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Anxiety, wrong notes, performance (Read 1204 times)

Offline chopinology

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Anxiety, wrong notes, performance
« on: February 17, 2020, 03:13:23 AM »
Hi. I have been playing piano for most of my life, Iím 35, have been taking piano lessons on and off for years and now am studying seriously with a couple teachers for past two years. Iím finding it very rewarding, however, I have a lot of anxiety around performing in front of my teacher and others. When I was in my teens and 20s I practiced upwards of four hours a day, and while I practice a lot now I feel like Iíve gotten a little rusty in my 30s and more anxious and maybe a little less confident. My goal would be to be able to perform in front of family and friends, but right now my anxiety Is inhibiting the way I play and causing me to stiffen up and hit wrong notes. To be honest, I play with a lot of passion and feeling but my performances are far from perfect. I donít know if I have a question, I just want to be able to be more confident and more emotionally and technically accurate, can anyone relate to anything Iím saying? Thanks,

Jeremy ~~

Offline thirtytwo2020

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Re: Anxiety, wrong notes, performance
«Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 05:59:06 PM »
I think most of us can relate to quite a lot of what you're saying - perhaps the scarce response is due to the lack of an actual question in your post...

In my experience, you need to practice the act of performance as much as you practice technique or musicality. In your case, it sounds maybe as if you're very good at practicing piano playing, but lack the strategies for improving your performance skills.

I suppose there are lots of ways to go about it. Really working with mental images of performing can prepare you quite well for the actual situation. Or maybe you need to find the right kind of little, friendly audience to practice on. In any case, I think you need to make it your first priority, try to perform as much as you can in situations when you feel reasonably safe, and certainly not give up.

Did you perform more frequently when you were younger? Did you have the same issues then?

Offline brogers70

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Re: Anxiety, wrong notes, performance
«Reply #2 on: March 19, 2020, 10:36:05 AM »
Anxiety causes wrong notes, for sure. It's also true that wrong notes cause anxiety. One thing to try is to scale way back on the difficulty of the pieces you are playing, so that you're less likely to play wrong notes in the first place. There's lots of music that is relatively simple, notewise, but still beautiful. Practice some of those pieces until the notes are completely second nature and try to make them as beautiful as possible. Then play them for family and friends whenever you have a chance. After you've been doing that for a while, you may have been able to break the "anxiety -> wrong notes -> worse anxiety -> even more wrong notes" cycle that is easy to fall into. Then you can gently ramp up the difficulty of the pieces you're playing.

Offline comma

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Re: Anxiety, wrong notes, performance
«Reply #3 on: March 19, 2020, 10:53:41 AM »
Perhaps this video can help you:
https://youtu.be/ZzEWEeZVPe8