Playing but not Performing
I've become one of those who plays the violin but I no longer perform, as in play before any kind of audience. Reading many posts I suspect that I'm not alone, some have stage-fright or other aversions. If you play but don't perform what do you do other than play in your studio/practice room?
For me: the reason I don't perform is that I'm no longer a night person and most groups rehearse and often perform at night. I'm in the process of building a small cadre of duet partners who are like me - retired and not really interested in performing for others - just to play with another person and coordinating two schedules is sufficiently difficult. Yeah, I play a lot in my practice room and that is often sufficient unto itself.
I'm not a Glenn Gould, but...
I perform a lot, but people who don't perform might be in a non-performing small ensemble or play in an informal jam band.
A friend said to me that a musician alone is only half a musician!
It can be worse: performing but not playing.
You can always perform to yourself (or the dog or cat ...)
For me a performance works as a carrot. It makes me focus my practice. Recently my quartet was working with the Ravel quartet. We went on a course and performed the first movement there at the end of the course. But for various reasons (hand surgery for the violist is one) the performance of the whole quartet that we had planned never happened. And I still feel that we are missing something. For me working a piece up to a level I am satisfied with and then not perform it is unfulfilled. Even if the performance makes me nervous it provides some sort of closure.
I think for the non-night-owls the idea of getting together with friends to play duets or trios is magnificent. You are practicing, yes, but also performing ... for one another! And I'll bet there are venues (retirement centers, hospitals) that would value daytime "performances" by local musicians. Especially by someone as warm-hearted as George seems to be.
Interesting responses because none of the people who have indicated that they don't "perform" have not responded.
Lets be straight about this. " I'm no longer a night person and most groups rehearse and often perform at night" is not a reason. It is an excuse. Lots of retired violinists and some teachers are available during the day - so practice sessions are possible. Many organizations love to have volunteers give day time performances, for example retirement homes, senior citizen medical centers, disabled children's centers, substance abuse recovery homes, organized groups of home schoolers, organized or self initiated busker sessions, etc.
Music is great because it is so diverse that one can do whatever with it to suit one's particular needs, and performance is only one of them. There are plenty music traditions in world and in history where music has been treated as a form of meditation, emotional and spiritual healing primarily for one's own benefit in private settings. It's also a matter of prioritizing one's time and energy. It is not hard to see the attractiveness of playing music for the enrichment of one's inner needs rather than putting oneself out and to share with others or to please the audience.
For me, the performance is one of the driving forces behind my playing. It gives me a goal. Something to strive toward. I need goals. If my goal were only to play at home I would get some satisfaction from that. Not enough to keep me going though.
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