March 2014

Performance Anxiety!!

March 7, 2014 19:32

I enjoy playing the violin, but I hate performing in front of people. I play wonderfully when I am alone, but the second someone enters the room, I fall apart. I do not understand it. Today, I had to perform Beethoven's Spring Sonata, first movement in studio class. It was awful. I am in my senior year as a music major and I still get nervous performing. I just cannot seem to do it. I feel as though I am falling through a deep, dark hole. My violin sounds and feels different, smaller. When I am practicing or playing during my lesson, it projects so much better. It sounds so small in a performance hall or a rehearsal room to my ears. My vibrato sounds weak, the tone does not carry, I cannot hear the changes in dynamics (though I am doing them)and I hear nothing but bad notes. It sounds so strident, harsh, and shrill. This is not the case when I am practicing. I feel as though I have to work so hard to produce a good tone, much harder than during my lessons and practice sessions. I try to be confident and push forward through the performance, but I cannot seem to get a grip on myself (not to mention the dreadful 'bow vibrato' during the sections that are played in piano or pianissimo. For once in my life I would like to perform with confidence and comfort in front of an audience. I want to be able to express myself through the music. It's inside of me to do it, but I just cannot bring it out. Sometimes I feel like giving up because the same thing keeps happening every time I perform. I envy people who are able to give an audience a heartfelt, authentic performance. The look on people's faces after I perform breaks my heart. I have done nothing for them as a performer. Their faces look cold and distant and they applaud out of courtesy. It is embarrassing and I get so angry with myself because I know I can do better. I feel as though I am reaching the point of wanting to quit. I do not see the point anymore. Does anyone have any advice?

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