"First we conquered the performance anxiety and confidence issues I was experiencing as a professional musician. Then we moved on to growth and expansion in every other area of my life. Coaching with Michael has truly been the best decision I've ever made for my own mental well-being!"
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
You've taken many auditions but haven't achieved the success you hoped for. Now you're wondering if you should keep pursuing music or go in a different direction.
You have a successful career but you're not feeling fulfilled in the ways you hoped you would be. Something seems to be missing. You're not sure why or what to do about it.
You're feeling frustrated because sometimes you play really well but other times you can't seem to get out of your own way. You make things a lot harder and more stressful than they need to be.
You have trouble sleeping after concerts because you're obsessing about the one passage that didn't go the way you wanted. It's exhausting.
That one conductor/stand partner/co-worker annoys you to no end and the idea of spending your foreseeable future having to interact with this person makes you want to quit. You feel stuck.
You often feel anxious and unable to focus on what you need to be doing. You're spending way too much time procrastinating. You judge yourself for it but you can't seem to stop.
You're an accomplished professional yet find it difficult to advocate on your own behalf. It's difficult to ask for what you want and you tend to do anything to avoid conflict. You feel resentful but the idea of communicating your needs doesn't feel good either.
If any of the above scenarios resonate with you, you are not alone.
Hi, I'm Michael.
As a professional freelance musician for fifteen years and a member of the Montreal Symphony for twelve, I know about the realities of a life in music-- the pressure to perform and to maintain the highest standards under any conditions, the competitiveness of the audition process, the demanding schedule, the travel, the politics, the culture, the difficult personalities and big egos, the physical and emotional demands, and the elusive nature of finding balance in your life.
And I know the toll it can all take on a musician's sense of wellbeing and happiness.
I have personally experienced what it's like to feel so discouraged by the audition process that you wonder if you should do something else with your life, to lose a tenured position due to an orchestra ceasing operations, to finally have attained your dream job and still feel unfulfilled, and to feel alone through it all.
And I also know what it's like to heal your relationship to music and to create peace of mind without having to lower your performance standards.
In fact, when you have peace of mind you play better than ever before.
My approach is based on cultivating congruence with your whole self.
Too many self-help methods tell you to just create better habits, change your thoughts, choose who you want to be instead, or that you need more willpower, determination, and self-discipline.
The problem with the "toxic positivity" of these common methods is that they can create more tension, exhaustion, frustration, and shame. They don't effectively address underlying issues or help you cultivate a healthier relationship with yourself. They set up an internal struggle within yourself and when you are in conflict with yourself, a part of you always loses.
My work is based on three main principles:
Identifying the parts of yourself that are in conflict, creating resistance, and getting in the way of where you want to go.
Bringing compassion and understanding to those parts of yourself so you can discover what needs they are trying to fulfill.
Integrating those parts so you can become more aligned and congruent with yourself.
I will create the perfect space for you to experience deep, cathartic healing so you can enjoy the lightness, confidence, and peace of mind that come from a much healthier relationship with yourself.
When all the parts of you are pointed in the same direction and working together, the resistance that was getting in your way just disappears. The results that come from that are truly life changing!
Why Choose me?
As a professionally certified hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner, and life coach, I combine my training in change work with my 27 years of experience in the music world to help and support professional musicians who are going through their own struggles, whether in their career, their personal lives, or a combination of both.
I support my clients in the areas of:
Performance Excellence: audition preparation, performing under pressure, overcoming performance anxiety and negative self-talk, increasing focus and confidence.
Career issues: overcoming burnout, reconnecting to your joy and passion for music, imposter syndrome, managing difficult workplace relationships, advocating on your own behalf, attaining specific goals, creating greater work/life balance.
Personal development: managing stress, anxiety and overwhelm, navigating difficult life transitions, overcoming procrastination, clearing emotional blocks, getting clarity around important decisions, improving relationships, creating boundaries, and emotional healing.
My rapidly growing list of delighted clients includes professional musicians, writers, film directors, academics, entrepreneurs, and coaches.
Through this work I strive to help musicians better manage the demands of their life and career in ways that foster a healthier relationship with themselves, create peace of mind, and make being a musician fun again!
How to work with me
I currently offer two-hour sessions at the following rates.
Single session: $225
Three sessions: $600
Six sessions: $1100
Twelve sessions: $2000
Because I believe it is important to make this help available to those who need it most, I do offer a limited number of slots at a reduced fee. Please contact me for more information.
You have certainly had the most profound impact on my life imaginable. Every element in my life has done a complete 180 in the past year!
Michael is an incredible and gifted hypnotherapist and coach. Totally on the fly, he facilitated a 50 minute session on a phobia of mine (getting my blood drawn) that has plagued me since childhood, causes instant and prolonged panic attacks, and has only gotten worse as an adult. During our session, he expertly guided me through navigating this trigger, patiently working with me as I unpicked and moved through difficult feelings and body sensations, until I finally landed in a place where I felt genuine peace, neutrality, and empowerment around an area of my life that even the mere thought of has always felt crippling. I feel like a completely different person around this area of my life, and also have some new, simple-yet-effective tools to use in case any remaining fears or panic rises up again. I'm truly so grateful. Thank you Michael!
Michael's coaching is lifechanging!!! I really appreciate his approach and his skills.
I have never felt so listened to, cared for, held, and seen in my life. That was amazing! I can see why you are so successful. You have a true gift of presence with a person. Working with you has been one of the best decisions I've ever made and I look forward to more sessions and more growth in the future.
Since we don't see each other this week, I wanted to check in and let you know how great everything is going. I've noticed so many positive changes since starting to work with you, and am feeling much more confident and comfortable with everything...my work, how I interact with people, and even (somewhat surprisingly) how people interact with me. The work you do is amazing. Thank you so much!
My session with Michael was very revealing and eye opening. He really helped me sort through the doubts in my head and clear the dust to get to the root of what really drives me and where my focus needs to be for me to be truly happy and fulfilled, not only in my career, but in my personal life as well. I’ve always struggled with getting things started and taking the first step, and this session was more like a first leap. He really took the time that was needed and asked all the right questions to help me find the right mindset to move forward and stop staying stagnant. Thank you Michael for being so patient and helping me realize what I already knew but couldn’t see.
Coaching with Michael was a great experience. He is very welcoming and I felt very comfortable sharing my thoughts and problems during our session. Michael connected some dots I hadn’t realized at all before. The insights he provided made a lot of sense and I got the tools needed to continue on my journey forwards as a musician and a human being. I can really recommend Michael's services to any musician!
I am still very glad that I had those discussions with you last summer, I think I would not have the same kind of pandemic year without them.
Thank you again!
Talking to Michael unlocked truths inside me I had never been able to face, and he made it so easy! Since my session with him, my mindset has evolved to a point where I’m comfortable with myself, and I’ve dispensed with much of the self-criticism I used to subject myself to. I can let go and be myself now. Something about his logic just clicked with me and stayed that way; I’ve had a feeling of relief ever since and have maintained a sense of energy and purpose. I am so grateful to him for sharing his gift of compassion, understanding, and clarity!
When I started coaching with Michael, I was really hoping for a shift in my life and thinking. I felt stuck in some areas and was hoping for a breakthrough. The experience working with him was very positive. I felt like I not only achieved what I had hoped for, but much faster than I expected. He is good at what he does and I felt safe with him, so that was helpful to my process. This was one of the most powerful and authentic ways I have experienced to help shift my energy, provide new perspectives, and aid in emotional healing. I have more tools to understand and process my feelings and experiences. This feels both inspiring and liberating. My sense of wellbeing has more depth, my confidence and trust have grown, and I feel more excited, optimistic, and dedicated within my life.
A grateful musician in transition
A session with Michael is better than drugs!