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Reviews

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"You don't know how much these techniques helped me"
-- Ionel Cristea, clarinet soloist

"The best book on mental training since the Inner Game series. Highly recommended"
-- N. Schacherer, musician and lifestyle coach

"Gorrie has tackled head on what many in the music business consider a 'White Elephant'. 'The Zone's' strongest attribute is that it deals with a difficult and largely ignored topic in a clear, concise fashion. Recommended reading for beginners, amateurs and professionals alike."
-- Andre Cavanagh, musical performer, conductor, and teacher

"This is a very thorough treatise on performance preparation. I would recommend it to anyone working along these lines."
-- Nick Drozdoff, internationally renowned trumpet performing artist, former trumpet player with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra.

"I think what you have put together in your book "Performing in The Zone" is going to be a great gift to performers in every venue. I am so happy to see that you not only tell performers what to do, but also give them the tools and skills that show them how to do it. That is rare indeed. Thank you for your contribution to the music industry"
-- Carol Kirkpatrick - author, Aria Ready - The Business of Singing

"Life involves a series of performances. This book is essential reading. It offers a wise path through the noise of ego toward the clear communication between souls."
-- Enid Wood, violin teacher

"YOUR BOOK IS STELLAR!!!!!"
-- Judy Hages, Voice teacher - The Art of Bel Canto

"I'm presently half way through the book and I have already found it very helpful. Returning to performing after a break of over 10 years has made me quite anxious and nervous and this book is certainly helping me. Thank you."
-- Sherine Prins, Voice Student/Teacher

"This is not just a book but a workbook, a true workbook. It has questions to answer, goals to set, journals to write and more with clear and easy directions for everything. The book really involves the reader which is an absolute necessity for authentic and lasting change... I feel it can benefit anyone looking to make a positive change in their life."
-- Peter Tambroni, double bass player and educator.

"Your book 'Performing in the Zone' had a profound impact on me, and helped me to get past debilitating anxiety when dancing in a performance arena...Thank you for being a guidepost along the way of this journey."
-- Deborah

"This is an awesome book that really helps with performance anxiety and a host of other issues that hold me back from performing at my full potential. I wish I had this book, when I had my "big" audition for bass player in the National Symphony in Washington, DC back in the late 70s.
The techniques in Jon's book, Performing in the Zone have already helped me and have motivated me to use this technique in my work environment when preparing for meetings, in addition to performing music. Thanks, Jon."
-- Jim Ford

"I teach piano after school in the afternoons and always have an annual recital. I have dealt with several students who have performance anxiety and was never quite sure how to coach them through their anxiety. When I performed in my younger days, I got in "the zone" but never realized how I did it until I read your book. I discovered a system that worked for me, but didn't know how I did it. You spelled it out in your book so clearly that I shared your techniques with my students for the first time this year. I was so happy to be able to verbalize this emotional and physical sensation with my students and instruct them how to deal with it. Thank you so much. I also passed on your book to a dear friend of mine who is now publicly speaking on radio and in front of an audience about her first published book. She found this information invaluable since she used to suffer from anxiety issues. Please keep me posted on your future endeavors and best of luck in pursuing them!"
-- Susan Coleman, piano teacher

"I love the book. It has helped me sooo much and has changed the way we prepare ourselves before a big performance. We have recommended the book to our teachers."
-- Vittoria Natale, Argen-Tango Dancer and Instructor

"Having purchased and read 'Performing in The Zone' I congratulate the author for commitment to his analysis on bettering personal well being, growth and ability to achieve results."
-- Benny Tetteh-Lartey, Career coach

"I am a musician and have just followed the 12 Week Performance Success Programme! I am a DIFFERENT PERSON!"...
I worked with his book and I obtained excellent results...
I have not used the book to coach myself only, but also have used it in my teaching; because of Jon's book I can now coach for performance! Thank You, Jon!
-- Alina Abraham, pianist

Have you read Performing in The Zone?
Send your review by email!

Magazine reviews


Bass Musician Magazine

Have you ever gone to a concert, a play, a sports event or even your favorite restaurant and just been blown away by how amazing it was? Superior performance in all aspects of life is much more that a mere coincidence! Performing in the Zone by Jon Gorrie was written to help you take a thorough look at yourself and take your performing (and anything in your life) to the next level.

First we are presented with the 'Theory behind this Process where we get acquainted with the parameters of performance. Next we are given the many techniques we can use to get situated where we need to be for optimal performance. Next, we formalize the process by establishing a program to accomplish our goals. Lastly, we are given the keys to dig even deeper in the pursuit of that "Zone"

All in all, the clear and concise text and numerous exercises make this an excellent "workbook for success". Anyone can apply the many lessons here to achieving a superior result in anything they choose.

Want to maximize your potential? Read this book!

-- Raul Amador, Bass Musician Magazine


American Music Teacher Magazine

Performing in the Zone by Jon Gorrie sets out to define the obstacles to mastery of optimal musical performances with reference to managing performance nerves. This is a how-to book, which offers a number of solutions such as mantras and rituals, visualization, yoga, mock performances and physical exercise designed to aid the performer in managing "arousal anxiety" and understanding how it is used to attain self insight and control.

Gorrie has been a classically-trained trumpet player and a music educator for the past 15 years. Performance nerves and their management are of great interest to him particularly because they are, at one time or another, the nemesis of performers of all kinds. His priority is to aid performers to enhance their self-awareness through learning tools and anxiety concepts.

Gorrie writes with passion and conviction about the research that has consumed him for his entire career. The book is faultlessly organized and approachable. His sense of humor pervades throughout. It is clear that he has written from personal experience and with thoughtful insights.

-- Louise Lepley, American Music Teacher Magazine


The Strad Magazine

I'm not a big fan of self-help books – although does anybody ever admit to being a fan of them? – but the more I read of this one, the more I liked it. It's aimed not just at musicians, but also actors, public speakers and sports people, to name but a few, and is trying to help you to get into the 'Zone' – a place where optimal performance is possible.

Inevitably, browsing the contents page would be enough to put off the fainthearted: references to 'laughing yoga' and 'visualisations' made my heart sink a little, and it was impossible not to give in to a smutty snigger at the constant references to 'performance arousal'.

But suspend your disbelief for a while and press on – it's worth it. The book is written by New Zealand-born trumpeter and fellow at London's Trinity College Jon Gorrie, and cherry-picks from different schools of thought as diverse as neurolinguistic programming and sports psychology to compile a raft of different techniques for performers to try in order to get into a positive frame of mind, in a way that is sure to have an impact not just on performing but on life generally.

It opens with a chapter on the theory behind the techniques, but suggests that if you're not too bothered about the research you could dive straight into the second chapter, which focuses on the techniques themselves.

Gorrie explains that 'performance arousal' is a phenomenon that can have positive effects by improving our level of performance or combatting negative effects that can prevent us from performing to our full potential. The book offers practical exercises to learn how to control these effects. There's a lot of repetition in the theory chapter, but the techniques portion has some very useful suggestions, for example on breaking the cycle of anxiety about performing; the importance of feigning confidence in speech and body language; ways of practising performance; and meditation to help you into a relaxed frame of mind.

Then there's the twelve-week programme, which is a bit like a be-yourown- life-coach method. It builds from initially spending 30 to 60 minutes a day making sure your diet is right and working 30 minutes of moving and stretching into your daily routine, to week twelve, in which you should be spending two to three hours a day on exercises that include doing qigong or t'ai chi and 'free writing' to help free you from emotional barriers. This might sound tough to fit into your day, but Gorrie emphasises the importance of intelligent time management: locking the TV in the loft is one of his suggestions. Tough talk! But the techniques section in particular is great to dip into and covers so many different approaches that you're bound to find a few that work for you. There's also a reference section at the back listing a bibliography and online resources to follow up. If you ignore the occasional bit of psychobabble then this highly readable book could be of real value.

-- Catherine Nelson, The Strad Magazine, Nov. 2009


Pan: The Journal of the British Flute Society

Any book that offers effective techniques to help overcome performance anxiety is always welcomed by flutists and the greater musical community. Performing in the Zone: Unleash Your True Performing Potential by Jon Gorrie is an excellent new resource. Gorrie guides readers through a large number of both basic and innovative techniques and presents a Twelve Week Performance Success Program that provides a structured format to help readers apply them.

Gorrie is a professional trumpet player originally from New Zealand who currently lives in Sweden. Writing in an easy-to-read, conversational style, Gorrie shares his own story of struggling with performance anxiety. He talks about important issues such as breathing, time management, body language, feigning confidence, avoiding negative people, and practicing performance. His discussions overflow with sound techniques to help performers of all kinds build confidence in high pressure performance situations. These techniques are presented thoughtfully and based on sound principles.

Gorrie begins by expanding on the Performance Equation first introduced by Barry Green in his book, The Inner Game of Music. While Green's parameters include actual performance level, best performance level, and performance with (internal) interference, Gorrie's Alternative Performance Equation ingeniously incorporates a number of vitally important factors: cognitive and physical attributes, external interference, and the appropriateness of the player's performance arousal level. Integrating these factors gives much greater depth to our understanding of the outcome of performance.

...For anyone who seeks more control over their performances on stage, Performing in the Zone is highly recommended.

-- Helen Spielman, Pan: The Journal of the British Flute Society


Vocals Magazine

Has the mathematics and sciences taken center stage in your fundamental learning? Wondered if your anxieties ever affected your ability to perform in front of a crowd, or even one person? When performing, do you feel something is just not quite right? Does it rack your nerves wondering if you were a any good at all in your delivery?

Then get your copy of Jon Gorrie's book, Performing in the Zone. This Performance 'Wake-up call" can unlock your anxieties, grease the skids, and help you land the performance consistently. But really, what is the zone? How do I know if I've really entered the zone? Have I really mastered and have full control of when I want, more importantly, when I need to get and stay in the zone?

Jon's extensive background in international study of music, theatrics, and performance, takes the guesswork out and delivers what every performer should have in their toolbox. This is a book that explains the physiological, psychological, and mathematical understanding of a 'nailed' performance.

Get your copy now, learn the techniques that have driven the success of performers around the world. From tinkering karaokes to 10,000 seat audiences, this book will answer all the 'What If's?'

Inside this book is a 12 week Performance Success Program. Success strategies are laid out in a chaptered ladder to your success. Overcome your fears, diminish your self-criticism, and accentuate your bravado in this pearl of the seven seas. Are you ready to get your dreams underway and live the life you know you have within you? Then what are you waiting for? The written invitation?

Well, you're reading it here. Find it on amazon.com

-- Vocals Magazine December 2009


The Horn Call

Most if not all musicians experience moments when everything seems easy. We are totally immersed in the music, unaware of anything else. Our instrument is a part of us. We can't miss. We are totally in control. We feel connected to the crowd or something larger. This is "the Zone."

Jon Gorrie is a trumpet player, composer, teacher, and mental trainer originally from New Zealand. Like many of us, he had early experiences where playing was easy, unencumbered, and, more frequently than not, in the Zone. Then, something changed, and what was once easy became difficult. The Zone became more elusive, and eventually the search began to find a way back to that easier time. This book is the result of that search, and is applicable, the author says, for musicians, actors, public speakers, dancers, models, sports-people, and entertainers.

The book is presented in four sections: The Theory, The Techniques, The Programme, and Digging Deeper. The Theory section describes his premise, an Alternate Performance Equation that addresses "performance arousal," his term for the combination of excitement and anxiety that can influence performance positively or negatively. Building on Inner Game principles, his Resulting Level of Performance equals one's Cognitive abilities plus Physical attributes minus External interference, all effected either positively or negatively by performance Arousal. Positive performance arousal is achieved by finding the right balance of excitement and anxiety for optimum performance. Negative performance arousal occurs when this balance is not achieved, resulting in arousal that is not appropriate to the performance, either too little (e.g., complacent) or too much (e.g., too anxious or agitated). Once defined, Gorrie briefly explores reasons for performance arousal and how positive arousal is assessed.

The Techniques section contains 25 ways of effecting one's performance arousal. The techniques themselves embrace a wide range of possibilities, including breathing techniques, using pre-performance rituals and mantras, diet, yoga, qi gong, posture, practicing performing, mental strength, role models and role play self-talk, visualization, journaling, and more. The intent is to give individuals tools to choose from, depending on circumstances and personalities.

The Programme is a 12-week plan for performance success. The intent is to provide a point of departure and a means of organizing and using techniques, all directed at preparing a successful performance. Practicing the instrument (or whatever needs preparation) is a given, so the techniques described are more about behavior and thought patterns, not practicing warm-ups, pieces, etc. All energy and activity is directed at success.

The final section, Digging Deeper, offers more specific information about areas such as traditional Chinese medicine, Alexander Technique, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, diet and exercise, and using a personal coach. The intent is to provide further opportunities for success, especially for individuals who still need more encouragement or specific direction.

So, that's the summary. It would be unfair to evaluate all techniques and the Programme without trying them fully. What I can say at this point is that I really appreciate the breadth of resources Gorrie calls upon and encourages for people to find their way to the "Zone." In the past, I've had that feeling and consequently searched for it when it wasn't present, and tried many of the techniques suggested.

Gorrie's systematic and integrated approach, open to the use of any and all, is noteworthy and I believe it is worthy of exploration by those who want tangible means of finding and managing appropriate performance arousal(s). Of particular value, and what makes this book unique, are the consistent opportunities for self-assessment and reflection, where readers can simply write their responses to specific questions in the book itself.

On the whole, though, I think what I appreciate most is the overall tone that is positive but not sugar-coated. I also support the pervasive idea that learning to perform well is about taking successive steps of "learning by doing," preparing the whole self in ways that might influence positives beyond just music-making. In the end, this book is not about playing the horn or any other instrument, it is about being a performer and a human being, and using the best of both for successful performance.

-- Jeffrey Snedeker, The Horn Call Magazine

Amazon.com reviews

Performing in the Zone contains concrete exercises and tips on how to handle your nerves and balance your energy when performing and auditioning. Many books of this type can be a little `flakey', but this book is hands on and to the point. If you are having problems with performance anxiety I definitely suggest ordering this book! I'm very happy about having it and see it as a godsend.

Thanks to the exercises in the book I recently experienced my first audition as an opera singer where I was in the driver's seat and not a victim of my nerves. I look forward to my upcoming auditions for the rest of the Autumn with excitement!!!

-- Soprano. Review sourced from amazon.com

As a teacher and performer I thought this book had such specific and practical tools to help with 'having to be perfect during a performance'. It has made a difference to me as well as to my students.

-- Operatic. Review sourced from amazon.com

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