RNCM Students to Learn from Olympian Psychologists

The RNCM’s School of Strings will run two training days next month, offering students advice and guidance on the process of practising.

The first, on Tuesday 7 October, will focus on what makes productive practice, looking specifically at warming up, listening and appraising, featuring workshops with violinist Simon Fischer and violist Henk Guittart. The second, on Thursday 30 October, provides an exciting opportunity for students to work with psychologists from Chimp Management, a company development by Professor Steve Peters (the man behind the best-selling book The Chimp Paradox) which explores, among other things, how Olympians use their brains to achieve their goals efficiently and with focus.

Cellist Chris Hoyle, Head of the School of Strings, said: ‘Most musicians devote thousands of hours to practice, and these two sessions will guide students on finding solutions to achieve clearly defined goals. Both events will examine the whole subject of practice in order to question what we do and why we do it. As we know, it’s not so much a question of quantity as of quality, and we’ll be considering the smartest ways to get the maximum results.’

Talking of the session by Chimp Management, Cheryl Law, Artistic Support and Projects Coordinator within the School of Strings, added: ‘This is an unusual and hugely exciting opportunity for students as we look to find ways to apply the psychology used by Olympians to music-practice with the same effectiveness. The mentors who will work with our students are Chimp Management’s Director of Education, psychologist Kate Goodger, who has worked with Team GB in five Olympic games, and Adam Wright, who studied music and has since spent many years helping young elite athletes to develop their mind-set.’

The session on 7 October takes place between 2pm and 7.30pm in the Carole Nash Recital Room, and between 10am and 5pm in Studio 7 on 30 October. Both are for RNCM students only.

24 September 2014