Printer-friendly version

Stage fright

May 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

In 2 hours I will be at my outside of school orchestra trying out for one of their ensembles I' Solisti. My mom received the email encouraging me to trying out, but told me very late, so I learned the music late and now here I am with a mostly memorized piece nervous that I'll screw up. Screams are itching their way out of my throat and I have the urgent sense to go and hide and not do the audition.

But then what would that accomplish? I don't know if I'll make it in or not, but this audition experience is important. There is college next year and that will be even more nerve racking. It doesn't matter if I make it in or not( well it does a little bit), but I need to get over this fear of being judged. Of course I am being judged, but why fear it? The worst they can say is that you did make it in. There is already a 50 percent chance of Not making it in.

What makes people so nervous about auditioning? The fear of messing up? Playing in front of people you don't know or better yet you do know? Not being able to impress? If there is one thing that people outside of the music world don't seem to think about it that not only is it hard to play the instruments, but it's hard to perform it in front of others for people. Music is so hard in every sense, but I'm willing to go through the fear and fire to make it my's just going to be a little flight getting there.

Off to my audition I go

From Karis Crawford
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 5:11 AM
I think audition nerves are different from performance nerves - at least for me! When you are auditioning you are hoping to get somewhere, join something or attend a certain school ... whereas with performing for a recital or concert is different. Some of the audience may appreciate you, you may have fans or you might have critics, but you've already gotten far enough to perform in front of an audience. Having performed the Bruch Violin Concerto a few months ago and a recital yesterday, I can understand the difference between nerves for auditions and nerves for performances. I generally don't get nervous for performances, but I will be auditioning in Germany in a few weeks time for a Master's degree and I know it will be very disappointing if I don't make it in. A lot is riding on these auditions, whereas my performances were not nerve-wracking at all since I had prepared for them and they were not going to be detrimental to my career at all. I would love to know how anyone else deals with nerves for auditions, however! Besides the whole "eat a banana, don't drink caffeine, don't eat sugar" spiel ...
From Paul Wood
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 6:38 AM
Really pleased to read your post, not to hear about your stage fright but to read about your determination to face it.

What you are feeling is natural, that does not make it any easier to face but at least you know you are human!

For me any opportunity to perform, recital, competition, audition is a chance to test myself. Yes, a positive outcome is my end game but finding out what works and what does not is more important.

It's what we do with that information that helps us move forward with our playing.

You are also learning a very worthwhile life skill - face your fear. Anyone who is prepared to do that, no matter what the outcome, should be applauded.

All the best with your audition.

Let us all know how it went and how you managed to face you fear.

Kindest regards,


From marjory lange
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 12:43 PM
By now you know how well others assessed your playing; that's important for 'getting in,' but more important in the long run, is your own evaluation--honestly--the good-and-the-bad of what you accomplished.

Auditions are like any other exam, except they are noisy and public. Where a recital or concert can be experienced as a gift to the audience (that's one way I combat performance think about what I want to give) auditions are, as you point out, more about what you want to get. Alexander Technique calls that 'end gaining,' and it usually knocks us off our best game.

I hope it went well for you.

From Pavel Spacek
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM
You might find interesting reading at when you download the book.pdf from

Before you curse me that it is for piano players, they also perform on the stage and have left and right hand as violinists do. If you skip those passages devoted to piano technique, there is a lot of useful information for violin and other instrument playing, such as separating left and right hand during practice, memorizing. Information for stage problems starts on page 160.

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine