Whatever takes place on stage, you can take it in stride if you stay removed from specific results. Here are 4 thoughtful suggestions for managing music performance stress and anxiety.
Heart racing, wobbly knees. Unstable, sweaty palms. You’re backstage, in a warm-up space, or hiding in the restroom. Even if everyone has actually been saying “Don’t stress, you’re going to be excellent,” believing them is easier stated than done. If you’ve ever been in this scenario, you’re not alone. According to teacher Dianna T. Kenny’s present research study on music performance stress and anxiety, 70% of orchestral musicians reported experiencing performance-impairing anxiety.
However, take it from me, there’s expect you. I know exactly how to it feels to be consumed by worry and anxiety. The story does not need to end there. It definitely didn’t for me.
Early in my career, I played visitor fourth horn with a symphony in Spain. They liked me and asked me to remain an extra week for Brahms Symphony # 2. At the last minute, they moved me to principal horn. When the catastrophe happened, that’s. When the big horn solo came, I got catastrophically anxious and crashed and burned in front of all my colleagues. I was so physically impaired I could not even make a sound for the last few notes.
Quick forward to 2016, when I played principal horn on Mahler’s 5th Symphony at the Palm Beach Kravis. This symphony is jokingly called “Mahler’s Horn Concerto” for the exceptionally exposed and virtuosic primary horn part. Sure enough, my body was complete of energy before the efficiency.
The efficiency was incredible. Not only did I play accurately and musically, however when I stood to provide the 3rd motion solo obbligato part, electricity flowed through my instrument to the audience. I felt connected to my colleagues and motivated to share a meaningful musical message.
What was different from the disaster of earlier days?
My muscles start feeling twitchy, and I begin imagining worst case situations. I’m able to quickly manage my insecurity and stress and anxiety, sometimes before it even reveals up.
1. I manage my energy
A few of my existing practices for directing my energy consist of:
Yoga, power postures, and breath work
Consistently tensing my entire body and launching tension
Utilizing the Moodnotes app
Specialized learning strategies that enable me to access desired emotions
2. I connect with everybody involved in the efficiency
I like to consider every person in my audience. I do this so that I can feel empathy, look after them, and see them as close allies instead of prospective foes. I think about what my audience and colleagues desire, and how I can serve.
I encourage you to do the very same. When you bring genuine kindness and compassion, you might be happily amazed with what’s shown back.
3. I concentrate on one thing
As Soren Kierkegaard as soon as stated, “Pureness of heart is to will one thing.”
For my Mahler Fifth Symphony performance, we utilized a basic focus point: “Accomplish!”
You may desire a more advanced focus, such as “Share the musical message,” or you might want to go kinesthetic like, “Feel my feet on the ground.”
Select a focus point, like a rallying cry, that you understand will support quality throughout the performance.
4. I visualize with expectation
How typically have you wished to win something and then repeatedly visualized yourself stopping working?
If you have, do not stress, you’re not alone. I’ve certainly existed and done that too.
Now, I make sure to hang around imagining favorable outcomes prior to I carry out. When things go well, I picture how fantastic I’ll feel. I hear myself playing music with divine charm.
The art of detachment
As practical as these practices are to me, what I believe to be most important in performing is mastering the art of being detached.
Whatever takes place is what takes place, whether you remain in the spotlight receiving a standing ovation or the proverbial rotten tomatoes. You can take it in stride masterfully, but only if you stay separated from specific outcomes. Think it or not, the results are less valuable than the procedure that brought you to where you are. Your finest work always stays ahead of you. However if you can truly understand the charm in all your effort and hours of practicing, when the time comes for you to carry out, you’ll recognize that you have actually already gained what matters most– more wisdom and strength.
So keep being brave, keep making music, and may these four ideas make your efficiency procedure even more satisfying!