Friday, April 4, 2014

Time to Face the Music with Clive Stocker's How-To Guide "How to Become a Confident Performer"

"How to Become a Confident Performer" by Clive Stocker can help even the most novice of performers overcome their anxieties and fears that they may have about going on stage and avoid pitfalls that musicians commonly face.  The book is full of “tips & tricks”, so there is bound to be a nugget in the book that everyone can find.  I do not have a musical bone in my body (and have even been boo’d off stage during karaoke), but I can relate to this book and solutions as I have to speak in public frequently.

The book is nicely illustrated and written in a manner that doesn’t “talk over your head” and make you feel stupid if you made some of the mistakes that the author discusses.  The author states that he has over 15 years teaching music to people of all ages.  This knowledge shines throughout this book.  I would highly recommend this book for parents to give to their young musicians.  Perhaps they can learn the lessons from this book and avoid them in real life later on.


  •  I like the style of writing that the author uses in this “self-help” book.  Authors of this genre sometimes feel the need to “WOW” you with their intellect by over-complicating the topic and the advice.  It doesn’t matter what you know if you can’t transmit the knowledge to someone else. 

  • Grammar and spelling were not an issue.
  • I was given an excerpt, so I couldn’t get a “feel” for how long the book was or some of the other things that were covered in the book.  As a teaser, the excerpt is fine – but makes it difficult to give a full blown review. 
  • There were moments when the author sounded as if he were making excuses for musicians – “Musicians are usually very busy,” “Musicians often fail to plan because they don’t have time” (not quotes, paraphrasing…)     I want to meet the one person in this world that isn’t busy – it is as simple as this – some use time wisely and others don’t.  If you told the Marine Corps Sergeant that you didn’t have time to accomplish something the response would be – “Did you sleep last night?  Yes?  Then you had time….”     (Sorry for the rant – this is just a pet peeve of mine!) 
  • The all text cover doesn't jump out at you.  With the great illustrations inside, it makes the cover stand out even more.

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