Why do we perform when it terrifies us so much?

For most of my 20s, off and on in my 30s and again in my early 40s, I suffered from performance anxiety. Often crippling performance anxiety. Dry mouth, shaking legs, unable to get my breath under me. In my 20s, it was because my technical ability wasn’t at the level I needed to be atContinue reading “Why do we perform when it terrifies us so much?”

Getting a Handle on Performance Anxiety

How do you deal with performance anxiety? Is it something that you have dealt with? Once? More than once? Every time you get up in front of anyone? Do you wonder why on earth you do it but yet you keep doing it?

But when I dream….

I dream of crazy things. (This blogpost was going to be about achieving your dreams, but that’s not the way it turned out – I’ll talk about that another time.) Sometimes I have dreams about my students or musical colleagues, as either main or peripheral characters. Sometimes they’re really amusing dreams, sometimes terrifying and post-apocalyptic,Continue reading “But when I dream….”

The Performing Teacher/Teaching Artist

The biggest reason I moved back to the east coast from Milwaukee was because I was not performing at all. Or hardly at all. On the up side, this allowed/forced me to focus on developing my teaching/business skills, and I discovered that I’m really good at this. But performing was important to me, both becauseContinue reading “The Performing Teacher/Teaching Artist”

Performance Success Profile, Take Two

After cleaning out files the other day, I discovered a performance success survey that I took in 2002. This was a bad time for me, performance-wise. Although I should’ve been at the top of my game, vocally, I was having a lot of performance anxiety that was really holding me back. And my scores onContinue reading “Performance Success Profile, Take Two”

If you’re going to make a mistake, make a BIG one

I read a blogpost the other day by a musician and psychologist named Noa Kageyama (aka “The Bulletproof Musician”) about the idea that making deliberate mistakes can teach you a lot. Kageyama’s focus, generally, is on being very deliberate and mindful in your practice. So I was doing some thinking when I posted this onContinue reading “If you’re going to make a mistake, make a BIG one”

Vulnerability and pretending not to care

From the twitter feed of Xstrology (online astrologer): Gemini will pretend that they don’t care at the times they are most vulnerable. I’m a Gemini. I’m the quintessential Gemini – I talk a lot, I’m constantly doing 6 million and 12 things at once, I love change, I’m versatile – and on the downside, IContinue reading “Vulnerability and pretending not to care”

Facing Fears and Performance Anxiety

[From October 8, 2001]The recital is Sunday. You are going to get up and sing one or two songs in front of at least 23 people (the number of people who have signed up to sing) and, assuming they each bring two people, the total swells to 69. Maybe more. You have been working onContinue reading “Facing Fears and Performance Anxiety”