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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Do you have fun when you perform?

May 11, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Do you have fun when you perform?

What a great question member Momoko Takahashi raised in her blog this week.

Her answer: "I don't."

I'll confess I've felt a great range of emotions when performing. I've had great, wonderful fun -- times when I've thought, "Playing the violin is the only thing in my life that is 100 percent easy and right and good!" I've also had some of the worst, near-nervous-breakdown moments I can remember. Both kinds of experiences tended to relate to my overall mental state, and not actually to the pressure of the situation. I've had a few auditions that went without a hitch; others where I got tunnel vision, nearly passed out and then wanted to chuck the fiddle out the window. I've had entire solo recitals that felt wonderful, and little tiny solos where I got so nervous, you'd think a bengal tiger was crouching over my chair, teeth bared, ready to devour me.

Ah, the drama of being a violinist! Do you ever have fun when you play? Or is it mostly a form of torture? I've provided a range of answers for you to choose:

P.S. I hope you do have fun now and then!

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM
It's interesting, the title change from "Do you have fun when you perform?" to "Do you have fun when you play?" I think those are two very different questions, which would have correspondingly different answers. For me, the answers would be "sometimes" and "yes," respectively. Playing, just playing by my own choice and for my own reasons, is virtually always fun. Performing is something else entirely.
From Steven Albert
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 7:03 PM
Considering that I don't really perform, I just play for myself and the occasional friend. Whenever I pick up my fiddle its always for fun. When I'm not practicing, I'll have tune in my head that I think will sound great on the violin and I'll play with that for awhile. That's the best part of playing

From steven su
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 8:32 PM
i thought this is a great question. I have friends that love playing the violin but absolutely cannot perform in front of an audience. I don't usually get nervous unless it's a very challenging piece because I love the stage. but then if you aren't having fun, why are you doing it right? I always tell my friends to enjoy the moment. Don't tell screw ups ruin the fun!
From Joyce Lin
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 9:06 PM
I perform in my teacher's studio recitals and performance group lessons as a challenge to myself, and I do feel that I learn a piece more in-depth when I have to perform it. So, no, it's not fun for me, but just like many things in life: I do them because they do me good, not necessarily because they are fun.
From Victor Andzulis
Posted on May 11, 2012 at 9:22 PM
I LOVE performing! It is one of my favorites things to do on earth! Of course, like everyone else I get nervous, but it is worth that awesome feeling when you have an entire audience in tune with the music you're making.
From Mendy Smith
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 1:11 AM
I love performing, when there are at least 3-4 of us. If it is only me and someone else or just me, it is either sheer terror, fun, or something in between.
From Raphael Klayman
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Yes. Even in that highess situation on 5/6 that I just blogged about, I enjoyed it even while experiencing stress over it. Performing for me is a high-wire act and frankly, it helps to be a bit of an exhibitionist as well as a serious artist.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM
What is "fun"?

From elise stanley
Posted on May 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM
I misvoted! Stupidly anticipated the question - so please take one off the 'like' and add to the 'sometimes'.

I started a discussion topic on the conundrum of a strong desire to perform combined with terrible performance anxiety (terror) at the time of actually doing it. There were some good ideas but I'm still trying to figure that one out

From Laurie Niles
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 8:39 PM
Anne, "Fun" is very subjective. For example, some would find a roller coaster to be sheer joy and unalloyed fun; others would find a roller coaster to be the source of great anxiety and a brutal headache. Plenty feel somewhere in between, feeing anxious to get on the ride but then enjoying it, with only a small headache after. Likewise with performing.
From Kim Vawter
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 8:54 PM
Anxiety level high. Brain not in the zone. Fear of failure. All not fun.
Sublime satisfaction when you know you can play a piece: When hours of practice add up to all that you hoped you could do with a piece of music that you had always admired in the first place. I would have to elevate "fun" to another plane.
Fun would be playing as well as a few others and knowing that you are contributing to a nice sound and not a drag on the other artists-Friends getting together to play their instruments informally for me would be fun.

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