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Fear of performing in public, how to keep nerves in check!

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Post by jeanne.supermum Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:28 am

Hi all,

I just played bacarolle no 1 in A minor (Faure) last night at a charity concert.

It was a first for me to play in public, altho the audience made up of family and friends and performer's parents.

Altho it was just five minutes, I really found it hard to focus and calm myself!

Any tips?

But anyhow it was a good feeling.....looking forward to playing at another concert soon!

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Post by Thomandy Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:52 am

Hi Very Happy Thats Awesome!! Very Happy

But I cant give good advice on being calm since I havnt performed public. But at leaset you got a little more experience now! Smile

Welcome!! Wink
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Post by Fryderyk Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:32 pm

Ive heard that if you practice imaginating or thinking your surrounding by lots of people you could exactly get used to it, but i must admit i also dont have much advice here, but even Chopin hated to peform in public
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Post by jeanne.supermum Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:29 am

Hi there, anyway, when I was about to come on (the earlier performer was on stage), my mind just went blank and funny, before my actual turn I was feeling worried, but for the last agonising 5 mins before you go on, you have no time to think at all! anyway it was a first time so the next time, I should get better! Thanks anyway for your comments.

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Post by Thomandy Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:14 am

Good luck on your next try! I think you are though!! Very Happy
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Post by Admin Andrew Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:20 am

Well, expereince will help, but it's all the mind set you take that helps. Think of the most beatiful music imaginable inside your body, waiting to get out, the perfect rendition of the piece in your own unique uncopyable way.

THEN just imagine getting up there and releasing it to the audience and knowing that it will flow out and it will be good. Then if you feel any nervousness at ALL, think of how life can feel boring, or repetitive, lifeless or cold, think of those times when you wished you could be excited. So you might go on a rollercoaster or a thrill ride right? Well, this is that rollercoaster!!!

ENJOY this cool feeling you're having, being nervous feels COOL start to enjoy it and suddenly you'll start smiling because the more nervous you get, the more fun you start to have, and the more pumped up you are and ready to go.

Then when you DO perform, take your time, and pull your audience in.

_________________
"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of other's cannot keep it from themselves."

Fear of performing in public, how to keep nerves in check! Piano_10
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Andrew Furmanczyk :: http://www.howtoplaypiano.ca :: http://ca.youtube.com/user/lypur
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Post by Thomandy Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:21 am

Admin Andrew wrote:Well, expereince will help, but it's all the mind set you take that helps. Think of the most beatiful music imaginable inside your body, waiting to get out, the perfect rendition of the piece in your own unique uncopyable way.

THEN just imagine getting up there and releasing it to the audience and knowing that it will flow out and it will be good. Then if you feel any nervousness at ALL, think of how life can feel boring, or repetitive, lifeless or cold, think of those times when you wished you could be excited. So you might go on a rollercoaster or a thrill ride right? Well, this is that rollercoaster!!!

ENJOY this cool feeling you're having, being nervous feels COOL start to enjoy it and suddenly you'll start smiling because the more nervous you get, the more fun you start to have, and the more pumped up you are and ready to go.

Then when you DO perform, take your time, and pull your audience in.

Awesome tip... Smile Im scared to do a performance. But I want t put me in that situation, just to get some experience! Smile
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Post by VictorCS Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:10 pm

Try to forget the audience, and play the music for yourself, not because of the others ( ofcourse, you'll play for the others, but... ),
if you perform because of others, then you'll dont play as good as you would if you where playing for yourself.
Maybe it sounds selfish ( spelled right? ), but if you perform something because you do it for yourself,
it will be better than if you where performing because the others.

As Andrew has said, imagine you're in a bubble, just you and the piano.
( Forget the audience, but give em the music )

Myself, when playing for others, I get nervous because I feel the attention is on me, and what I do,
kinda weird ( I dont like attention, but I dont know why )...
I really dont wanna screw up, but I tend to do because I dont want em to know that I'm "good"...

The only time I perform good is when I'm playing for myself, I can play loudly so everyone in my house hear it,
family/friends, I dont care, but when the focus is that I'm gonna play a song because someone asked me to play, I screw up bigtime.

It's very frustrating, but that's how it is lol!
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Post by Amro Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:05 pm

VictorCS wrote:Try to forget the audience, and play the music for yourself, not because of the others ( ofcourse, you'll play for the others, but... ),
if you perform because of others, then you'll dont play as good as you would if you where playing for yourself.
Maybe it sounds selfish ( spelled right? ), but if you perform something because you do it for yourself,
it will be better than if you where performing because the others.

As Andrew has said, imagine you're in a bubble, just you and the piano.
( Forget the audience, but give em the music )

Myself, when playing for others, I get nervous because I feel the attention is on me, and what I do,
kinda weird ( I dont like attention, but I dont know why )...
I really dont wanna screw up, but I tend to do because I dont want em to know that I'm "good"...

The only time I perform good is when I'm playing for myself, I can play loudly so everyone in my house hear it,
family/friends, I dont care, but when the focus is that I'm gonna play a song because someone asked me to play, I screw up bigtime.

It's very frustrating, but that's how it is lol!


Totally Agreed ...
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Post by KlutzSY Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:53 pm

well, i'm not sure bout keeping it in check, cuz i do the exact opposite. The excitement and adrenaline flow makes me feel alive and more aware of the piano, the music, vibration...not sure how to phrase it but it actually adds more power, life to music. Wink
I try to pretend that i'm playing by myself. If u play the piece enough times, ur fingers will play on their own when ur mind goes blank, it actualy feels kind of good. tongue
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Post by jeanne.supermum Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:26 pm

Hi all,

yes, what Andrew said was so true! I had to imagine the water and waves and things to do with the ocean before I started (my piece is actually a "boat song"), so once the scene was in my head, then I could start....but towards the end I played a wrong note and the whole picture disappeared and I couldn't get it back! But I smiled and played on....the audience didn't hear it, but my teacher could ! ha ha ha....

yes, playing something beautiful from inside is hard for me now, because I am shy about expressing my feelings, and now in a musical way....but sometimes when I play pieces I really like....I feel overwhelmed with emotion because its as tho the music is speaking to me....wonder if you all feel that way?

anyway, I love Brahms, Bach, Faure and Ravel....these are big time to me.....actually trying to play Sonatine by Ravel now and have been working on it the last 6 months.....

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Post by maestoso Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:30 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm new here... my name is Dean and I live in England. What a great resource this is!! I've been playing piano for about 3 years and of course really love it! Unfortunately I ran into problems 2 years ago with neck pain/ shoulder pain and although it has improved a lot, I can't practice for more than 1 hour a day without issues.

Anyway during my worst "pain" period I discovered the Alexander technique. Has anyone heard of it? There is a great book called "Indirect Procedures: A musicians guide to the Alexander technique". There is a section in there about performance anxiety/ stage fright. The advice is a little bit strange but I found it does help. Basically they recommend that during practice (at home on your own for example) you play pieces as though you were in a public performance, and the key is try REALLY hard to actually feel nervous. The goal is to be as shaky as you can Laughing It sounds strange but when you actually come to perform you suddenly find all the nerves have disappeared because you "worked through them" in your practice. The technique also teaches you to live in the moment and not focus on the end result so much.

Cheers
Dean

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Post by Thomandy Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:26 am

maestoso wrote:Hi Guys,

I'm new here... my name is Dean and I live in England. What a great resource this is!! I've been playing piano for about 3 years and of course really love it! Unfortunately I ran into problems 2 years ago with neck pain/ shoulder pain and although it has improved a lot, I can't practice for more than 1 hour a day without issues.

Anyway during my worst "pain" period I discovered the Alexander technique. Has anyone heard of it? There is a great book called "Indirect Procedures: A musicians guide to the Alexander technique". There is a section in there about performance anxiety/ stage fright. The advice is a little bit strange but I found it does help. Basically they recommend that during practice (at home on your own for example) you play pieces as though you were in a public performance, and the key is try REALLY hard to actually feel nervous. The goal is to be as shaky as you can Laughing It sounds strange but when you actually come to perform you suddenly find all the nerves have disappeared because you "worked through them" in your practice. The technique also teaches you to live in the moment and not focus on the end result so much.

Cheers
Dean

Hi there Very Happy glad to have you here! Feel fre to use the forum alot Wink hehe
And welcome!!! Very Happy
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Post by jeanne.supermum Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:47 am

maestoso wrote:Hi Guys,

I'm new here... my name is Dean and I live in England. What a great resource this is!! I've been playing piano for about 3 years and of course really love it! Unfortunately I ran into problems 2 years ago with neck pain/ shoulder pain and although it has improved a lot, I can't practice for more than 1 hour a day without issues.

Anyway during my worst "pain" period I discovered the Alexander technique. Has anyone heard of it? There is a great book called "Indirect Procedures: A musicians guide to the Alexander technique". There is a section in there about performance anxiety/ stage fright. The advice is a little bit strange but I found it does help. Basically they recommend that during practice (at home on your own for example) you play pieces as though you were in a public performance, and the key is try REALLY hard to actually feel nervous. The goal is to be as shaky as you can Laughing It sounds strange but when you actually come to perform you suddenly find all the nerves have disappeared because you "worked through them" in your practice. The technique also teaches you to live in the moment and not focus on the end result so much.

Cheers
Dean

Hi Dean,

thanks, will check out that book! Can you tell me the author? Happy playing yourself!

Cheers,

Jeanne.

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Post by VictorCS Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:43 pm

Some pro take sedative drugs to get rid of the nerves...
I dont really suggest that, drug isnt the way to go...
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Post by maestoso Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:04 am

Hi Jeanne,

The author is Pedro de Alcantara, the ISBN is 978-0-19-816569-9, if that helps! The book is a little heavy-going but has some useful stuff and really makes you think.

Good luck :-)

Dean

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