We’re bringing more experts from different fields to the Muse blog and this week we are introducing Andrew Mah, Canadian Guitar Virtuoso. He will be bring tips, tricks and stories from his 20+ years of performance and musical experitise to future posts. Welcome Aboard, Andrew!
My name is Andrew Mah, and I’ve been a professional guitarist, teacher, arranger and performer for over 20 years now. My long career has taken me through many different avenues, ranging from international competition, national and international touring as a guitar virtuoso, recording 6 CD’s, arranging music for orchestras to be performed for many heads of state, to festival/competition adjudication and teaching masterclasses in universities. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience everything from absolute entry level work, to some extremely prestigious opportunities in the field of music.
The demands of performing at a world class level require a lifetime to master, and are even more difficult to maintain solidly over the course of a long career. Keeping oneself in peak condition from a physical, mental and emotional perspective is key. I’ve immersed myself in a number of different disciplines to help with this, including a long history in the martial arts. I’ve since had to leave that behind, but honing my abilities to remain calm, relaxed, yet still focused under pressure have remained a very high priority in my life.
Analogous to my tenure as a martial arts practitioner, to be the best musician I can be, it has been important to achieve a mindset that the Japanese refer to as ‘mushin’. This is a profoundly intuitive state of calm, where the ego and its distractions are stripped away in favour of total immersion in the moment. It creates a time frame where true art is free to occur and any anxiety related to being a performer passes away as quickly as wisps of smoke floating in the wind.
That’s why I was more than excited when offered a chance to experience the benefits of Muse. For several months now, I have developed a ritual of using it with the Calm app in the evenings. It has helped enhance my ability to sleep well, focus clearly and place myself in the correct state of mind needed for practice and best performance. In short, it has given me greater access to my own abilities and where I need to be mentally.
I would highly recommend it for musicians, or anyone else looking to improve themselves emotionally. Its also great for simply discovering how to control the state of your brain, and observe how it affects them physically. The clear feedback makes it a simple learning tool of great power and ease of use.
Click here to learn more about Andrew Mah and his work.