians, particularly conductors, refuse to retire. It takes a long time to become a master of your craft, and most oldies still conducting orchestras will happily admit to only being half proficient from around the age of 70. In many cases, they are right. Italian maestro Claudio Abbado left the best until last, his final performances with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra producing some of the most radiant Mahler and Bruckner on record. The Late Nikolaus Harnoncourt, most famous earlier in his career for coruscating recordings of Bach, Beethoven and Schubert, let his hair down in the final years of his life with a blistering – and totally unexpected – recording of Gershwin’s opera ‘Porgy and Bess’, made just months shy of his 80th birthday Charles Mackerras’s Mozart, Colin Davis’s Nielsen, Roger Norrington’s Beethoven – the list goes on.

It is not just conductors. There was a luminescence to Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s playing as he entered his final decade that you can see and hear in a solo recital from Vienna’s Musikverein of Chopin, Liszt, Schubert and more – brilliantly performed at the age of 84. At 82 the American pianist Leon Fleisher was made Instrumentalist of the Year by Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Society.

Old age can often bring out the best in composers, too.

Giuseppe Verdi wrote his operatic masterpiece ‘Falstaff’ at the age of 79, having completed Otello just six years previously. Heinrich Schutz’s astonishing ‘Schwanengesang’ (‘Swansong’), a collection of 13 choral motets, was completed when the composer was 86. At any time in history that would be impressive – in 1671 it was extraordinary.

Throughout composer Elliott Carter’s life he had been a respected modernist, but in his final decade, Carter stripped away much of the complexity of his early music, finding a new clarity.   The mercurial Flute Concerto written a the age of 99, is a perfect example, as is the brief but mischievous Dialogues II, his final piece. He wrote it at 103.

Does this convince you that old age is no barrier to success?

Do you want more from life? I know I can help you. Book a free call now