My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Personal checklist for keeping performance anxiety free - Part 4

Today's first tip is my favorite one because it reveals the intensely stubborn side of myself.  And yes, for this tip to really work, you must be a persistently stubborn soul, at least with yourself, so if you're not, you might want to consider getting some help to get yourself there.

Tip #5 - Counteract the negative mental tape with a more positive one
Once a mistake occurs and I've applied Tip #4, a negative mental tape usually starts rolling.  You probably know what I'm talking about.  I hear something in my head like, "You should have practiced that measure more...I can't stand this piece...I should have played the harp...what am I going to cook for dinner?"  Once this starts, I quickly say to myself, "Damn it, stop!  You are going to enjoy this recital and have a good time regardless of how many mistakes you make!!  You are going to knock their socks off!!!"  I apologize for the mild profanity, but I do feel I need to be that strong with my self and I like I mentioned before, stubborn.

Tip #6 - Sing the music in my head
Every once in a while, if I'm having a really off-performance and I can't focus, I start singing the music in my head.  Especially if I'm accompanying someone else, this is a fantastic way for me to release my intense focus on my own problems and reconnect with the other musician, especially if I start singing their line in my head.  Usually this works wonders instantly.  It also reminds me of why I am performing in the first place - because I want to share great music with the audience.  Note that I didn't say, "I want to share great note-perfect music."

Stop by tomorrow for the final installment of this mini-series...thanks for reading!

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