Anna McDonald - Performance Coach
Sustain Performance Coach
(sessions 1 hour minimum)
Anna helps musicians to have a deeper connection with themselves in relationship to their music, increasing their confidence, fluidity and flow in performance.
Over the last 15 years Anna has worked with instrumentalists, singers, and related fields such as yoga teachers and radio presenters, assisting them to release their blocks and perform at intrinsically higher levels.
She works with each person in an individually tailored and intuitive way, helping them understand and move beyond their self-judgments to a space of presence and enjoyment of their musical experience.
Much of music education today emphasises the technical and interpretative elements of repertoire; Anna nurtures the inner awareness and emotional health of the musician, releasing anxiety and giving a ground of healthy and tranquil development for all aspects of musical performance. Natural qualities and potentials become able to blossom in performances, auditions and daily practise.
Anna’s experience as a violinist, composer and teacher, in both modern and early music fields, as well as studies in Persian, Armenian and other Eastern classical music, have been combined with many years of personal development and trainings, including working with body awareness and psychological insight.
Susie Bishop, singer:
"The work Anna has done with me has been pretty life changing and has nurtured back my love and enjoyment of performance, and taken away most of the really unhealthy anxiety levels, which is pretty huge. I highly recommend her if you have trouble dealing with your own high expectations, or if you feel uncomfortable when working under pressure and are prone to unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety."
Rachel Scott, cellist and educator:
"Since doing the inner critic work I can take myself out of my comfort zone on stage and know that it will be a success"
Lathika Vithanage, baroque violinist:
"When I first met Anna, I was working in a safe, but unsatisfying job situation, with a dream of being appreciated for the musician that was always inside me. I found the confidence and courage to follow my path, and the further I followed, the more things opened up for me. I ended up travelling across the world, to the country I had always loved since the age of 5, Italy, and started what has developed into a soulful, satisfying career as a baroque violinist, both in Europe and Australia. I haven't looked back once, and whilst I still face challenges with my superego, even being able to recognise it at times is enough, and also having this proof, that when you get out of your own way, and stop thinking of how to please others, and are true to yourself....that is when the magic happens. This journey began at the time I started my work with Anna, and I will forever be grateful for this gift she gave me."
Ben-Zion Weiss, musician, social ecologist, Dances of Universal Peace facilitator:
"In a period of just a few months there has been a very significant shift in my whole relationship with the violin as well as a great increase in my confidence in playing the instrument. My whole approach to playing began to shift as I relaxed and enjoyed the music more than feeling like I had to police myself all the time when I played. The sessions had led to my seeing the instrument in a much more universal way, and this shifted the way I played and related to the instrument. This was music of the spirit to uplift the soul. I was now playing the violin because I enjoyed playing music and I wanted to share my joy with others.
Anna McDonald graduated from the Canberra School of Music in violin performance with the prize for highest graduate, and went on to complete two years of study with David Taken at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, supported by Australia Council Scholarships. She has combined a career in modern performance and early music.
During her years performing in London she played in many chamber groups and was also the concertmaster of the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Hanover Band and Avison Ensemble for a number of years. She returned to Australia and lead the ABC recording orchestras in Sydney for ten years, while playing solo and chamber music in many festivals around the country. As well as her speciality in early music, she has studied improvisation and other approaches in eastern music, which eventually lead to her current PhD studies in Persian music and approaches to learning music. Her interest in music in within a broad sphere and her personal inner journey, trainings and development has lead her to adapt her own discoveries to helping other musicians and creative people in all walks of life, which she has done for many years.