Sometimes trying to execute a challenging passage or trick on the trapeze, I find myself “muscling up.” An instinctual reaction, tightening muscle(s) to brace myself for the challenge. The resulting tension of this reaction emanates through the body limiting all movement, interfering with performance. As I watched the beautiful ice dancing performances last night, I imagined what would happen if the skaters chose to “muscle up.” I imagine the flow between the two performers would disappear, connections missed, and the performance sabotaged. The skaters know that movement is the foundation to their performance, and spend time studying movement to identify precisely the movements they need. Musicians can benefit from examining performance from this perspective too, asking themselves the question, “What are the movements I need to play this?” The answer to this simple question identifies exactly what is needed to execute a passage, and can be the key to overcoming the “muscle up” instinct that interferes with performance. The next time you face a challenge answer this question for yourself to uncover exactly what your gold medal performance requires.