Tuesday, January 24, 2012
You or your student is very nervous about the upcoming performance. Memory lapses are happening, technique is suffering, music and the enjoyment of it stops. How do you deal with this?
Firstly, what is the problem? Identify it in terms of what happens to you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Take the time to recognize when performance anxiety really hits you, what happens to your body, what is your brain saying to you? Then talk it through with your voice teacher.
Physical: Do you get butterflies or actually feel like you are going to faint? Take a deep breath and relax. Work backwards a little bit first. When does it happen? Only at the actual performance or even when you are just thinking about a lesson? Are you nervous about not knowing all of the notes and words?
First, learn the piece thoroughly. Know the notes, rhythms, words, meaning of the text. Just learn it without the concept of performing it. If you get worked up for the first couple of days, walk away and come back. Identify what frustrated you and get help from your teacher. The second week if you get worked up, force yourself to ‘get back on the horse’ and keep going. Your teacher can help you with this. Have patience with yourself.
Once you know the nuts and bolts of the piece, put yourself into the character of the song. Paint the picture of the scene you are describing in your head or imagine you are truly telling your love of your commitment. Connect to the meaning of the piece and put yourself in the scene you create. Try to forget that anyone else is out there listening. You are that person. The more you connect with the text, the more your body and your mind may just remember what to do and you create beautiful music.
If it is not working, explore yoga poses and breathing. Visit my July blog on yoga.
What are your ideas on performance anxiety and would you like to work on tnis?