Observations on Performance
I started learning the violin as a child, had a big gap and restarted a few years ago. I detested playing in public as a child, I don’t know why, no terrible experiences or anything. Now as a returned learner, I am trying to overcome my performance fears. I should feel pleased with what I’ve achieved in the last year (passed another exam nearly 40 years after my last, leading the local community orchestra, played in an Eisteddfod, played a solo section for orchestra and now performing to larger friendly audiences) and I do but I also made a couple of realisations today.
Doing certain techniques make me more nervous, namely vibrato and trills. I think the fast movements my mind/ body interprets as trembling which then makes me more nervous even if I wasn’t particularly in the first place.
I feel detached from the experience, as though my mind and body are no longer together. Things are running through my mind, totally separate from the playing.
Any tips for overcoming these?
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I have also had quite a struggle with performance anxiety and it's interesting what you say about certain techniques making you more nervous. For me it's similar, but it's more that certain techniques I might be able to do fine in the practice room routinely don't go well in performace:spiccato, and bow changes at the frog sound rough and unnecessarily accented. My left hand generally stays consistant from practice room to performace.
There's a difference between performance anxiety and simply not enjoying performing (solo). I fail to see why people insist on some correlation between having musical talent and desiring to stand on a stage in front of loads of people. Although I suppose if you had no performance anxiety, you wouldn't care either way about standing on a stage in front of a load of punters. My teacher feels the same. She plays in quartets, but mainly she plays in orchestra pits.