Written by Krista Moyer
Published: December 9, 2013 at 7:25 PM [UTC]
In my year and a half of playing, I have only played in public a very few times, and that only in jam sessions with people I already knew, or felt comfortable with. Last Friday, I played to an audience for the very first time. Sure, people might have listened before, but we were practicing, darn it. No one expects practice to be flawless. And yes, the program was only a medley of simple Christmas carols in a church with the parents of the local arts academy in attendance. So what? It was my first performance. That’s a big deal to anyone.
Maybe it helped that I was playing with seven children between the ages of five and eleven so I got to stand in the back. Most of them were better than me. I’m fine with that. They have been playing longer, after all. What I really liked was the feeling of acceptance. It didn’t bother them a jot that I was there, or that I screwed up a few string crossings.
I expected to be nervous, and I was a little. I didn’t want to make any mistakes, but I made a few. What surprised me was the feeling that it was all OK. Nobody expected perfection. If I forgot all about rest position, nobody cared. If I got the bowing wrong, at least the notes were mostly right. I might have felt a bit silly playing with a group of children, but they ARE better than me. It’s always good to play with folks who are better than you, I have found.
So I think I have learned a few lessons:
1. Performances don’t have to be scary.
2. Nobody is judging. Even if they were, what could they do – take away your birthday?
3. The better prepared you are, the easier it is to focus.
4. Four inch stiletto heels for a performance are a BAD plan. Ouch!
The best part is that I didn’t even start shaking until we left the stage. Maybe it was relief. I might have to jump a few hurdles every time I perform, but at least now I know I can.
You are going to do fine. I think if you go into it with a positive attitude, it goes better than if you imagine the worst. Best of luck on your first performance!
My friends that are coming know that I'll be standing behind children but they are all super excited to go. I'm glad yours went well, I hope mine does too!
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