Much of my teaching principles are based on outlining the advantageous mental and physical practice techniques revealed through research in Sports Psychology. These methods help my students strategically overcome the numerous psychological obstacles in order to develop a consistently high level of performance.
I share with students my Sports Psychology research that focuses on common triggers for performance anxiety and stage fright. By assessing the students’ performances, I design an applicable daily practice plan which gears to establish better control over the physical and psychological symptoms known to negatively impact performance. Applying these principles also helps in the development of increased control of muscular and mental functions, accuracy, precision, discipline, mental awareness and overall coordination. By incorporating knowledge of Sports Psychology in my lessons, I hope to educate about the existing relationship between mental process and physical execution and the impact one has on the other.
For professional athletes and musicians, performing under pressure is an inescapable element of their careers. Given the current levels of performance excellence and the consequent fierceness of competition, consistency in performance quality is indispensable in attaining the degree of professionalism. This implied link between musical and athletic disciplines is a logical one. Similarly to athletes, musicians must achieve high levels of technical skill, efficient movement patterns, acute focus, composure and extreme concentration, all while maintaining a consistently high level of performance.
Musicians ‘play’ music as athletes ‘play’ sports. Therefore, like sports, a musical performance is a physical activity with extreme demands on technical facility, training ethics, discipline, deliberate practice, structure, dedication, determination, motivation and inspiration. Like sports, it is a form of self-expression, performed in front of an audience and demanding astounding mastery of the human mind and body. Both performance practices provide the performer with opportunities for excellence, though the journey may bring forth intense pressures, challenges, anxieties, fears and psychological phobias. Adapting the methods and principles developed by research in sports psychology, affords tremendous advantage in a musician’s constant desire to elevate, not only the quality, but also the consistency of quality in their performance.
I plan to continue incorporating established and developing sports psychology principles into my teaching of orchestral, chamber and solo repertoire, and to emphasize their general psychological benefits and contribution to human enrichment.
I started playing violin 32 years ago in elementary school with no private instruction. The bad habits and poor form I'd developed over the years became very evident when I was asked to join a few bands. I knew I needed to unlearn a lot in order to do more. Enter Dr. Olevsky! In the few months I've been working with him, my dexterity is improving, sight reading (which I haven't had to do since 1994!) is less of a challenge and more of a delicious brain-bender. Having tiny hands is far less of an impediment as he's taught me ways to compensate and ways to make my practice time more efficient and focused - a HUGE benefit with my busy schedule. Though the music I perform ranges from Rock and Irish Traditional to Gypsy Blues and Symphonic Doom Metal, returning to the classical technique and theory that made me fall in love with music has fed my mind and fully informed my performance. I'm excited to continue growing my skills with Dimitry as my guide.
A true professional and a great teacher! I have been taking violin lessons now for 6 months with Dr. Dimitri Olevsky, having switched to Dimitri after having had a mediocre experience with my previous teacher. Wow…what a difference. Dimitri ably blends his extensive knowledge, talent, and seriousness about his craft with a witty sense of humor. He is able to simplify the complexities of violin technique so that it is truly feels accessible. Highly recommended.
Dr. Olevsky was immediately able to improve my playing with direct, practical advice. He is concerned with efficient practice and in making the maximum amount of progress in the time that one has. He is highly knowledgable about the audition process and the real day to day of being a professional performing violinist. I have been playing for 15+ years and find Dimitry's lessons very challenging and stimulating.
I started taking violin lessons from Dimitry two months ago and I can definitely say that he taught me a lot of things I didn’t know before. I had some violin background as a kid years ago and he made me realize what I did wrong and gave me so many tips to correct my mistakes and learn the right technique. There is no need to say that he is really talented and one of the best teacher you can find. I’m really glad that I was lucky enough to learn a lot of things from the pro and had a chance to see him play with me.
University of California, Santa Barbara Doctor of Musical Arts CA 2012
Activities: Pupil of Yuval Yaron
Young Artists String Quartet: tutelage of Yuval Yaron
Ensemble of Contemporary Music
Concerto Competition winner 2009, 2011
Concertmaster of Symphony Orchestra
Publication: The Study of Success in Music: Applying Methods Developed
by Sports Psychology towards Achieving Peak Performance.
Manhattan School of Music Master of Music NY 2008
Activities: Pupil of Grigory Kalinovsky
String Quartet, Piano Trio: tutelage of
Robert Man, & American String Quartet
Concertmaster of Baroque Aria
Title Positions in Chamber and Symphony Orchestra
California State University, Long Beach Bachelor of Music CA 2005
Activities: Pupil of Linda Rose
Concerto Competition winner
Scholarship Competition winner
By incorporating my Sport Psychology studies in lessons, Dimitry’s methods successfully help develop and increase control of muscular and mental functions, accuracy, precision, discipline, mental awareness and overall coordination in violin performance. As feedback to his approach, my students win title positions in the Colburn Chamber and Los Angeles Youth Orchestras, Idyllwild Music
Festival, Interlochen Music Festival, Palisades High School Symphony, Grand Prizes in the International Music Competition of Young Performers ‘Colibri’, Concerto Competitions by the Committee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Idyllwild School Auditions. His students also have had the privilege in performing at the Disney Hall and participate in orchestral tours in Prague, Vienna and Italy.