Performance anxiety has been described as fear about one’s ability to perform a specific task, usually in front of a group for people. Sarah Marshall describes performance anxiety as those random intrusive thoughts that flood our brain prior to and during a performance.

Sarah is a singing teacher, examiner and adjudicator with degrees in music performance, psychology and counselling. She uses her performance experience and psychology training to work with performers and educators to assist with managing performance anxiety and helping them to learn cognitive skills they can pass on to others.

Sarah reveals that she herself was crippled with performance anxiety, and this along with a family illness inspired her to enter into her private counselling practice, and to develop a performing artists’ educator’s course which helps teachers create an environment that can reduce performance anxiety.

Performance anxiety can be a result of many things such as past trauma or perfectionism. However, what she has found is that everyone is unique and their experiences, symptoms and methods for overcoming performance anxiety are also different.

Sarah draws together strategies from a range of fields including performance psychology research and performance practice of elite athletes and performers, that allows them to successfully maintain peak performance. She shares with us how we as voice teachers can help our students navigate stressful circumstances to manage performance anxiety. There is so much information packed into this interview with Sarah Marshall.

In this episode

01:08 – Introduction

09:16 – Getting to know Sarah Marshall

21:06 – What is Performance Anxiety?

26:14 – Main factors triggering Performance Anxiety

36:07 – Main reasons clients approach Sarah for help

44:40 – A role play performer scenario for perspective

57:39 – A Performance Anxiety story from Dr Marisa Lee Naismith

1:06:29 – Supporting students suffering from performance anxiety

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 00:10

Hey, it’s Dr. Marisa Lee Naismith here and I’m so honoured to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you listen, and you will be inspired by amazing healthcare practitioners, voice teachers, and music industry professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to help you live your best life every day. As singers, our whole body is our instrument and our instrument echoes how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. So don’t wait any longer take charge and optimise your instrument now. Remember that to sing is more than just learning about how to use the voice. It’s about A Voice and Beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. Performance anxiety can be described as fear about one’s ability to perform a specific task, usually in front of a group of people. Sarah Marshall describes performance anxiety as those random intrusive thoughts that flood our brain prior to and during a performance. Sara is a singing teacher, examiner, and adjudicator with degrees in music performance, psychology and counselling. She uses her performance experience and psychology training to work with performers and educators to assist with managing performance anxiety, and helping them to learn cognitive skills they can pass on to others. Sarah reveals that she herself was crippled with performance anxiety, and this, along with a family illness inspired her to enter into her private counselling practice, and to develop performing artists educators course which helps teachers create an environment that can reduce performance anxiety. performance anxiety can be the result of many things such as past trauma, or perfectionism. However, what Sarah has found is that everyone is unique and their experiences, symptoms and methods for overcoming performance anxiety are also different. Sarah draws together strategies from a range of fields including performance psychology, research and performance practice of elite athletes and performers that allows them to successfully maintain peak performance. She shares with us how we as voice teachers can help our students navigate stressful circumstances to manage performance anxiety. There is so much information packed into this interview with Sarah Marshall. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. Well, thank you, Sarah, for being on the show. And welcome. Now, I know you’re in New South Wales, and you have two teenagers, they’re at home, who are homeschooling due to lockdown. So we may experience a couple of little hiccups in terms of Wi Fi and, but we’re going to, you know, just keep on going. And before we start, though, you are going to acknowledge the custodians of the land. Now, this is something that we do in Australia. I know we have a lot of international listeners, and Sarah, if you could do that, and we may just add a little note after that, if you wouldn’t mind Thank you.

Sarah Marshall  04:29

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first people of this land on which we work and live. We acknowledge your past and present suffering. We value your cultural wisdom, and we will listen to and learn from your voices. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people both past and present. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:53

Oh, that is that is beautiful. And for our audience over overseas, this has become customary here in Australia to acknowledge our custodians of the land. And I think this is something that all nations can learn from. We are not the first people. And I think those those that came before us and is still here must be acknowledged out of respect. And yeah, I think you said said at all. 

Sarah Marshall  05:28

Yeah. And acknowledging the past trauma that, quite frankly, we have inflicted. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:35

Yeah. And in some lands more than other others continue to inflict. 

Sarah Marshall  05:42

That’s right. Yes. Okay. Very much for having me here today.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:47

It’s a pleasure. It’s a pleasure having you know what, I’m so very grateful because we’re going to talk about performance anxiety. And I think before we start on that, you’re at home, you are Have you have two teenage children who are homeschooling, there is a lot of anxiety in general anyway, how are you going? At the moment, if you want to share how long you’ve been in lockdown for and I know, it probably may continue for quite some time. We don’t want to say that but….

Sarah Marshall  06:23

Yes, but it’s probably the truth where in week seven, of lockdown, we’d started at the very beginning of the school holidays, just in time for all plans to be cancelled. And I was pretty confident we’d be back at school first week back, but the unfortunately, cases have escalated and continuing to rise. I mean, we’re coping okay, because we’re, we’re lucky in that we are all pretty busy, which has been easier. I think the people that are out of work and that have lost that meaning and purpose are in a much more difficult position. families like mine. I’m lucky that I have teenagers. I do not have toddlers or young Primary School people. I saw I’m still able to work my husband’s able to work and a little funny story about my 13 year old son for PD hp. He was told he had to go outside and video himself clickable. So he set up his mobile phone. On the umbrella Stan kicked the ball. It rebounded, knocked over the umbrella, Stan broke the umbrella stand shattered the screen on his phone, but that’s pretty much the kind of supervision my kids are getting. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:39

Oh my gosh, irresponsible parents. You’re fired!

Sarah Marshall  07:49

No we’re fine. And I mean, one of the differences in this lockdown in where we’re living at the moment, is whilst it does look like it’s going to be for some months yet, we are allowed to exercise with one person outside our house, some local government area. So I’ve just been encouraging everybody in the house just go for a walk or a run or a cycle or something that they do not live with at least once a week and that I think they it helps us all. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:19

Yes, yes. And I think there’s a lot to be said about that. I usually go for a walk if we go into some kind of lockdown. We’ve been fortunate where I am in Queensland, we haven’t been through what the some of the other states have been through. But getting outside and getting fresh air, getting some vitamin D use having that one other person to connect with. It is the best thing and that is what helps me get through lockdown. We call it ISO. And I have I have found my mojo in ISO. And that’s what I need to do. And I, you know, just say to everybody, that you have to find something that’s going to keep you sane, and keep you going throughout that time. Now Sarah Marshall, you are an experienced performer. You are a music educator, other than being a wife and a mother. Let’s learn a little bit more about you and how you have come your journey into working in performance anxiety. So who is Sarah was Sarah is Sarah a singer before a performance anxiety coach a psychologist. Let’s learn about the human behind the the the coach.

Sarah Marshall  09:53

Okay, okay, well I came it’s taken quite a long, long time to get here is probably random I always love to sing like most singers do a lot of singing at school not because I think I sounded beautiful, but I could sing louder than anyone else. But I used to get terribly nervous, like, absolutely shaking like a leaf backstage, never knew if I was going to throw up or sing first, and the first five minutes in musicals, I can never remember that, you know, like I would I presume I did the right thing, because nobody ever told me I didn’t that I was that flooded with adrenaline that I just yeah, I really was have always been quite severely impacted with performance anxiety, not that it ever stopped me performing, buddy. Um, yeah, it demands that I didn’t do the best performance I could. Yeah. And, um, and so then I went, I left school I did. When I, I actually was a flautist in school, I just sang in shows because I could sing loudly. But I was a florist at school. And I knew I wasn’t good enough to be a professional florist, because you have to be above brilliant to do that. So I went to uni and did a double degree in psychology and music. And then promptly forgot about the psychology element, which I largely did to keep my mother happy if we’re being Frank because she was head of the physio school for Sydney University. So no pressure, no pressure, no. And so she was very concerned about me doing music as like, Where is that going to take me? If you can’t be professional clauses? What are you going to do with it? So it’s the double degree in psychology. And then I promptly forgot about psychology, worked in arts management for the Australian Chamber Orchestra for five years. And for Michael edgerly. Circus, that was a lot of fun.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:51


Sarah Marshall  11:54

Yeah. And so I got to see a lot of people backstage and their behaviour and I suppose because nerves have always been a thing with me. I was really interested in that. And, and I bet at this point, I started learning singing. When I left school, I had my first singing lesson. And I continued with those lessons and stuff, I started doing amateur shows largely opera, which, because I was a bit of a music geek, in terms of classical music. So that was what I look have to lift feet more recent, let’s be frank, no one was ever going to employ me in music theatre.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:35

At least you’re honest.

Sarah Marshall  12:39

Anyways, so I do. I know I at the time, when I my last year at the ICR, I was dating one of the violists in the orchestra. He pointed out that if I wanted to pursue singing, I actually needed to leave the orchestra and study singing full time. So I went back to the con and studied singing, and did a first a postgraduate diploma in opera. And there were only two of us in the course. So we had to get on with each other. Well provided miles of opportunities because there are only two of us, so we’re gonna lead late, and it was fantastic. But then there wasn’t any way to go. And so Meanwhile, I got some work at opera Queensland and then I got a callback audition to Juilliard. So I got to go out and spend a month in New York, which I was completely unsuccessful at my point there but okay. I got as far as a callback, I spent a month in New York having singing lessons did the callback audition for Juilliard opera centre, but was unsuccessful with that came home. And meanwhile, my singing teacher, she had basically was concerned about people like Helen and I, who weren’t really ready to perform professionally but needed more training. And so she had developed this Master’s of opera performance. So I then did another year, which was lovely. And then I went on to perform with opera Queensland moved to Europe. I gave up performing, I did them did a whole lot of teaching, and a lot of adjudicating and examining, and then about Oh, 2014 Yeah. My husband got very unwell.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:25

Is that the boyfriend from from the from the?

Sarah Marshall  14:29

No, no, we are happily married in Melbourne. Okay. And we still speak, right? Yes, no, I have a completely different who’s not a musician.  Okay. I just wanted to clear that out. Anyway, I am. So he got very ill and it and I was looking at ways to extend my skills beyond teaching singing, and I have also had two very small children at that. Time. And so I sort of had this epiphany. I don’t often have epiphanies, which is why I remember I could actually use these long last four years of psychic training, and do a Master’s, in counselling and psychotherapy, and actually combine the masters of performance with this masters of counselling and all my side training to work with musicians. I never intended to work with worried world or because musicians and performing artists is where I’m comfortable.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:38

Yes, yes!

Sarah Marshall  15:41

and I, yes, so that’s how it how it all started. So I went back to uni, did the masters and then started initially working with high school students, which is what I had spent a lot of time working with. As a singing teacher, I’m running workshops, helping them, teaching them the things I wish someone had taught me back in high school. So I wasn’t shaking like the leaf backstage and would actually, almost confidently. And from that, then I started. When I first started this, I rang 11 schools and 10 said, yes, they wanted me Well,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:17

Wow that’s incredible. 

Sarah Marshall  16:18

I know, I know, so I’m thinking there’s a real need here. But there’s only one of me. And I don’t want to be employing other people to run a psych what is essentially a psycho education workshop. So whilst A lot of it is information and directive, you still need to use that site training to draw, find out what the issues are in the room, and how you can best deal with them in ways yet this sort of thing that’s easy to train somebody else to do. So then I developed a, an educators course, basically, and started talking to the teachers about how they can create an environment that reduces performance anxiety, because there’s fewer teachers in there are students. And so whilst I still work with students, I suppose my my passion, in some ways has become music educators, and drama educators and dance educators. Because if we can change the system that is and educate, because most people Sorry, I’m sort of talking in circles. But most of us were not taught this stuff. At university, and at school, and all these programmes they teach brilliantly the mechanical skills or performance, but they do not teach the cognitive ones. Yes. Yes. And, and the thing is that just like, we are all unique, and we come from a myriad of personal experiences, and our brains work differently to each other. So what your teacher might say, but just imagine the audience naked, I cannot tell you the number of time people told me that I’ve heard.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:03

Yeah, I’ve been not traumatised, I know. That’s not a good look, people put your clothes back on.

Sarah Marshall  18:17

The people would say things like, just go out and show them. And that works for some people. But for me in my 20s, where my self confidence, frankly, was really not great. That didn’t work. It didn’t gel at all, you know, and that’s one of the that’s one of one of the reasons I believe that cognitive skills haven’t been taught is because it’s not a, you know, any programme where they’ve sort of adopted a cookie cutter approach. Everyone should do this. It works for a percentage of the of the group, but not for everyone. Because we are all unique. Yeah, all different years. I sort of go into these workshops with this truckload of tools and ideas of what I might talk to them about. And then the first question I asked them, is, if you could change anything about your performance, what would it be? And then I try and work the, and then I ask them to describe the worst performance ever. They’re having the best performance I’ve ever had to try and not out what is falling down and what rights you have. And so I can mean Yeah, and so that’s….

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:34

I’m gonna stop you right there. Not being rude. I have one comment, though. Before I ask a question. Sure. I bet you’re glad that you listen to your mother now.

Sarah Marshall  19:49

I saw I cannot tell you when I told her I was going back to uni to do a master’s in counselling. Oh, it was one of the happiest days of her life.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:00

But as a mother, you go, Oh, yes, I know. I’m full of bias now. Okay, before we go any further with all of this? Yeah, there’s, there’s a couple of things that you’ve talked about. And you, we are all unique. We all have different things going on in our heads, our experiences are different. I started performing professionally at 15. And I found myself in front of hundreds of people at my first gig. And I don’t really remember the first gig, but I know I was nervous. And I explained to me then, what is the difference between nerves and performance anxiety? Because I’m sure we all feel a little nervous.

Sarah Marshall  20:59

Okay, yeah, looked at nerves and performance anxiety, really the same thing, but it’s how we respond to it. performance anxiety is the fight or flight fear response that we get. Whenever we are standing up in front of a group of people, and they’re staring at us there is this primitive part of our brain, the amygdala, which says, You’re in danger, you might die. And so again, so no, it’s very primitive, completely unsuited to constant situations very suited to if you fall into the tiger’s cage at the zoo, but, you know, in a concert, you know, we’re not going to die. But nevertheless, this response comes and the adrenaline, you know, we get that the digestive system shuts down, which means that we often can nausea or butterflies, dry mouth, dry mouth, yes, your heart rate increases, which is why you feel like your heart is pumping out of your chest breath rate increases to oxygenate your muscles. So you’re going to be really ready to run away or fight hit something, you’re you sweat a lot. And that’s so that your body is cooling you down. So you’re also ready to run away or hit something. Your pupils dilate. So your peripheral vision becomes better to perceive threats from anywhere, which is not helpful if you’re trying to read Demi semiquavers. And you’re also the other thing that happens is that cortisol in your brain releases extra sugars, so you can think faster, which can actually be really helpful except them. And unless you see it as helpful, your brain just goes to three had a strophic dangerous scenario that might happen, you know, from, you know, vomiting on stage, blood, nose, tripping over the mic, cord, you name it, your brain thinks of it. Have I left the iron on? Uh huh. Random, intrusive thoughts. And so the difference between this response, and generalised anxiety disorder, or panic disorder, or any of these other anxiety disorders, is the minute the audience goes away, the response stops. And that’s what makes it performance anxiety, right? You’ve got a student who is has anxiety in a plethora of situations, that’s not performance anxiety, and they probably need to see, get psych cope with dealing with that level of anxiety because it’s not comfortable to live and not live with it. Whereas performance anxiety is literally in that situation where you know, you’re backstage or in front of a camera, or you know, you’re being scrutinised by others. And that primitive response is triggered.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  23:45

Yes. It’s interesting because I have worked in a number of different contexts. And working in a band became second nature for me, I would work in I’ve mean, I’ve worked in front of the Prime Minister at the time, the Governor General, like a lot of work, I’ve done TV work. But there were occasions such as if I was the main Act, or support act to an international artist where there are literally 1000s of people I would get this, all those things that you described, except one you didn’t describe was I pay a lot. Understand that comes from fight or flight mode, and that’s the body getting rid of everything it can so can run as fast as it can.

Sarah Marshall  24:38

Yep, but

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  24:39

as soon as I sing, and I was very clever in the way that I would work out my set. So my first song was always something that had a big like if I was working with a 15 piece band, it would always be a big band number. Big intro up tempo, get on there. release all the I could expel in that first song and I would be fine. I found my way of dealing with it. Then, then though this is the next stage of so I started to find ways to overcome that. But then public speaking, Nat is another level, we’ll get to that. But I found that really hard to deal with. And I don’t know what’s worth staring at a spider, who’s the size of a dinner plate, or stepping up and speaking in front of an audience. But when it comes to performance anxiety, it’s not a confidence thing, because clearly, people like Barbra Streisand who have admitted to having huge panic performance anxiety issues, she would be a very confident singer is a perfectionism. Is it what you said you that fight or flight mode, where you fear that someone is going to kill you? I mean that how unrealistic is head, but I want to add, or is it our fear of being judged? Is it? Is that our own feel of what can go wrong? I mean, what is that? How do you rationalise it?

Sarah Marshall  26:25

Well, that’s the thing. That’s where it varies. That’s for its split some, you know, some, and it depends where you where you’re at, like, what culture you’re around, like, I guess, some schools where everyone has huge fear of being judged by the rest of the class. And, and, you know, schools can develop that kind of culture. Yes. So another school I go to, which is more highly academic, they have huge fear of judgement, but it’s not each other. It’s themselves and the hugely high standards, they set themselves perfectionism. Yeah, that’s right. And then you’ve got other people who just don’t like people looking at them. Or they, I mean, we talked about working with the band and how you became very good at that you develop that strategy. There is a huge amount of evidence. There’s a psychologist in Sydney, Professor Diana Kenny, who’s done a lot of work with orchestral musicians. And she basically has shown that 60% of performance anxiety is lack of preparation. So, yes, so you have become very comfortable performing with the band situation, but not so comfortable or practising a public speaking one. So. And I find that a lot when I’m working with, say, music, theatre performers who have to be that kind of triple threat. If they started off life as a dancer, they are often completely fine for dance audition, yes, or completely fine for their acting auditions. Their vocal audition or vice versa, those triggers are much higher, because they don’t have this same sense of comfort and practice.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:14

Yes, you’re so right, because I’ve worked in a number of situations where I’ve worked in full time, dance programmes, teaching dancers How To Sing. Yes. And they’re young adults. 18 1920 year olds have cried. Yes, they’ve actually cried. they would they would get up on stage and dance naked if you ask. No problems, but I’ll send to sing one line of a song they’ve actually cried.

Sarah Marshall  28:51

Yes. And you know, and I think that comes back a bit to their perfectionism thing that we, I mean, there’s the thing about performing artists generally, but those that Excel and become professional performing artists, we all have to be perfectionist to stomachs. Because you have, it takes a huge amount of training and a huge amount of commitment to develop these skills, and a huge amount of self efficacy to work at the skills to get there. And there’s these two different types of perfectionism. One, one, which is called, often commonly called protectionist concerns where someone not knows where they’re at at the moment, knows where they want to get, but is really frustrated by the fact that they’re not there yet. And usually where they want to be is 510 years down the track as far as skill acquisition. So you really, they can’t do it. They’ve set themselves this impossible gap. So every time they perform, they feel like they’re letting down everyone that listens to them, because They’re, they feel like people are expecting this higher level of performance when in fact, they’re only at this lower level. And that that creates huge amounts of tension. And in fact, there was this Australian study of 700 and something musicians between the ages of six and 17 and showed that the children suffering this kind of perfectionism had much higher rates of musculoskeletal injuries than those I know it’s so it’s, it really actually impacts us physically. Well, the second time type of perfectionism is what’s called perfectionist strivings where somebody wants to get to that highest level. But every day goes, What can I do today, to set that small, achievable task that is going to get me that little bit closer. And now just keep doing these incremental tasks. And they never done, but they keep getting closer and closer. And every time they achieve that next little step, they think, Oh, I’m doing okay here. And so they think, well, what’s the next dusty corner? I could dig up?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  31:13

Yes. That sounds so familiar.

Sarah Marshall  31:18

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And, and, and so most of the time when people complain about being an I hear that a lot from teenagers complain about being perfectionists, it’s those that are stuck in that perfectionist concerns mindset. And that becomes paralysing, because yes, you often. And so, you know, we’re dancers, it can involve a whole lot of eating disorders, vocal phonation, problems in singers, a whole range of other issues, skin conditions is something else that they found in a study of actors, you know, this whole range of comp, because you basically are setting yourself this goal, which you will never achieve, because you had advanced for years in a week. None of his can as much as Yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  32:07

light. Yes. And that whole thing around perfectionism is really interesting. And one thing that I learned when we first went into lockdown last year, last March, and I was listening to a lot of podcasts back then. And one thing I learned about being a perfectionist, is that, yeah, procrastination can occur because we’re waiting to be perfect, before we actually go out and do something, or, but really, to perfect, something means that you actually have to be doing it to perfect it. And that was kind of the I know, I’m making this about me. But when it came to this podcast, I wasn’t really ready to launch. But I thought, you know what, to perfect something means you have to be doing it to perfect it. And so having it just having a change of mindset around that, and even understanding what perfectionism and to be perfect is, can help to.

Sarah Marshall  33:17

That’s right. And I think that I also think that this whole idea that practice makes perfect, like what is perfect. If you think about performances you’ve ever seen or heard a bit they weren’t perfect, no best performances you’ve ever done. I bet No, perfect, but they had this huge emotional connection with what you were doing, and how you are able to emotionally connect with your audience, that people are looking for. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:46

Exactly, exactly.

Sarah Marshall  33:47

If we’re not looking for things that are not perfect, or, you know, we we want to go to a performance or listen to a performance and think I forgotten about my life. And the fact that I forgot to do this, or I haven’t done that, or my son’s just smashed the umbrella stand in the phone. And I just want to be transformed. Yeah, I can away for a minute. And, you know, practice makes progress. It doesn’t

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  34:17

Yeah, I heard a wonderful thing when I was going to the Conservatorium and I had Dr. Irene Bartlett as my singing teacher. And she used to teach us that practice makes permanent. Yes, and I loved that, and just what you’re saying about audiences and about imperfections. When I spoke to Wendy Lamborn, she shared some wonderful things about the uniqueness of voice and one thing she said is that those imperfections is what makes us unique. That’s our own story. That’s our own experience. And I think there’s a lot of from what we’re just unpacking as we go. There seems to be that we really need to change the mindset around so much of this is the way people think. And they approach performance that really needs to be thought about.

Sarah Marshall  35:23

Yeah, I think you’re right. And I think it’s hard when we’re living in this digital age where you know, if you think back in, in your, in my day, when we do our assignments, they looked like pieces of paper, handwritten side was Alucard off powerplay. And so I put together as we rearrange paragraphs, whereas now they look like published books. Yes, you know, if we could we have laptops that give us all this free images and the formatting and everything. And if you look, this, you know, we can airbrush ourselves, we can make ourselves look like this whole digital perfectionism we live with. That is, it’s not real.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  36:05

Yes. So tell us about some of the people that come to you. Because you not only work with singers, you work with a variety of people from a variety of professions? And what are the main reasons why they’re coming to you around that performance anxiety perspective?

Sarah Marshall  36:26

Well, in the case of performers, most of the time when a performer you know, working performer is coming to see me, it’s usually because they’ve suffered some sort of psychological trauma. Because I’m seeing they’ve done a show with their being passed, and maybe miscast the director cast them, but then really wanted them to be something that they are not. And so they spend the entire working run, feeling like they’re not living up to the expectations of the of the rest of the cast and crew. And, you know, it can be that can be really damaging. had somebody else who’s, who suffered an injury on their hand, you know, as a piano therapy pianist, and conductor. And, you know, so they worked in music theatre, as a pianist, and as a conductor, professional shows around all around Southeast Asia and Australia 20 years without any problems. And then they develop this injury in their hand, and all of a sudden, they realised, hey, I’m not invincible. things can go wrong, you know? And so it’s some, yes. So usually with, with older musicians, or people that are already working in that, there’s something that has triggered this swamping of self doubt, right? And then it’s a case of working out, what was it that triggered that? And were you writing that neg narrative and creating systems around or different thought strategies so that next time you get up and play or perform, you can think differently about how and who you are. So that’s, that’s it. Whereas I also work with corporate presenters, which I have to say, I kind of live because like, most of us as performers, we secretly hate bad performances don’t

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  38:31


Sarah Marshall  38:41

Feel bad sometimes, because I think, but I haven’t got the training I have or anything else. But nevertheless. So it started off with, yeah, I started through some, you know, people that knew me said, Hey, I think this person would really benefit from some of the stuff you do, they’re a bit anxious or whatever. But 90% of the time with corporates, it’s and corporate presenters or people that have to work in that corporate space and be in that position of power, and deliver a message, whatever that happens to be. Most of the time, it’s because they don’t have the skills. Right, so and so it’s a lot about, whereas most performers have the skills to perform well, it’s just their brain, their heads getting in the way or what have you. Whereas a lot of the time, they don’t have the skills or they don’t haven’t practised them enough, or they don’t see them as being as much value as the content that they have worked. And their team has worked hard to produce. Does that might make sense. So yes, it tends to be more about teaching them how to practice what they need to be looking for. What already what an audience wants, you know who I You know, things like pace and parcel,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:02


Sarah Marshall  40:05

being authentic, rather than trying to be somebody else. You know how to deal with social networking situations if you’re somebody who is fantastic at your job, but gets very nervous when you’re around people you don’t know. Or, yeah, or when? Yes, so it’s more than

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:30

And what about sports people? Because I know that you teach some sports people as well. Well, no,

Sarah Marshall  40:37

actually, I don’t teach you don’t get not I use a lot of skills from sports psychology right now. Sorry.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:44

Yes. Thanks

Sarah Marshall  40:45

for things like the Olympics. There has been far more research on to how to create peak performance under highly pressurised circumstances. in sport, then there has been in the performing arts. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So most Performing Arts, coaches, counsellors, psychologists, we are drawing a lot from sports psychologist. And in fact, there’s a there’s this fantastic guy called Don green, who’s a bit like the father of, of performance psychology in some ways. He was an Olympic diving coach, and Olympic for the US team. He coached multiple teams and archery and shooting and all of these things, huge sports psychologist, and then he who is doing this golf clinic on he’s nearing retirement at this point is pretty much just these golf clinics. And this guy comes and does these four day golf clinic. He’s a cellist. And, and, and Don green goes, Hey, I’d love to hear your play. And he says, Well, I’m doing a concerto with this orchestra. Sure you can, I’ll get your ticket. He said, No, look, I’d really like to stand backstage, see what people do backstage in an orchestra situation. And so Don green stood backstage, and this cellist who, you know, he’s a professional soloist is standing there shaking like a leaf. Oh, my gosh, and john green is going, why is this happening? Why has nobody taught you how to do this? So he then went and spent two years sitting in and classes at Juilliard, and converting What? A lot of sports psychology into classical music and developing classical musicians and so from, from largely his work, yeah, if that sort of,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  42:40

yes. So why are we so far behind the eight ball? You talk about sports people? And I know that a lot of high level motivational speakers such as Anthony Robbins, Bernie Brown, Brendon Burchard, they have performance coaches. Why? Like, we as performers don’t have performance coaches? Haven’t we get lost in the

Sarah Marshall  43:07

mix? I don’t know. I’m tempted to say funding, which is I mean, yes. Yeah. I mean, I know that a lot of more sports psychology researchers, because basically, you know, countries put a lot of money into Olympic teams, particularly countries like the US and Great Britain, and so forth. And so that there’s a lot of that’s fostering research in, in those areas, and they care about international rugby scores. And yes, um, whereas, you know, we don’t have, you know, concert offs for orchestras around the world, or operas around the world or, you know, dance offs in that kind of in that same kind of way. And I, I, I’m not saying it as an excuse. So I think you know, I think, yeah, and I think when you get to levels, like, if you’re making a lot of money, like people like say, Beyonce, or you know, some of those superstars, I am sure they would have performance coaches on the team. But they also have a big employer, big team of people, whereas most performing artists work as freelance from one gig to the next. And it’s just not in the budget.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  44:31

It’s not in the budget. No, no, that’s so true. Okay, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. Okay, I’m going to, I’m going to pretend that I am someone, a performer, singer, singing, I’m a rock singer. Pay. I’m a rock singer. I’m coming to you. I am suffering from performance anxiety, that Is paralysing me. And I have a gig coming up in a few weeks time, where I’m performing at a big Stadium, obviously COVID isn’t around. Let’s just throw that in, into my story. I’m creating a story here a character. It’s fictional, although some of you know used to be a rock singer, again. So I come to you, what kind of process and evaluation Do you go through? What kinds of questions would you be asking me? And I’ll pretend to be that person. How shall we roleplay?

Sarah Marshall  45:50

can give it a go? Okay,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:52

I’ve never done this before on the show. Well, I’ve

Sarah Marshall  45:55

never I’ve never role played with this before.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:00

really entertaining for our audience. Let’s do

Sarah Marshall  46:04

what it could be. Okay. Okay. So the first question. First thing I’d say is, thanks for coming. Is that good on you for coming. And being willing to talk about it and trying to change things because we, you can’t change anything, unless you try. And the second thing I would talk about is the fact that anything that we say, I’m not going to be going getting on the phone and going you I believe I just such and such as said, So create a safe space, right? Where people know that what they say to me is between them and me, and it’s not going to get taken further. I would then ask them, why they’re here. What, why? So why, why you hear what’s going on?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  46:53

Okay. Okay. So what I found has happened that is that, before going onstage, I am suffering from dry mouth, paying a lot, a real lot. That I’m shaking, I had sweaty palms, my heart rate is up, I’m finding that I’m breathing high up in the chest. And when I get on stage, it’s not stopping. I can’t seem to overcome all those physical and those and those voices in my head telling me that this is a really scary and, and, and I’m feeling fearful.

Sarah Marshall  47:42

Okay, so, and I’m just going to, in light of the fact you’re about to do a stadium concert. Have you has things has this always been like that?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  47:57

It seems to have gotten worse. as I’ve gotten older. When I was younger, I seem I felt I was fine. I felt I could conquer the world. I don’t know, as I’m getting older, maybe my expectations are changing of myself. Or maybe I become more aware of the fact that perhaps people are more judgmental, or I feel they are more so than what they used to be. And so these kinds of thoughts are going through my mind.

Sarah Marshall  48:37

And have you perhaps what? The idea that people are becoming more judgmental, have you got any external evidence that that is happening?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:51


Sarah Marshall  48:51

Have you had some rigid? No. So this is something it’s not that you’re getting poorer reviews or getting told by people around you that you’re not living up to your name or what you’ve achieved?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:10

No, it seems to be something is, it just seems to be something that I’m feeling. Maybe I’m feeling a little bit more vulnerable, or maybe I’m feeling a little more self conscious than what I used to.

Sarah Marshall  49:27

So when did you notice this start to change? How long ago?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:32

Ha, you know what? It started to happen when I hit 40. And my voice started to become a little unstable.

Sarah Marshall  49:45

Right? Right. So it sort of started in perimenopause time.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:51

Yes. Yeah.

Sarah Marshall  49:54

Do you think? Yes. So you’re changing because I’m just wondering what else was going on, because we don’t if you’ve got if you’ve got a skill that you have done time and time and time again successfully, we don’t suddenly start doubting that unless something is going on. That is making us doubt that it is either happening because something externally people are telling us that something, but it sounds like to me that you were going through a period of time where things were changing, that you were finding unsettling.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  50:30

Yes. And probably true. Yes. And probably I hadn’t related the two together because things started to happen where my pitch was becoming a little unreliable. I was finding was taking me longer to warm up. Things were not the same as before.

Sarah Marshall  50:51

No, no. And so how long ago was that? Oh, last started.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:00

I’m 41. Now

Sarah Marshall  51:02

okay. You’re 41? now. So how have you found? As so has those things started to settle down? As far as your vocal assuring assuredness? Are you? Is that sort of more settled? Now? Are you still struggling with that?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:20

I’m still struggling with probably confidence. That’s probably you know, what? It is probably a confidence issue.

Sarah Marshall  51:33

So it’s not your voices settle down, you no longer having pitch problems. Your Do you feel like your voices back to where it was? or different to where it was? Are you happy with your voice?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:45

Not quite how it used to be. But I think I’m starting to learn to navigate around some of those things. But even so I am still a little bit anxious. Yeah, it’s kind of thrown me a little bit lately. No. Okay.

Sarah Marshall  52:03

So because you had something that you

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:07

Yeah, so what I was going to say something that you could rely on? Yeah. Okay. So if I was that person, if I was a real well, I’m a real life person, but a real person coming to see

Sarah Marshall  52:25

me character?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:28

If I was that person, other than those questions, what kind of strategy? Would you have a strategy around that?

Sarah Marshall  52:36

Yeah, I would talk about um, so I think in a case like that, you’ve got two things going on. One, is there some very real problems going on? And if you know, the fact that there are real problems, you, you know, the minute something goes wrong with the voice, or he doesn’t do what you expect in performance, no calming down tool in the world is going to help. We’re going to be going on, what am I going to? Do you know that that panic is going to sit in, you know, yes, so I think so you’ve got these two strategies going on one, you need to address the unreliable voice. And you need to work out with that, not necessarily with me, but work, work with the client to help them gain that vocal confidence again. So whether they need to go back and see another teacher, or see a teacher that specialises or get some HRT, or whatever it happens to be. So that actually dealing with a reliable instrument, it’s like a violinist working with a violin that they know that the bridge keeps collapsing. Yes. How can I confidently? Exactly? Yes, you can. So so that, you know, you’ve got to deal with it. And then I’d probably talk about what used to work to come to get that, you know, backstage, as you talked about, you had developed this backstage protocol that allowed you to get on stage walk on confidently sing your big number, and get on with the show. So most performers with that kind of experience, if they’ve been practising are going to have some strategies that work for them. And so then work to strengthen those strategies, maybe find out if some of those strategies, strategies that used to work in the past, they’ve forgotten to use or they need to try something, something else, you know, so yes, it would just Yeah, okay.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  54:38

And when you talk about backstage protocols, I know some singers had some really weird protocols, if you want to call them I would probably call them rituals. Yes. So there is some some benefit of those Yes,

Sarah Marshall  55:01

absolutely, absolutely look at look at Nadal. He walks on the tennis court. He has two hours of rituals before he comes on the court. He gets out his water and ours youth bottles, and light light lines up the labels the same direction. And when he walks on the tennis court the first time he doesn’t step on the lines, because that would be bad luck. You know, he has a ridiculous number of rituals that he that he does, but it has not stopped him being a highly successful tennis player. Yes, I’ve done studies where they’ve got you know, and pass the ball is quiet has been come known for having a series of rituals around different things. And so they did do some studies with basketball is trying to get them to get rid of this, these superstitious rituals and they’re playing went downhill. You know, they really, and it’s just because, yeah, yeah, it makes a difference because it gives comfort and feelings of control. The person who’s doing those, now somebody like me, who can barely remember the colour of their own eyes and never notices anything, finds it any kind of meticulous ritual. Like, it’s just something I’ll have to think about. That doesn’t work for me. Yes. On the other hand, I do have other students and no other colleagues that have highly meticulous rituals that allow them to feel in control. Yes, so with one of my favourite ones reading about was this some male solo ballet dancer. And he backstage, he just got sitting there, and he’s got his shoes, I’ve got all his clothes on. And he’s sitting there and he just wants to go home, and he just wants to go home. He’s done his wife, and he just wants to go home. And then he has a coffee and a chocolate muffin. And then he’s to go now

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:53

and a chocolate muffin muffin. I know, I wouldn’t have that. Where my chocolate muffin and my coffee, trying to

Sarah Marshall  57:07

see mercy. Dance has little bottom off for the next three hours. So he’s gonna burn off all those calories. But you know, like this, so many stories of people having these, what are completely nonsensical rituals, that they mean something to them, and they provide that anchoring for them. Yes, and you know, and that. Yeah, as long as we are all unique,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  57:36

I have to tell you, my glorious. My little story about a student that I had, and this is when I was teaching at a dance studio. And they were doing a song and dance. And it was to the dream girl song one night only. And one of the girls had to start off. And it was the version with that starts off slowly and goes really quickly. And she came to me and she said, I can’t sing. I’m so scared and my throat hurting. And I’ve and I was fine. It wasn’t hurting before. And now it’s hurting really badly. I thought how do I deal with this? And I looked at my handbag, and I had a packet of fisherman’s friends lollies. And I broke one in half, and I said you only need half. But if you have this, honestly, it’s going to fix your throat. It won’t be permanent. But it’d be long enough for you to get through the song. I said, I promise you. Yes. And because it tastes so bad, and anything bad that tastes bad has to be good for you. She believed me and she totally smashed it. And then the next Stepford, she came up to me, and I knew it was gonna happen. So I packed a packet of fisherman’s friends. Do you have any of those in your bag, and it became a thing, then don’t do anything. But that became her thing. And she overcame? That’s right. she overcame the anxiety performance just by this worst tasting thing that cleared out every nostril, you know, every every. Yeah. Yeah, I see what you mean. Have you? Have you ever had anyone come to that has been so paralysed with performance anxiety, that they’ve needed medication?

Sarah Marshall  59:38

No, I haven’t personally, and I suspect and I don’t want to swear on anything because we are all different. And that’s not to say that somebody but I suspect anyone that becomes that paralysed you’re actually dealing with PTSD from

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  59:56


Sarah Marshall  59:57

and sort of trauma and There’s certainly some tools that you can use to help with PTSD. But But if the trauma has been significant enough, then sometimes people need some medication to stop that. So, you know, that new neurological pathway that the brain has learned is the safe way to go down when they’re in that. Like that is an extreme situation. So yes, but I’ve never tried to treat Barbra Streisand or anyone who’s suffered extreme performance in that over for such a long period. Yes. And I, yeah, I can’t say that’s true for everyone. I just Yes. And I, yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:00:48

What about things like meditation, tapping mindfulness practices? What do you think about that as a way to help people? Do you think there’s value in those?

Sarah Marshall  1:01:01

Absolutely, there is value in those just not for me. And that is because one of the, one of the things that is less known about performance centre is that in the 1990s, there was this guy called Hannon, who did this, all this research into individual zones of optimal functioning, where basically he looked at how, if you think of adrenal activation, as not being a negative, anxiety provoking thing, just to something like if you’ve just won a race, you are going to be highly activated, or if you’re asleep, you’re going to be very chilled. And so if you think of an activation scale of zero being asleep, 50 you just flunk schlepping around during the day and 100 you’ve just you’re partying and dancing and having a great time and you’ve won the lotto, you know, highly activated. So these are not positive or negative things, that just the amount of activation level, yes. Used to be assumed that most people did their best work when the activation level was about 70, you know, a bit higher than normal, but not extreme. And his work basically found that that only worked for 50% of the population. They wanted to be a bit activated, but they got to higher than their functioning went down. They weren’t able to shoot as accurately or, you know, perform their artistic gymnastics, etc. What have you. But there was another 25% that did their best work when the activation level was really high. really pumped. And then there’s another 25% that do their best work when their activations really low like 30 to 40. So if you are somebody like me, whose activation I do my best work when my activation less levels about 8595, like really pumped, which probably explains why in high school Yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:59

I like that. Yes, I’ve

Sarah Marshall  1:03:01

got I bought so nervous somewhere so shaking, but I could still do it, you know, probably explains that with so things like meditation, mindfulness, Tai Chi, all of that meditative calming stuff, just before I perform just makes me itchy. It doesn’t allow me to perform well. Yeah, I, you know, I know I get very nervous. So I know that I need to not be around people. yet. If I’m around too many other people, then I extreme. And so I can’t, I maintain that high activation without going off the edge by one of the things. And that’s one of the interesting things I did study looking at what performing artists did backstage. And while some people need to be with others, others need to be alone. That’s me. But like that’s with that. Yeah. Whereas with the breathing excetera if you are somebody who does your best work when you’re super calm and super chilled, then things like breathing, slow meditation, relaxation, yoga, tai chi, any of those kind of things that actually slow down your breath, and actually slow down your activation level to lower than normal, are going to be far more helpful.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:04:24

Yes, okay. No, that so I suppose that comes down to personality type? Almost,

Sarah Marshall  1:04:31

No, I was just gonna say I mean, and that’s one of the biggest journeys I think about learning to manage performance anxiety is knowing yourself. You know, you need to be really chilled or really hard, then you can manage, you know, it’s around that. But if you don’t that I mean, that’s a big thing that I work on, particularly with teenagers because they have no idea.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:04:53

Yes, yes. And look, to be perfectly honest, and I’ll put it out there. I get real. I get nervous before interviews. Right? And, and, you know, sometimes I get a little cranky with myself. But I’ve justified why I do. I don’t, you know, you’re stupid. But to me, why I do. And I understand why it actually has nothing to do with, well, it does have something to do with me, but more so about the guest. Because I want to be sure that in my responsibility to that person, that I give them the best opportunity I possibly can for them to be amazing. So I bear the, you know what I’m saying? Does that make sense? So it’s not about, Oh, am I going to sound rubbish? But am I going to do the best I can for that person? So they’re at their best? And that’s why I get nervous. Yeah, yeah. And, and I get a bit cranky. But then I think it’s because I care. So you kind of have to go through a process, don’t you where you break it down. And you understand why it’s happening. And, like, clearly, once I get started, you can see like, I’m at home here, this is great. I could talk all day to my guests. But and we have fun. What I have fun. I don’t know about the guest. But But you know, so obviously, that’s got to work for me, too, to a certain extent, now coming down to us, as teachers, as people in the voice community. And we have students that come to us, they may have an exam where they’re having to sing because they, they they’re at college university, and they have a performance coming up. They’re suffering from performance anxiety, what can we do to help our students?

Sarah Marshall  1:06:56

As teachers, we have to be the rock, we have to be unemotional. That anxiety is contagious. You know, in your own life, if you’ve had a great day of work, and you walk in the door, and one member of the family is running around really anxious, all of a sudden, everybody in the family snapping at each other and

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:07:15

feeling Yes, yes. Same

Sarah Marshall  1:07:17

with your students. And if you do, if you have a student that is got this coming, exam or audition, and you think they’re not going to do well. And so you are quietly feeling a bit anxious for telling them that you’re feeling anxious for them, is actually not going to help Oh, no, it’s not going to help anyone. So you just have to, it’s so whether you think they’re going to do brilliantly, or whether you’ve got to stick with the facts and be very much about that skill acquisition task. Because if they There was a recent study like me a couple of months ago with dancers, where they’ve showed that teachers that that we were able to remain in that task orientated thing like small, incremental steps, this is what you need to do next, when you’ve got check that off, then you do this and so forth, they actually act as a buffer against students who have perfectionist concerns, right? And I and if you’ve got a teacher, if you’ve got a student who’s got all these perfectionist concerns, and if you’ve got a teacher, that also works with an ego related culture and and ramps up those perfectionist concerns, this person is much more likely to get sick or burnout. Whereas if you’ve got a teacher with this task orientated calm, really, I’m sorry, that sounds distressing for you. What I think you need to do next is hack this could be helpful. What do you think about this as being your next helpful step? You know, if you’ve got a teacher like that, is shine, they actually found in this study, you have less cases of anorexia, you have less burnout, less dropout, higher student engagement. And so that’s a sort of a global answer, right? I do as a teacher, get my students if they’ve got a big thing coming up. First before it is particularly if they’re going for a role. Now this is probably different if you have people doing this as a profession, okay? Because the answer is change. But I get them to articulate to me how their life is going to change. If they get that role. What is going to change if they get that a plus what is going to change in their life? If they get that I list all the things now tell me what is going to change if you fail? What is going to change if you don’t get that role? And the things that matter. In a teenager’s life, I’ve seen like are they still gonna have a roof over their head? Are they still going to get fed are their families still gonna love them? Is their boyfriend still gonna love them, all of that None of that changes, you know, those things that really matter, do not change. And so that can be a really powerful tool to put a brake on that teenage catastrophizing stage. If you’re dealing with adult performers, where who may have their own family and getting the role makes the difference of being able to pay the mortgage or not. That becomes profoundly different and probably not a great question nearly as good a question. He, but, but in that situation, the reality is that if you get one out of 20 auditions, then you’re actually doing better than most. And every time you don’t get that role, or you don’t get that audition means that you’re one audition closer to getting that next one. Absolutely. And I, the reality is, it’s a really tough business to be working. Yeah, um, and the two things that I think teachers can really help with, is after performances, or auditions or whatever, before they get results, if possible. Just ask your student to articulate what they think they did well, in that audition, even if it just meant they got through the piece, and didn’t fall over the furniture and cry. You know what, whatever it is they feel they did well. And then what would they change for next time to make their next audition? Or performance better?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:11:36

Yes, we

Sarah Marshall  1:11:36

all win it. Whatever performance we do, there are always something that we think awesome to offer. Did that better? Okay. But then there’s a way you come up. So do you think must remember to wait before I come in, in the third, you know, when there’s always little things that you want to change? Doesn’t matter how performing? Just, but those questions are really task related. They’re not saying I was a genius, I did so well, or I was crap. It’s about what what did you not? I’m not asking you how you failed. I’m asking what you did well, and what would you like to work on to make your next performance better? And that’s,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:12:19

yeah, yes. So the two takeaways that that I that I have from that. One, is offering a strategy prior to performance and perspective. And then after the performance perspective again, so it’s putting things into some sort of order, in the grand scheme of life, so to speak.

Sarah Marshall  1:12:46

Yeah. And it’s about, it’s about keeping them about, essentially, as teachers, we’re providing skill acquisition. We’re not. This is not magic. This is not. We’re not, you know, you feel great about a performance. That’s wonderful. But it doesn’t help you do better next time. You know, you felt terrible about a performance. I’m sorry about that. But that doesn’t help you do better next time. Yes. You know, no,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:13:16

yeah. Yeah. So, in wrapping the interview up, you’ve been so generous with your time and we’ve covered a lot. What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a singing teacher then, when a student comes to them, I know you’ve just answered that you’ve given so much. Is there another little what’s, what’s that? It was one thing? What would you say to them?

Sarah Marshall  1:13:44


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:13:45

Love it. Love it.

Sarah Marshall  1:13:47

Yeah. You know, I read this, this book by a violin teacher who taught Isaac Stern and all these people at Juilliard, Dorothy delay and one of the line I remember from reading a book, she says, I’ve learned as a teacher to be silent. And I think, yeah, if we can listen to people, then we can respond and help them be the best performer they can be. And we can help give them the direction they need. Because it’s at the end of the day as a teacher. Sadly, it’s all about them. No longer.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:14:31

Yes. Yes. And when I was interviewing Nadine Mannion, she she said something that I thought, you know, you’ve just said this so perfectly and I don’t think you realise what you just said it and she said, people before the voice, yes. And, but that and that part of that is listening, listening to what The student needs and yes, all of that. So 100% I think Sarah Marshall for President. So era, aside from becoming president, what do you have to in the future? What what’s Sara doing

Sarah Marshall  1:15:19

in the future in the future? Well,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:15:22

projects or things.

Sarah Marshall  1:15:26

I’ve always got projects and research, you know, me know my current. My current project is I’m planning on launching in September, a website called Performing Arts PE D, which is going to be a portal for performing arts educators, professional development that is specific, industry specific. And so I’ve actually asked Nadine Mannion to write a contribute a course on how to create transgender safety in a secondary or tertiary environment. I’ve written some courses there about performance anxiety in mastering performance anxiety for student well being as well as, you know, like, tips and tricks, some of them or for peak performance. I’ve got other people writing courses on how to conduct bands and cause strength for dancers, who’s by a woman who’s both a physiotherapist and runs a dance school and yeah, it’s so it’s gonna have a wide range of, of hopefully interesting subjects because the New South Wales Anyway, you are mandated to do as teachers 100 hours of professional development every five years, but there is nothing out there that is specific for performing arts educators, and I think that really needs to change. It’s something I feel so passionate about. Excellent. So much fantastic knowledge to share.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:16:51

Yes. So what date is that being launched in September,

Sarah Marshall  1:16:56

in September, a date to be decided? Okay. I’m aiming I’m planning to launch in early September, but I haven’t set a deadline for myself. Okay, because I will be right,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:17:09

keep us posted. All right. So we’re going to put all the links where people can find you in our show notes. And I just want to say a big thank you for all the information that you’ve shared with us as being a lot of fun as well. Sorry about the role playing. particularly fun. I could do that all day. Who would you like me to be now? I could, I could be bubbles. Thank you, Sarah. You’ve been awesome. You’re a champion and Sarah for President. And we’ll look forward to you launching your professional development side.

Sarah Marshall  1:18:00

I will I’ll let keep good luck with that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:18:02

Thank you. See you later. Hey, I hope you enjoyed this episode have a voice and beyond. Now is an important time for all of us to spread positivity and empowerment in our singing voice community. It’s time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow. So you can show up for your students feeling energised, empowered, and ready to deliver your best. Be the best role model and mentor you can possibly be and watch your students thrive as you do. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it with a friend or a colleague who you think will be inspired by this. Copy and paste the link and share it with the people you think will enjoy listening to this show. Please share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. If you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would love to know what it is you enjoyed the most about this episode. And what was the biggest takeaway for you? I promise you there are many episodes to follow as I’m committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one. I’d like to finish up with my final thoughts. Remember that to sing is more than just learning how to use the voice as singers, our whole bodies instrument and our bodies echo what we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. So singing is not just about the voice. It’s about a voice and beyond. Please take care of yourself, and I look forward to your company next time.