Mental training for musicians is back on the curriculum

Mental training for musicians is back on the curriculum


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2015

Four months ago, the Royal Academy of Music in London scrapped a valuable course in mental training by Professor Inger Murray. The Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova led the outcry and Slipped Disc took up the cause.

Today, Ksenija tells us:


ksenija shades


I am very happy to report that Inger will continue her Mental Training for Musicians workshops at the RAM. And it has been upgraded to be more part of the main stream Academy work.

A secretary will arrange the workshops and liaise with Dept. Heads and Professors. I am very happy. The concept Inger has developed is brilliant and will continue to help musicians to be able to realize their full potential on the concert platform. Her book has received wonderful reviews in Denmark and is widely used. The English language version is being translated now and should be available in approximately three months’ time.



  • Boris says:

    Ksenija, Norman, seriously?
    I meaaaaan, come one… Musicians of today, go practice your scales and arpeggios and stop paying attention to those sloppy new fancy courses… some people are just not good at their instrument (not your case, Ksenija!) or looking hot (not your case, Ksenija!!) or contacting important people when necessary… (not… well, you got it) so they come up with something they can put in curriculum.

    • Ben says:

      Boris, what are you talking about?! You don’t know, that’s what. I’ve been on Inger’s course and it enhanced me as a musician. Not all musicians need mental training, but for some the effects of nerves can destroy their careers.

      • Boris says:

        I would revoke all my previous comments if there were any proper studies on results of such courses. Or at least a serious intentions to conduct one. But no, there will be no such thing. Maybe an informal poll from ex-students: ‘did this course improve you as a musician?’
        Ha! What are they likely to reply? And there you go – Royal Academy will post a new shining banner on its website: ‘96% of our students find that mental training improves them’

        And in the unlikely event of results of this poll being more realistic RAM (or any other institution) will just silently put it on the back burner.

    • GONZALEZ says:

      Excuse my probably very dumb question but have you actually taken the course?

      • Boris says:

        I have to somewhat agree with your self-assesment of a question. I have not indeed taken the exact course we are talking about. I have a good grasp, I believe, of the idea of these kind of courses in UK and Europe.

        Now, does your question further imply that you shouldn’t discuss piano recitals because you don’t play piano on the level of Barenboim, shouldn’t complain about bad food because you are not Gordon Ramsay and don’t touch any stupidity in politics since you are not Obama?

    • Theodore McGuiver says:

      Dada is clearly alive and well.