PercussionMind Specificity: TAIS vs. our self-assessment

How invigorating it was to share our PercussionMind results at PASIC!  Our room was quite packed with somewhere between 150-175 folks in the audience.


In case you missed us, you can find our presentation slides here, take the self-assessment here, and read about the PercussionMind Grid here.  

TAIS vs The Self-Assessment

PercussionMind aims to be meaningful to the individual, so with that in mind, here's some further detail about TAIS, and the difference between taking it as part of PercussionMind yourself, versus only reading our PASIC materials and what's here on the website.

TAIS is the assessment given to the PercussionMind professionals: it measures 20 traits in nearly 150 questions.  Mike took those 20 traits and amalgamated them into The Grid (four main categories, with three sub-categories), which serve as the basis for our quick self-assessment and how we succinctly discuss the most vital mental habits to percussionists, according to our professionals' results. 

TAIS, with its length and specificity, is by nature more in-depth than the self-assessment alone, which is why we offer it as part of the PercussionMind experience. 

Here are two examples that demonstrate TAIS specificity.  The PercussionMind Grid lists Focus in three sub-categories: Task Oriented, Variable, and Distractible.  But these classifications come from nine TAIS traits, each with its own spectral detail:

  • Awareness
  • External Distractibility
  • Analytical/Conceptual
  • Internal Distractibility
  • Action/Focused, Reduced Flexibility
  • Information Processing
  • Orientation towards Rules and Risk
  • Focus Over Time  

Let's look at the Resilience trait from The Grid, whose sub-categories are Adaptable, Unsure, and Avoid.  Seven traits from TAIS work together to determine an individual's resilience:

  • Orientation towards Rules and Risk
  • Control
  • Self-confidence
  • Decision-making style
  • Self-critical
  • Focus Over Time
  • Performance Under Pressure

You'll notice that some TAIS traits overlap between Focus and Resilience.  Understanding how these traits intermingle is information learned through a feedback session.  We offer examples in that session of how traits manifest in real life, not only musically, but in how you relate to people, as well as yourself.  Like our brains, humans are complicated in the reasons we behave, choose, and perform the way we do.  

PercussionMind value

The TAIS assessment regularly retails for just under $500, but Mike's relationship with the testing company enables us to offer the PercussionMind assessment to current students for a much more affordable price. 

For $79.99 as a current student, you can sign up for TAIS, choose a career path to compare yourself to, receive your personal Grid, and receive a 60-minute feedback session to decipher the results of your TAIS assessment.  It's the same cost as a set of four marimba mallets.

The main goal of PercussionMind is to be meaningful and insightful.  It's a form of professional development, of cognitive analysis, and a way to practice self-care.  Instead of spiraling through questions, doubt, and experimentation, you can sign up for PercussionMind as a way to answer your questions, work through your doubt, and decide on a career path that suits you, rather than stumbling upon one by trial and error.

If you have any questions about PercussionMind, don't hesitate to reach out through contactpercmind[at]gmail[dot]com.

Welcome to PercussionMind!

How exciting it is to finally release PercussionMind, a project 18 months in the making!

At this moment we are about 16 hours away from releasing this research publicly.  We believe firmly that PercussionMind is a meaningful project, one that can actually help others and provide answers, relief, and insight. is a tool, a service, and a landing place for all things about increasing mental performance as a professional percussionist.  Learning about one's self, not only in strengths and weaknesses but also preferences and adaptabilities, provides understanding as to why some of us react the way we do to certain situations.  And in the case of music performance, many of those situations occur in high-pressure arenas like concert stages and audition rooms. 

Is it possible to determine what about high-pressure situations derails us? The short answer: YES!  We are all different, and while we all have separate cues or triggers that put us into a heightened survival mode, PercussionMind is all about defining your roadblock and working to get past it.

The Attentional and Interpersonal Style Inventory (TAIS), a long-standing evaluative tool in the area of sports medicine and military strategy, is specifically designed to pinpoint the mental habit[s] responsible for lower performance level under pressure.  Use of this 144-question assessment links PercussionMind to decades of proof, critique, and revision, grounding the project in trusted psychological method.

The road during music training is paved with moments that ground confidence and moments that breed insecurity and doubt.  If you've ever wondered where you fit in, whether or not you "have what it takes," or why you aren't achieving the level of success you know you are capable of, we hope that PercussionMind is a useful tool for you. 

We're really looking forward to comments and feedback after tomorrow's reveal, and to sharing them here.