Joe Towne with Noa Kageyama on the Discipline of Play

Joe Towne with Noa Kageyama on the Discipline of Play

By Joe Towne

The Better Podcast with Joe Towne

Thursday, 28 October

Joe chats with performance psychologist Noa Kageyama about his musical journey starting with training with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki as a young musician to learning how to practice as a teenager and getting his undergraduate degree from Juilliard. He shares what studying with an olympic sports psychologist taught him about navigating performance anxiety and the insight that prompted him to learn the secrets of peak performance while getting his Doctorate in Psychology. Ultimately, whether standing on a stage at Lincoln Center, or in a classroom in front of the next generation of world class musicians, Noa shares insights about effective practice, the building blocks of confidence and so much more to inspire us on our journey as lifelong learners.

Who is Noa?

Performance psychologist Noa Kageyama is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and is a performance coach for the New World Symphony in Miami, FL. A conservatory-trained violinist with degrees from Oberlin and Juilliard before pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology at Indiana University, Noa now specializes in working with performing artists, teaching them how to utilize sport psychology principles and more consistently perform up to their full abilities under pressure.

He has conducted workshops at institutions ranging from Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, Peabody, Eastman, Curtis, McGill University, and the U.S. Armed Forces School of Music, to programs such as the Starling-Delay Symposium, The Perlman Music Program, and the National Orchestral Institute, and for organizations like the Music Teachers’ National Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Noa’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Musical America, Strings Magazine, Strad, and Lifehacker. He maintains a private coaching practice and online mental skills courses, and authors a performance psychology blog and podcast called The Bulletproof Musician.

instagram: @bulletproofmusician

Upcoming projects:

I’ve begun offering live classes for music professionals and educators as well as for amateurs and lifelong learners. More info at:

Noa’s (current) favorite quote:

E.E. Cummings — 'It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.'


Anders Ericsson on Larry King: on the science of expertise

Dr. Suzuki


Sports Psychology

Daily Writing Practice (don’t break the chain/atomic habits)

Sports Psychology for Dummies

Grit-Angela Duckworth

Heart UK