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.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Personal checklist for keeping performance anxiety free - Part 2

Continuing yesterday's post, here's another tip that mostly applies to the days in the week leading up to the performance...

Tip #2:  Keep my brain calm
Along the same lines of Tip #1, the week of the performance, I rarely practice difficult passages up to tempo.  Again, I'm using the same philosophy, if it isn't learned now, it's too late.  Two things tend to go wrong for me if I rehearse difficult passages up to tempo.  First thing that happens is that I tend to make mistakes and I don't believe that's great for developing great connections in my brain.  I would rather use my time wisely and only be making good connections up there.  The second thing that happens is that I freak myself out which then makes me terribly tense and fatalistic when it comes time to perform.  I'd much rather be completely clueless when it comes time to walk on stage, thinking, "Well, I have no idea what's going to happen, so let's just do it!"  I see it more of an adventure this way rather than a dreaded walk to the guillotine.  Now of course this doesn't mean that I refuse to rehearse with the people I perform with - that wouldn't go over very well.  I do rehearse, and I do so up to tempo if that is what they wish to do.  But I treat those rehearsals as I do a performance and I try not to be too hard on myself in regards to wrong notes in technically challenging passages.  Instead, I see these dress rehearsals as strategizing sessions..." can I gracefully get through this passage since it's too late now to really expect perfection from myself?"  I find that taking this approach takes a lot of the pressure off and gives me the space I need mentally and emotionally that I need to remember why I am performing in the first place - because I love it!

Ready for more tips...come back tomorrow for Tip #3!

1 comment: