June 23, 2009 at 6:38 PM
Busking is not exactly a concept that has caught on here, so it was not easy in that respect. Also the month of June is not great for outdoor busks as the monsoons have already begun. So we sensibly chose indoor locations.
Most of us hadn't busked before, and some of us hadn't played solo in public before, so we were understandably nervous.
But we grew more and more confident as we went along, and on June 14, the day of the world record, we really let our hair down.
We learned a lot of lessons from our experience:
1. If you're playing from sheet music, make sure you've got enough clothes pegs to fasten it to your music stand.
2. Know where you keep the rest of your music, so it doesn't fly all over the place while you play.
3. Wear comfortable clothing. It's awful having to play for long strecthes of time if you're uncomfortable.
4. Get a friend along if you can, n case you need to be videotaped, to keep you fed and watered, to mind your violin case and any money you may have collected along the way, and just for good oldfashioned moral support.
5. Choose your spot so that it generates the most interest, gets a lot of people "traffic" and is not a hindrance to said traffic
6. Publicise it well in advance.
We'll be well-prepared next year round.
I've busked once, in my country, for 3 days. It was awful exprience, but I've learned a lot for sure.
Worst thing is not being nervous playing in the public, being messy with scores/stands etc, instead it's because of the extremely hot and humid weather throughout the day, even I was playing under shades, but still it's was awful to play all day long while sweating become wet and stinky. Indoor should be better especially with air-cons, I don't mind playing all day long!
However I must admit, busking is probably the most effective way to overcome stage fright. The result was instant! I no longer being nervous after the 3 days of busking, although it was awful experience but in the end I'm so grateful I did that.
The Salvation Army (a charity here in the U.S.) has their annual fund raising event between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They post volunteers with kettles out side of local stores. Most volunteers just ring a bell. Last year, I volunteered but I played my violin instead. For me, it was a good experience. The worst part was the cold that time of year. Passers by seemed appreciative of my music, many said it was a huge improvement over the bells. It also increased donations to the charity.
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