Preparing for a Performance
You've heard it for weeks. Johnny has been playing his recital piece beautifully - beginning to end with minimal mistakes. Then, in the performance, Johnny gets nervous and 'blanks' in a few spots, his fingers are shaking and sweaty, so instead of a flawless performance like he had at home, he has one with some bumps and bruises. Does this sound familiar? For some children, this type of performance can be a crippling experience that makes them feel like they have failed, and provides a negative association for any type of performing in the future. Your child is not alone! There are a lot of wonderful musicians who have performance anxiety. In order to prepare so that the performance can not only be a great performance, we want to instill a joy in being able to share music with others without fear. So how can we do this?
BRAIN CHEMICALS. The brain when under stress, produces adrenaline and dopamine that make us hyper alert, which isn't how our brains work when we're playing through a piece to 'practice' it at home in our relatively stress-free environments. We think differently. We respond differently.
In order to do our best in a performance, here are my most sound, time-tested prep steps to ensure as positive and flawless of a performance as one can hope for.
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