Winnie Su Masterclass – Key Takeaways and Learnings

Winnie Su Masterclass – Key Takeaways and Learnings 

A few weeks ago, the distinguished recipient of the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod Kawai Piano Scholarship, Winnie Su, gave a workshop delving into the theme of ‘Healthy Preparation for Happy Performing’, imparting invaluable advice garnered from her impressive career so far. Key points emerged from Winnie’s presentation, serving as guiding principles for new and experienced performers alike: 


  1. Cultivating Positive Conditioning: Winnie emphasised the profound impact of fostering a mindset of positivity and self-affirmation. Central to this ethos is the taming of the inner critic, which can often sabotage confidence and self-esteem. She advocates for extending the same compassion and encouragement to oneself as one would to a cherished mentor or younger colleague. Winnie’s analogy encourages performers to envision their younger selves, offering nurturing advice and acknowledging the strengths inherent in their performances.  In other words, be kind to yourself! 


  1. Associative Conditioning for Performance Enhancement: A notable strategy disclosed by Winnie revolves around the concept of associative conditioning. By tethering a positive reward to the act of performance, individuals can recalibrate their relationship with the stage. Regardless of the outcome, the anticipation of a gratifying reward—be it a sumptuous meal, a spa indulgence, or a leisurely pursuit—serves as a beacon of encouragement and motivation. This approach fosters a harmonious balance between striving for excellence and embracing the inherent joy of artistic expression. 



  1. Tempering Expectations with Realism: Winnie articulates the necessity of tempering high expectations with a pragmatic understanding of performance variables. Acknowledging the multifaceted nature of live performances—ranging from environmental factors to instrument nuances—she advocates for a holistic approach to preparation. Rather than striving for perfection in an unpredictable setting, Winnie prioritises the cultivation of resilience through visualisation and careful mental rehearsal. By immersing oneself in the imaginary performance landscape, individuals can navigate unforeseen challenges with poise and adaptability – “things are always less scary the second time, so use your imagination for the first time”.


Winnie’s insights offer a roadmap for cultivating resilience, self-compassion, and holistic well-being, and she emphasises the importance of the twin pillars of self-assurance and mindful preparation

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