GOLDEN RULES FOR CONQUERING PERFORMANCE ANXIETY

While preparing for our remodel and cleaning stuff out, I found these on an index card that I’d made up for myself that was stuffed in a drawer. From reading it, it seems that I got the actual rules from somewhere and then I wrote my own comment on it. So – I’m going to share it here, in part so I can throw away the card. 🙂

  1. You have practiced to the best of your ability.  Trust your autopilot (aka your technique) to work.
  2. Do not judge what happened or will happen.  No “What was that?” thinking!
  3. Don’t second-guess audience reaction. Please yourself only!
  4. Be in the music, in the moment. Be on stage, not in the audience. Be in the giving mode, not the receiving one!
  5. Single out one aspect of your playing that is your #1 priority (before going on stage). Breathing? Expressivity?
  6. Enjoy! Let your emotions and excitement for the music be present.
I just googled the title on the card. It came from musician David Leisner. For more of his take on the subject (much of which I paraphrased, although “what was that” thinking is something I say frequently), feel free to read his article.

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