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Not only does Rachel have a passion for music but she also has one for sport having played and taken part in sport since a young age. Qualities and skills that were developed include co-ordination, organisation, team work skills, time keeping, communication and leadership. Rachel played hockey, netball, badminton and also swam at competitive club level and played hockey at County level with an International trial. Rachel has coaching certificates in netball and sports leadership as well as a Bronze medallion in Life Saving with first aid training.
Rachel has found the skills and disciplines that are required for sporting activites have benefitted her musical career. Experience and exposure to high level sporting events highlighted the intensity and pressure that is placed upon the mind and body in any type of sport or music performance.
Rachel recognises that playing as an individual or as a team has different goals and challenges but the same pursuit of excellence by an individual or team still exists.
Once talent is identified it should be coached, nurtured and supported not only in a technical capacity but in a mental capacity as well. This has lead Rachel to develop a passion for applying her sporting experience and use her Physical Education A level knowledge in order to enhance and develop methods to help students to manage performance anxiety in music. Rachel has written a booklet called "Managing Performance Anxiety - A student's guideline", the aim of which is to supplement the technical aspect of teaching with a simple, quick guide to develop the students' mental strength from grass roots to the international stage.
Rachel lectures and runs workshops for Youth Orchestras promoting the necessity for mental strength training in young musicians.
"To the best of my knowledge, nothing quite this booklet currently exists so I anticipate it will find a ready audience amongst young performers and their teachers." - Karen O'Connor,
BSc (Hons) Psychol. GRNCM PPRNCM ARCM MBPsS
Performance Coach – Birmingham Performing Arts Consultancy
Mental Skills Training Practitioner – British Association for Performing Arts Medicine
"I like the holistic approach, with nutritional advice, breathing, etc and has the merit of laying things down in a succinct and easy-to-read way." - Cecile Limon, Cardiff Violins, UK
"I can always refer back to it. It's nice to have something on hand.I tried your breathing techniques at my last performance and it helped so much! So already an improvement!" - Amy Vanwalsum, Student, Leicestershire UK