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Joined: Nov 2009
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Thanks!
(didn't know about that despite being on here for 2000 years)

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Thanks!
(didn't know about that despite being on here for 2000 years)

ha ha ha ha ha


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Taking drugs I mean medicine is not the solution to the problem it's just about run away from the problem



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I once read a nice explanation of it: our physical reaction to the stress of performance comes from the body's "flight or flight" response to danger. The trick is to convince oneself there is no actual danger in the situation.

Yesterday I performed Jeux d'eau in a music salon with 15 or so attendees. I wasn't fully prepared- I hadn't played the piece in 12 years and attempted to bring it back in a few days, and it was a disaster. One of the most humiliating performances of my life. Wrong notes everywhere in places I thought I had mastered, doubts every other second, half-bars and whole bars skipped to save unsavable situations. But strangely enough, life went on. The sun went down and then up again this morning. People forgot it. Or maybe they didn't. But the session continued, there was good music that followed, I kept moderating, and I would like to think that it's about the music and not about me, that this one performance will not make people dismiss me or disrespect me forever. I apologized for the trainwreck (that killed no one) and recommended a good performance where people can listen to the "real" piece. True, this was no concert stage and the stakes were lower, but overall it was just a humbling reminder that it takes so much more to be able to share a piece with an audience, that if part of one thinks it can't be that easy, that one hasn't done enough preparation, then it's true. (I got so used to accompanying and playing from scores and forgot that performing demanding solo works requires a much more rigorous process).

One of my best friends in grad school was a wonderful pianist from Taiwan, and she always felt that there was something essentially narcissistic about being nervous. Getting nervous comes either from not being prepared or from the fear of making a bad impression, and performing is not about making an impression, she felt. You just have a message, and the more filled you are with the message you are there to share and with its importance, the less room there is for fear.


"Love has to be the starting point- love of music. It is one of my firmest convictions that love always produces some knowledge, while knowledge only rarely produces something similar to love."
Arthur Schnabel

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Having some wine is a perfect excuse for me to not play when asked to play.

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Yes, but only after receiving informed advice and a prescription from my primary care physician. For me, it helps, though whether that's the propranolol or a placebo effect, I neither know nor care. YMMV, of course.

I wouldn't recommend taking any medication without first fully discussing it with a good doctor.


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Originally Posted by Ainar
I once read a nice explanation of it: our physical reaction to the stress of performance comes from the body's "flight or flight" response to danger. The trick is to convince oneself there is no actual danger in the situation.

That makes sense. But what explains having a similar response when recording at home while alone? Many people here over the years have mentioned that problem, even though there is obviously no danger.

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Originally Posted by rubinsteinway
Having some wine is a perfect excuse for me to not play when asked to play.
Gee, I use i as an excuse for the mistakes I'll make. (You don't actually need an excuse for either one of these, but wine is good for a lot of things.)


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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Ainar
I once read a nice explanation of it: our physical reaction to the stress of performance comes from the body's "flight or flight" response to danger. The trick is to convince oneself there is no actual danger in the situation
That makes sense. But what explains having a similar response when recording at home while alone? Many people here over the years have mentioned that problem, even though there is obviously no danger.
One can be afraid one will not like the result even if no one else listens to the recording.

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Beta blockers don't enhance performance. They block nerves. So it if sounded like dookie at home it will still sound like dookie on the stage. Does NOT enhance anything.

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