Jon Gorrie Interview

MostlyBass.com is pleased to present an interview with renowned author, Jon Gorrie. Jon is the author of Performing in the Zone: Unleash Your True Performing Potential!, available from Amazon.com.

I thank Jon for taking the time to speak with MostlyBass.com!

Visit his website here.

What is your background?

I come from a small town in the far north of New Zealand but at the age of 10, my family and I moved to Auckland. In New Zealand, most students start high school at around age 13. In my first week of school, my music teacher more or less told me that I was going to start learning the trumpet, and join the school’s wind band asap. By the time I had completed my high school education at age 18, I’d performed as 1st trumpet and soloist literally hundreds of times at concert venues in New Zealand, Australia, and south east Asia.

Where did you go to school?

Following high school I completed a Bachelor of Music degree at Auckland University, and bought a one-way ticket to the United Kingdom where I auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, and Trinity College London. I was accepted as a post-graduate student at all 3 schools, and began studying with Howard Snell at the RNCM. I went on to get a Masters of Music with Distinction from Victoria University of Wellington, and a second Masters, this time in Orchestral Performance, from Gothenburg University in Sweden.

What is your musical background?

I’ve been playing professionally now for about 15 years. My first gig was Monteverdi’s Vespers and since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have had a lot of variety in my performing life – everything from Baroque recitals to operatic performances of Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini, to international chamber music tours, principal and tutti trumpet work in symphony orchestras, wind band and choral conducting, and even solo trumpet work in modern music ensembles.

What research did you do for the book?

I began exploring the topic of why musicians perform at different levels in my first Masters thesis which I began writing in 2001. Since then, I’ve invented, developed, and refined a number of powerful techniques which in short can be used to help bring your mind and body under control in stressful performing situations. These techniques can be applied by musicians, speakers, sports-people, dancers – anyone that finds themselves under the performing spotlight. So, I’d say about 9 years part-time of actual research went into this book. Although having said that, “Performing in The Zone” really is a culmination of 15 years of experience as a professional performer as well as teacher.

What else have you written?

I have written a couple of e-books covering different aspects of “Performing in The Zone”. These are: “Just another day at the office…How to get better results in auditions and other high-pressure performing situations” and “First Aid! For controlling performance anxiety”. Both of these ebooks are free downloads, and available at http://www.thezonebook.com

How do you differentiate your book from others in the field

I’ve read many books on how to obtain mastery in performing situations. The vast majority of these books come from the field of sports psychology. There are a great many parallels between the mental training that elite athletes do and the mental training that we as musicians should be doing. There are currently a number of books available about the psychology of musical performance, but what I’ve found so far is that sports psychology is, or at least has been, way ahead of us in this field.

“Performing in The Zone” differs from other books in the way that it is broken down into 4 main sections, and is presented in a way that is easy to assimilate. For example, there are sections of  “Performing in The Zone” which tell you about different ways to approach the book for different purposes, as well as how to actually get the most out of the information and many exercises in the book.

The first section of “Performing in The Zone” covers the theory of why we all perform at different levels. By using ‘The Alternative Performance Equation’ – an expansion of ‘The Performance Equation’ from the Inner Game of Music, it shows that performance level is indeed determined by 4 factors: cognitive attributes, physical attributes, external interference, and the appropriateness of your performance arousal level (discussed in detail). So, this section about the theory might be of most interest to those wanting to know what actually goes on in our minds and bodies in performing situations, and why these sensations and phenomena occur.

The second section of “Performing in The Zone” contains over 20 tools, techniques, and exercises – practical, useable, powerful, and simple. Easy to understand and implement and directly relevant to all performers. There is everything here from peripheral vision exercises for calming the mind and body, to Qi Gong, visualisation, breathing, cue cards, role play, voice exercises – a veritable smorgasbord of practical information directly aimed at performers that want results. In all of my research, I’ve not seen another book that concisely presents so much practical and powerful information. This is one major area where I believe “Performing in The Zone” is so powerful and indeed unique.

The third section if “Performing in The Zone” takes the techniques from part two another step further, by offering The 12 Week Performance Success Programme. This programme is designed to help all performers assimilate the exercises and techniques from part two of the book into their daily lives.

And finally, the final section entitled “Digging Deeper” discusses some further sources of information and inspiration to help speed a performer’s progress to The Zone. Subjects such as diet and exercise, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Alexander Technique, and Neuro-Linguisitic Programming are all discussed here.

In short, “Performing in The Zone” is a book that takes a holistic approach to helping performers get real results, by using simple yet powerful tools and techniques that work.

More information about “Performing in The Zone”, including a full Table of Contents and sample chapters, can be found at http://www.thezonebook.com

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