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  • Noa Kageyama

    November 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

    For what it’s worth, you’re not the only one worrying about this, and feeling intimidated. In all likelihood, this is exactly what the others are thinking as well, whether in the context of this recital, or in summer festivals/camps, etc.

    There are a variety of ways to reframe this – for instance, once upon a time, every one of them was exactly where you are now. So it would be rather unkind of them to be judgmental, when they ought to be more empathetic. But the most important and helpful way to shift your thinking is to focus more on a) what you control, and b) what is performance-enhancing. Meaning,

    1) Can you control if others don’t find your piece interesting? Not particularly, but what CAN you control? You can control your focus, and the degree to which you are able to engage with and enjoy the parts of your piece that YOU find interesting. And if you really get into the moment and enjoy sharing the parts of your piece that you find meaningful, I’ll bet others will find this moving as well.

    2) A fundamental rule of thumb in performance situations is to focus only on what is helpful. If you find yourself engaging in unhelpful thoughts, practice redirecting your thoughts to something that is more helpful – such as running through the piece in your mind, or imagining how you would like to begin the opening, or your favorite parts of the piece. This will be good practice for future performances, and help you get better at controlling your thoughts and focus in performance situations.

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If you’d like to explore some of the most essential skills and techniques in the course live, with a cohort of curious, thoughtful, supportive, and like-minded educators (and a few mildly irreverent or benevolently sarcastic folks mixed in to make sure we don’t get too serious), that’s also an option!

Starting Thursday, February 3rd, we’ll meet via Zoom once a week, and go through selected strategies related to effective practice, managing nerves, and achieving flow states under pressure. We’ll do some in-class playing experiments (don’t worry – you’ll be muted!), short weekly homework assignments, and small-group breakout sessions to help you integrate these new skills into your teaching.

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