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Does Rachmaninoff Touch Your Heart?
Today, with smartwatches and everyday electronics, it is increasingly common to measure training results, heart rate, calorie consumption, and overall health. But monitoring heart rate of pianists and audience can reveal interesting insights on several other aspects within the musical field. Read more >>

Topic: Stage Fright and Zen Buddhism  (Read 4543 times)

Offline doowlehc

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Stage Fright and Zen Buddhism
on: March 28, 2005, 07:57:48 PM
I have trouble with stage fright.  After reading a bit on this topic, I realize my main problem is

1) I concern too much of impressing the audience
2) I concern too much of not playing wrong notes
3) I concern too much about cold hands

Some books I read describe performing in an unthinking state, much like Zen buddhism.  And that I should see music performance as simply an enjoyment of the process, and that is the only thing that matter.

I would like to read more about this because I think this helps my stage fright immensely - I never thought that I can have this alternative relationship with music.   

Any books / lectures / materials / thoughts you can recommend?

Offline pianonut

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Re: Stage Fright and Zen Buddhism
Reply #1 on: March 28, 2005, 10:48:36 PM
i don't know about zen buddism, but i think meditating on the piece you are about to play is a good idea.  even imagining yourself playing it (before you do) is good. 

cold hands are a real concern (hinders flexibility).  always run your hands under warm water until they feel good (if you are in a cold climate - or nerves make your hands cold).  don't just wait for them to naturally warm up (if your circulation slows with nerves).  sit on your hands if necessary.

if you get 'into' your piece, you are not even aware of the audience (until you hear a cell phone), and if you hit a wrong note you can always pretend it was a right note.  if you stop everyone says 'aha, mistake.'  you'd be surprised how many in an audience don't really hear the note as loudly as you do!  a few times in my life i have had 'good' experiences performing.  what they all had in common:

i had practiced the piece for 6 mos. to a year, i liked the piece, i practiced for several days before performing for several hours in morning and at night, and right before playing (so i was warmed up), had a good night's sleep, drank plenty of fluids (but drank a half hour before playing - so didn't have to run), got into the 'zone' for 3-5 minutes before playing, didn't need audience applause to know that i had played well.

once you experience playing (even if you make a couple mistakes) well for an audience, you remember how it feels (how to relax) and sort of compare it to everyday things you do around your family.  it is natural.  you fit into your surroundings by doing a chameleon thing (turn black and white like the piano) and let people hear the music.
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

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