Ground-breaking Play launches at ABO conference 2018

  • Play is a psychological toolkit for optimal music performance, published by the ISM Trust
  • Written by Gregory Daubney, CPsychol, MSc and Dr Alison Daubney, PhD
  • Toolkit available as e-book for £5 from ISM Trust website at

The ISM Trust has launched Play, a ground-breaking toolkit for all musicians for optimal music performance.

Launched today (Thursday 25 January) at the ABO conference in Cardiff, Play draws on significant psychological and philosophical research across music and sport. It has been written by two experts in the field of performance psychology – Gregory Daubney (CPsychol, MSc), a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist who has worked extensively across performance domains, and Dr Alison Daubney (PhD), a Music Teacher Trainer, Researcher and Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Sussex.

Optimised for use on mobile, PC or tablet and packed full of approachable practical strategies for musicians of all ages, standards and genres, the toolkit has been devised to manage performance anxiety and enable musicians to take their musical performance to the next level.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM said:

‘In 2014, the ISM Trust was created to advance education, the arts and to promote health. A focus of the Trust is to deliver high quality professional development, including ground-breaking resources such as Play, by leading practitioners from the ISM and also in partnership with other organisations.

Within the Trust’s remit comes vital work on mental health in musicians. Performance anxiety is seldom discussed but is something that a high percentage of performing musicians face on a daily basis, whether they be a student, a soloist or an orchestral musician.

PLAY is an important toolkit in not only providing performers with practical and easy to use strategies but also in kick-starting the discussion around performance anxiety.’

Gregory Daubney and Dr Ally Daubney, authors of Play said:

‘Mental health and wellbeing has traditionally taken a back seat to physical health but with this publication we move psychological functioning back to the top of every musician’s agenda. This resource is as timely as it is necessary. This toolkit provides musicians across all genres and at all skill levels with practical strategies underpinned by rigorous psychological research to enhance their performance by harnessing the untapped potential of their mind to take musicians’ performance to a new level on a more consistent basis.’

Find out more about Play and purchase the e-Book from


About the ISM Trust

The ISM Trust, the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ (ISM) sister charity, was created in 2014 to advance education, the arts and to promote health. Our primary focus is to deliver high quality professional development by leading practitioners from the ISM and also in partnership with other organisations.

We are dedicated to creating pioneering resources to support music and all those who work in the sector including music educators, performers, and composers and delivers our work through webinars, regional seminars, training events and advice packs.