Justine Playing

Violinist & Creative Performance Coach

Supporting musicians to thrive

As a Violinist with more than 30 years of professional experience on the world stage, I am guided by mind and body awareness that supports authentic and easeful performances that connect.

As a Creative Performance Coach drawing on my broad practical experience and industry knowledge, I support musicians to discover new levels of physical freedom, expressive confidence and enjoyment within their careers.

ListenFeelPlay is my performance philosophy,  inspiring me as both violinist and coach. By heightening our quality of listening and engaging more fully with what we feel, we unleash our true creative voice, have fun and PLAY!

Can I help you?

Are you a performer looking for more successful and rewarding ways to express yourself artistically?

Do you wish you could just let go and play from your heart?

Do you want to feel more comfortable and experience more natural confidence when you perform?

Are you easily distracted? Would you like to experience a calm and focused mind?

Or perhaps you want to enjoy your performing more, or even reconnect with your love of performing?

If so, you are in the right place.

What I have discovered:

There is profound power in being physically centred.

The body can move with natural ease, intelligence and innate confidence when whole-body awareness originates from a balanced foundational centre.

The chattering and distracted mind settles with engaged physical connection.

Focusing intentions leads to great creative and expressive power.

How we engage physically, mentally and emotionally directly defines our performance success.

Confidence can be built.

What coaching can do for you:

You can build your confidence with every step through honest and supportive self-reflection and enhanced awareness.

You can discover what holds you back, and in turn explore liberating pathways to your unique creative and expressive success.

You can open up your imagination and creativity with renewed clarity of intention.

You can build trust in yourself and harness your strengths.

You can learn to focus on what really counts and fully connect with your expressive voice.

You can love what you do and THRIVE!

What my clients say…

After a few in-depth conversations it became clear that this was someone with not only a vast knowledge of music and the different career paths that are associated with it, but also of the wide range of issues involved with the occupation of being a professional in this field…

she taught me how to develop inner confidence, and to use my natural qualities instead of criticising them, to extend myself as a person and musician…

…This is a lady of integrity, of experience, and with an open, creative mind that will be able to work with all types of musicians – should they also be open to share their experiences freely and openly…

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Tim Sutton

Bass Trombonist, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Justine is a trustworthy, confidential, patient and caring person. Her kind, nurturing nature and respectful communication skills lend perfectly to supporting high level performers to achieve confidence and freedom from performance stresses…

…she understands my performance issues and challenges at a deep level having worked to such a high level herself in many different professional settings…

…Not only has she provided me with some techniques to use when I’m feeling pressured but in the bigger picture some skills to find that simplicity and joy of playing a musical instrument like when you first started…

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Megan Molina

Violinist, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Justine has a confidence and calmness about her that makes you feel at ease. No question was silly and no problem too small. The ultimate goal is to ensure your music making is as enjoyable as possible and her approach makes you feel empowered to take control of your musicianship…

Justine sensitively helped me to discover what was causing my lack of focus, then skillfully supported me to regain control and reconnect with my love of playing and performing. I learnt how to consciously build my confidence, as well as trust myself and my creative ability…

…My sessions with Justine have been invaluable for me and my career as a violinist. Approaching music from the standpoint of curiosity and creativity, playing the violin is now so much more than just a ‘day job’!

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Malcolm Struthers

Double Bassist, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

In a few short sessions Justine transformed my outlook and approach to playing in an orchestra. Her insightful and practical coaching gave me new ideas and tools for extending and self-managing my playing, both physically and mentally.

It’s been two years now since Justine worked with me. I find I am continuing to gain new insights through applying the ideas and techniques I learned with her. I am more assured, resilient, and a great deal happier as a player than I was back then.

As musicians, I think we all need some fresh input from time to time. Justine has real integrity both professionally and personally, so her ideas and techniques come from true understanding and experience.

I heartily recommend Justine to any player who is looking for a way to be refreshed, inspired, more productive and happier in their work.

Dr. Robin Wilson

Resident Violin Faculty, Australian National Music Academy (ANAM)

My sessions with Justine were incredibly helpful.

As a performer and a teacher, I am always searching for ways of tackling issues that commonly arise in my own playing, as well as my students. Justine’s method really increases one’s awareness of use and gives extremely effective and easy to implement methods of releasing tension and enhancing performance.

Her approach is supportive and encouraging and facilitates the performers ability to focus and realise their musical intentions without inhibition. The simple concepts and techniques that she teaches can even be used whilst performing on stage, to increase ease, comfort and ultimately confidence.

I highly recommend this to anyone wishing to improve their own performance or that of their students, and enhance their enjoyment of music making.

Or get in touch to set up a complimentary 30-minute intro session.

Silver linings the second time around

Having performed the complete cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas in February 2020 with American pianist Kate Boyd, we had originally planned to perform the cycle again later that year. But of course, COVID had other plans for us and the soonest that we could rearrange for our second cycle was for 10-17 January 2023 – almost 3 years later.

With the first of these concerts now just a day away, I’ve been reflecting on the new opportunities that presented themselves because of the enforced ‘change of plans’, and the silver linings have been numerous and rather wonderful.

Building Confidence

Radio New Zealang Concert asked me for advice around confidence, and in particular if it can be built.

I believe it can.

You can read what I had to say about it all on their website: Confidence Tricks – some tips for musical performance.

A reset from the inside out

Having previously performed 6 of the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas more than 20 years ago, it has been a lovely process coming back to the familiar, as well as discovering the new. Primarily due to the work I have been doing over the last 2 years getting to the nitty-gritty of my performance philosophies, these incredibly pristine works of Beethoven are proving to be an absolute gift for me.

Mountains and overcoming self-consciousness

I love mountains - always have, always will. Having recently moved to live amongst the Southern Alps of New Zealand, I am lucky enough to interact daily with these magnificent mountains. I am acutely aware of the support and inspiration they give me as a creative...

Acknowledging the positive

Beware of your greatest strengths! Shakespeare is quoted as saying “your greatest strength begets your greatest weakness”.   As performers, one of our most valuable strengths is our skill in self-critiquing. We are highly trained in the ability to judge and...

Discovering whole-body awareness

Reflections from a piano classInvited to explore ListenFeelPlay philosophies in an Auckland University piano class, four talented young pianists and I experimented together, witnessing and demonstrating, on the spot, the power and relevance of whole-body...

Be true to your own creative voice

One of the lessons I have learnt over and over again through my career has been the importance of honouring your own voice, your own perspective and your own self-expression. In order to do this, you must pay close attention to your creative intuition, and have the...

Taking ownership of your confidence

I used to think of confidence as something you either have or you don’t have, but in fact confidence is something you 'do', or more to the point often ‘don’t do’…to varying degrees. Let me explain. It was somewhat of a lightbulb moment for me when I realised that...

Attitude is everything

"Attitude is everything" It’s a common saying and personally I couldn’t agree more. When it comes to successfully and confidently expressing yourself and having a great time in the process, awareness of your attitude allows for a wealth of opportunities. Do you adopt...

The mind+body connection

Mind+body connection is at the heart of creative ease and flow. As a human being, your mind has the potential to be your greatest asset or greatest downfall, and everything in between. By learning to objectively observe your thoughts, your mental habits, and your...

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